Basement tanking services

Basement tanking services

How Does Basement Tanking Work?

If you own or are thinking about buying a property that has a basement or cellar, converting this area into a liveable room in your home can help you take advantage of more space and fulfil your property’s full potential. Basement tanking is a process that allows property owners to turn a cellar or basement into a dry space in the home and make it a habitable room. If you have a basement in your property, you might be interested in learning more about what basement tanking is and the various benefits that it could have for you as a property owner.

How Basement Tanking Works:

Basement tanking involves applying a slurry coat or membrane made from bitumen or cement to the floor and walls of the basement to waterproof them. This application will result in a waterproof coating on the existing surface of the basement walls, floor, and ceiling. A type A system is where a waterproof membrane or slurry coat is applied directly to the structure. It is designed to create a barrier that protects against water penetration and turns your basement into a habitable room in the home.

Before deciding the best tanking style to opt for when waterproofing your basement or cellar, it is important to consider the condition of the walls and floors in the cellar. You will need to ensure that the existing surfaces are in a stable enough condition if you are going to add a waterproof membrane.

For successful tanking application, the membrane must be applied to walls and floors that are in a sound, stable condition. The flow of any free water will also need to be reduced as much as possible before the application. It’s important to pay attention to any weaker spots within the space, like floor to wall joints. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a qualified and professional basement tanking service since the team will understand the importance of preparing the existing wall and floor surface before applying the tanking to achieve a dry basement.

Different Types of Basement Tanking:

There are two main types of basement tanking or waterproofing that can be carried out to achieve a dry basement or cellar space in your home. Type A involves adding a waterproof membrane to the floor and wall surfaces, while Type C involves managing moisture entering the basement using cavity wall membranes and a drainage system.

See also
Sump and pump system and Damp proofing

Basement tanking is typically used to describe the application of a membrane or coating to the internal or external side of the structure to prevent water from entering the space. It is designed to make the basement watertight.

On the other hand, basement waterproofing systems are used as a general term for systems that can be put to use to stop water from entering, keeping your basement or cellar dry. This could involve the installation of a cavity wall drainage system to move the water towards a safe drainage area, or other strategies that are commonly used for damp proofing and waterproofing basement areas.

Why Hire Basement Tanking Services?

With house prices on the rise today, an increasing number of homeowners are looking for new ways to make as much use as possible of their existing living space by expanding their current property. For homes with basements and cellars, this can include waterproofing or tanking the basement to turn it into additional storage or living space within the home. The cost of converting an existing basement in the home to use as an additional living space or bedroom can often be significantly lower compared to the cost of upgrading to a larger property.

How Cementitious Tanking Systems Work:

Cementitious tanking systems work by applying a waterproof slurry to the inside of the basement walls, which prevents moisture from getting through. Although they do not remove any water, they will create a barrier between it and the cellar, keeping the moisture out of the new room in your home. If you are considering tanking your basement to convert it into an additional habitable room in your home, there are several different tanking systems and options that are available including cement coatings, membranes, bituminous coatings, sealants and paints. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth doing your research into what’s available and consulting with a professional to help you decide which is the best option for your particular cellar or basement. Applying a mixture of cement combined with a rubberised liquid is one of the most common methods used since this provides a waterproof coating on the inside of the walls. This is known as a slurry coat and can be applied in one, two, or three layers depending on the amount of pressure that the external water level is putting on the wall.

See also
Damp Proof Survey - all you need to know

How to Prepare Basement Walls for Tanking:

The walls need to be thoroughly prepared in order to ensure that they provide a solid ‘key’ for the tanking system to work well. All tanking systems will require the brickwork that they are being applied on to be stable, as tanked walls need to be strong enough to resist the inevitable build-up of water pressure that will occur. In older properties, the process of preparing the cellar walls to take the coating can be quite time-consuming. You will usually need to remove existing old plaster, remove old mortar from the bricks, and apply salt-neutralising products from the wall. These are designed to prevent the naturally occurring salts in bricks, moisture, water, and other materials from seeping through and damaging the tanking layer.

To prepare the surface of the wall, you will need to remove all loose particles from the surface, including cutting back any joints where the mortar may be unstable. This preparation might be time-consuming, but it is one of the most crucial parts of the process. A needle gun can be used to create a solid key for the tanking slurry in cases where the wall is particularly unstable. This is a tool that is driven by either air or electricity. It looks similar to a small concrete breaker, but there are tough, tungsten-tipped needles at the end rather than a chisel or blade. When using the gun, the needles will vibrate and are pushed rapidly up and down. Once placed on the surface of the wall, this will remove any type of covering from almost all surfaces. It is effective on crumbling bricks, concrete, paint, render, old mortar and more.  Before applying the tanking material, any traces of plaster and other Gypsum-based products will need to be fully removed from the wall. You should also look for any signs of holes or deep joints in order to fill them with mortar.

Once the wall is prepared, the tanking slurry can be applied with a stiff brush. Prior to application, the walls should be coated with water so that they are damp, but do not allow them to get so wet that the water is running.

See also
Different Ways to Tackle Damp in a Property

How Cavity Membranes Work:

In some cases, a cavity membrane might be an ideal alternative to tanking for your cellar or basement. Cavity membranes work by allowing the water in but managing it automatically and carefully. Using this method, a waterproof membrane will be fixed a little off the wall, over the entire surface. Any plaster and other room finishes will then be applied on top of this membrane. This allows any water entering the wall to run down the wall behind the membrane, where it goes into the drainage system and into a sump hole where it will be pumped out of the building. This can be one of the most effective ways to waterproof basements and cellars since there can be no leaks, and there is no risk of water pressure build-up as is the case with tanking.

Which Type is Right For You?

Tanking or cavity membranes are both worth considering if you want to convert your basement into a dry and habitable room in your home. The type of basement waterproofing system that you opt for will depend on a number of factors including the stability of the walls and floor in your basement, the type of room that you want to create in the cellar or basement, and your personal preference. Both are commonly used and effective methods of basement waterproofing, so it’s worth consulting with a specialist who can visit your home to look at the basement or cellar and provide you with advice on which might be the best option for your home. Cavity wall membranes may be an ideal option for you if you are concerned that the walls in your cellar or basement are not strong enough to provide a solid key for the membrane or stand up to the water pressure that is going to build up behind the walls over time.

If you have a basement or cellar in your home, tanking can turn it from a dark, cold space into a dry and habitable area to add an additional room or two.

Request a Survey

Call us on 020 8528 3864 or fill out the form below with your details