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At Southern Liquid Systems, we our basement waterproofing specialists. We provide these structural waterproofing solutions throughout London and the South of England. This includes all types of basement waterproofing and basement tanking.
Having a comprehensive basement waterproofing system is critical in protecting your buildings structure and its contents against water ingress 1. It is likely there will be a build-up of water surrounding a basement, this raises the water table and leads to hydrostatic water pressure. This pressure exerts itself upon the floor and the basement walls.
Over time this can lead to water penetration through any joints, crack and areas of weakness in your basement structure. A common sign of a basement showing issues is a damp wall or a leak. A good basement waterproofing system will help prevent these problems from occurring. And the consequent mould, decay and damp issues which come with water penetrating your basements structure.
Any underground space is always susceptible to moisture penetrating its structure due to the pressurised groundwater which surrounds it. This is why all underground spaces, i.e. basements, cellars and vaults need to have structural waterproofing systems in place to stop them becoming damp or uninhabitable.
Ground Water: this is the term given to water which is stored underground in the soil and cracks. The direction it travels in is dependant upon the topography of the area. The volume of ground water is linked to the level of rainfall an area has. In times of heavy rainfall the ground water can saturate to the topsoil and join the water table.
By making the decision to expand and build a basement or cellar we also make the decision to go under the water table which is a space which is consistently under hydrostatic pressure – a force produced by the water surrounding the building. This means waterproofing is essential to ensure the pressure of the water against the outer walls and floor does not impair the building’s structural integrity. Water pressure can lead to cracks, splits and eventually leaks. This will result in dampness inside underground spaces and jeopardise its ability to be inhabited.
Water Table: This is the term given to the underground boundary which separates the soil surface and the ground water. It is important to note water table levels can vary from year to year.
Hydrostatic Pressure: The scientific name given when the pressure of a fluid matches the force of gravity and an equilibrium is created.
There are many different elements which impact the level of water pressure and this in turn directly effects the level of moisture a basement or cellar is likely to be subjected too. Further to this, factors such as the location and composition of the surrounding soil, as well as the type of building and the depth it reaches also play a big part when assessing what level of waterproofing system is required. Therefore, it is important for any underground structures to be assessed by a specialist, who is able to design a waterproofing system which will provide the structure with an effective barrier and also meet British standards of the BS8102(2009).
BS8102(2009): This is the code of practise for underground structures – it is the framework for all the guidelines and recommendations for how underground structures need to be protected against groundwater. In this country all waterproofing systems have to adhere to the expectations outlined in the BS8102(2009).
Currently there are three main types of waterproofing, they are commonly known as tanking, integrated waterproofing and water management. Outlined below is a brief explanation of each type of waterproofing and how they work.
This method of waterproofing is arguable the most well known and has been used for many years within the waterproofing industry. Basement tanking is a waterproofing system which has a physical barrier. This is applied to the basement or cellar walls and flooring to prevent any moisture from entering. This barricade can be applied either internally or externally to the underground structure depending on what the specialist feels is best- this barrier then acts a a preventative tool to defend the structure from any saturated groundwater penetrating its surface.
During the designing stage the waterproofing specialist will consider the different approaches and products which can be used when creating a tanking style of waterproofing and decide which one is best for your personal structure. Their main focus will be to determine what materials will produce a strong enough defence to endure the expected level of ground water pressure against the building. Typically, the barrier will include crystalline slurries, sheet membranes, multi-coat renders and bitumen-based coatings.
This form of waterproofing is generally the one used on concrete new build below ground structures. The concrete structure has a waterproofing system integrated into it. Typically, waterproofing additives are added to the concrete during the building process and the structure has hydrophilic waterproofed junctions and construction joins. The rational behind this is, generally the joints of a structure are the weaker spots within the building and therefore are more prone to water ingresses forming, so the action of waterproofing them provides extra protection and reinforces the structural stability. In addition to this, the Type B system of waterproofing is normally also reinforced with Type A or C of waterproofing for extra protection.
This type of Waterproofing is also known as a Cavity Drain Membrane (CDM) and is the last type of waterproofing we will explore. This third way of waterproofing is a system which installs either internally or externally dimpled membranes into the walls and flooring of the underground structure. It also includes a series of drainage channels and sump pumps which work to divert any incoming water through the channels and into a pumping chamber. This then effectively redirects any underground water away from the internal living space and prevents any moisture or dampness developing. One of the great things about this method of waterproofing is it is suitable for all structure types and can be used in pre-existing basement renovations and basement flats.
What is the Cost of Basement Waterproofing?
There are many factors which influence the price of basement waterproofing- for example the style and size of the structure and also the type of waterproofing required. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information, we will be happy to assist you with any questions and discuss your basement’s requirements with you.
Does Basement Waterproofing Come With A Guarantee?
The majority of basement waterproofing systems come with a 10-year guarantee on the understanding it has been maintained and serviced as outlined in the manufacture handbook. However, should you want further reassurance guarantees can also be underwritten by third-party insurers.
If you have any questions regarding basement waterproofing systems, please get in touch or call us on 0207 7818153. One of our basement waterproofing specialists at Southern Liquid Systems will be happy to help you.