Basement waterproofing is a term used to describe a process of stopping water affecting below ground areas of your property. Depending on the construction and the intended purpose of the area, a basement waterproofing specialist will specify the appropriate waterproofing system to suit the requirements.

Any underground void is susceptible to water and damp ingress as water pressure will force the water to flow into an empty space. Depending on circumstances a below ground structure can be waterproofed using two types of waterproofing: 1) using a tanking slurry; 2) using a waterproof membrane; or by using a complete water management system that collects water using cavities that direct water into drainage channels. These channels direct the excess water into a sump that contains one or two pumps that can manage the water flow by pumping it out and keeping your basement dry.

Basement tanking is the application of a waterproofing material (known as tanking slurry or render) to the walls, floor and sometimes ceiling of an underground space.

The tanking material creates a waterproof barrier, preventing water from entering the space via the brick or stonework.

Basement tanking can also be executed by using a waterproofing membrane which creates a waterproofing layer keeping your basement dry. Note that basement tanking is only applicable for certain types of below ground area and it is important that the appropriate waterproofing system is chosen. If your basement requires a water management system, a specialist surveyor will be able to identify this during a property survey.

damp proofing membrane

If you are considering converting your basement area from a dark, damp and unpleasant storage space to something more habitable, waterproofing must be the first step.

For property owners who are thinking about selling, waterproofing the underground spaces can add significant value to your property and appeal to a wider choice of buyers.

Converting a basement is a great way to add more living space to your property. These underground areas make great office spaces or games rooms.

However, investing in basement waterproofing should not be approached lightly. Because many underground spaces lie below the ground water table and are highly vulnerable to leaks and flooding.

Without proper consideration and planning, your dream basement conversion along with the furnishings, decoration and fabric are at risk of water damage.

A property with a waterproof basement will be more valuable and attractive to potential buyers in the future. A well-lit basement area will give added value to the property if you are planning to move.

Many potential buyers could be put off by the thought of requiring to invest even more money into a property than they already are if the basement area is not in an acceptable condition.

Lastly, if you are not planning on selling your property, a converted basement can become a great extension of your living space. If your family is expanding or if you could simply benefit from a dry storage space, a basement conversion could provide a great solution.

Traditional waterproofing systems (tanking) are applied directly to basement walls, floor and ceiling to hold back the water and damp coming from the ground. However, there is a risk that water pressure can build behind the existing structure.

Modern systems combine a cavity waterproofing membrane and a drainage system to manage any water entering the basement into a drainage system which is then removed from the basement using a specialised sump and pump or by existing ground drainage.

modern basement waterproofing system

A sump unit is dug into the floor of the basement and collects unwanted water. From there the water is pumped out by single or multiple pumps, depending on the size of the space and the amount of water coming into the basement.

Waterproofing an underground area will depend on the size and what the space will be used for and the detail of the specification for refurbishment. A small cellar space can take just a few days.

A full waterproof system of a large basement, including repairing any walls and making changes to the area can take up to several months.

This will depend on access to the property and the type of work carried out. If there is easy access, then you can probably continue living in the property while work is carried out.

Full water management basement waterproofing systems at Richardson & Starling are guaranteed for 10 years. The length of warranty will be detailed in your report and quotation.

Our extensive expertise means we are confident that the work we carry out with give your basement area a new lease of life for many years to come.

At Richardson & Starling, we have provided the nation with waterproofing advice for more than 85 years. We hope you have found this FAQ guide to basement waterproofing helpful. However, if you still have questions then feel free to contact us.

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