Basement tanking is a way to waterproof cellars and basements against invasive and damaging damp effectively. By making the walls of the cellar or basement waterproof in such a way means that the space can be used for storage without danger of costly repairs as a result of dampness. Because these areas of a house are underground, groundwater can easily permeate any brick or stone walls, making the basement damp, cold and prone to condensation and mould.

One of the most common and effective methods of basement tanking is by using a special slurry or waterproof cement. Tanking slurry is applied directly onto the existing walls of a basement, and when it cures it forms an impenetrable waterproof barrier that prevents water from getting into the storage space of a basement or cellar.

Another popular method of basement tanking is by applying a cavity membrane in front of the existing basement wall. The membrane is waterproof and is equally appropriate as using a slurry or cement and allows the installation of a water management system to help drain the water out of the property.

Basement waterproofing refers to a basement waterproofing system that uses a cavity membrane to gather the excess water into a drain or sump and pump. This system is much more effective in managing the excess water entering the basement and it does not create increased water pressure in the existing walls and floor of the basement. This is extremely useful in a case of a flood as unmanaged water flow will result in damage to your property.

When you hear people talking about basement tanking, they are referring specifically to applying a slurry, cement or other material direct to the existing wall and floor surfaces of an underground area.

The two terms are closely linked to one another the main difference being the intended use of the basement space. This should be understood before undertaking any sort of basement tanking application.

The methods discussed so far have all focused on keeping the water out as much as possible. But while this may seem like the obvious and easiest solution, it is always prone to degrading over time or even degrading quickly due to an incorrect application of the waterproof materials.

So, what is a water management system and is it the most effective way of ensuring a basement area stays dry?

A water management system allows the water to enter the underground space and is then carefully managed and drained away. Note that choosing a cavity drainage waterproofing system over a tanking solution is purely contextual as both are created to deal with different amount of damp and free water penetration. While tanking solution will prevent small amounts of damp and water penetrating your basement or cellar, a cavity drainage waterproofing system will manage the flow of free water entering a basement even in a case of a flood.

Basement waterproofing system

How does a water management system work in a basement space? We previously mentioned cavity wall membrane and this is how a basement waterproofing system manages water effectively that may enter your basement. This waterproof membrane is placed and fitted against the walls and floor of the basement to form a cavity that allows the water to run behind the waterproof membrane.

Any water entering the basement is allowed to run down this special cavity wall and is collected in a collection of drains, gullies, and piping where it is directed to a sump area. From here, the water is pumped out of the property. The joints are sealed with special tape and then dry lined for a perfect internal finish. This new wall can be decorated like normal once the work is complete.

Ideal for any basement or cellar space because the water pressure is not allowed to build which could damage the waterproofing system, a water management system is a great option for damp prevention in your basement. While basement tanking using a slurry or cement can sometimes fail due to increased water pressure from the ground or other penetration issues. You are also able to check and maintain a waterproof management system with access to the sump and pump for maintenance and servicing.

Basement waterproofing is the best way to ensure that your underground area is dry and usable for the long-term future.

If you are considering a basement conversion then our PCA certified waterproofing specialists at Richardson & Starling are here to specify the right solution and guide you through the whole process. From the initial survey to choosing the right basement waterproofing application, our combined experience will help create a dry environment for the planned use of your basement.

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