Basements are one area of your home most susceptible to water damage. Having a habitable basement is a great addition to your London home, but only if it’s damp proof and waterproof. Waterproofing a basement can be a complex process, though. Long-term solutions to keeping water and moisture out of your basement often require the help of damp proof specialists in North London. If you have water problems in your basement or worry you might have in the future, then read on for everything you need to know about basement waterproofing.
Causes of a Wet Basement
Moisture and water can seep into a basement for several reasons. One major cause is inadequate external drainage. When your outdoor gutters fail to direct rainwater far enough away from your house, due either to improper installation or wear and tear, the soil around your home becomes saturated. Saturated soil puts pressure on your foundation, causing cracks that allow water to flow through.
Another reason for water in your basement might be where your home is located. If you’re near a flood plain, you’re likely to have much more flooding, putting more pressure on your foundation. You may also have large trees close to your home which cause water problems, if their roots interfere with underground pipes.
Before you take any action to waterproof your basement, you should identify the source of the water. If you call a London damp proof specialist, they’ll determine what the cause of your wet basement is so they can address the issue properly.
Types of Basement Waterproofing
There are three types of waterproofing used in homes in London and the UK. They are Type A (Barrier), Type B (Structurally Integral), and Type C (Drained). The type that’s used depends on the ground conditions around the residential property.
Type A is a barrier system, which protects your basement through reinforced concrete or block-work. Waterproofing membranes are added either externally to the concrete, sandwiched between two concrete blocks, or internally to the concrete. Type B is a structurally integral system, using a combination of reinforced concrete and other water-resistant materials, like water bars. The last type, Type C, or drainage system, typically relies on a sump pump to drain the water out of the basement and discharge it elsewhere.
Basement Waterproofing Best Practices
Plumbers and waterproof specialists will choose from a few common ways to prevent water and damp from getting into your basement. One short-term solution to humidity in your basement is applying an internal sealant. Internal sealant usually comes in the form of a chemical spray which helps prevent damp, snow, and frost from raising the water table.
Another internal waterproofing measure is installing a sump pump. Sump pumps have a battery backup system so they can run in power outages, but they’ll only work in homes connected to a municipal water supply.
To deal with groundwater effectively, professionals will turn to exterior basement waterproofing as well. One way is coating exterior basement walls with waterproofing materials like polymers and membranes. This type of system usually requires significant construction on an existing home, though.
Another exterior solution is installing French drains. Situated in areas that poorly drain water, French drains consist of a series of collection pipes linked to a runoff trench. French drains can be added as an internal or external measure, but they usually require the help of professionals.
Waterproofing Basement Walls from Outside
While there are both interior and exterior approaches to waterproofing basements, professionals will usually advise working externally. If you have severe flooding problems, most internal solutions won’t be sufficient.
You can check your home regularly for signs of water damage, or vulnerabilities that could lead to water damage. A good habit to take is cleaning out your rain gutters regularly, ensuring that water is draining away from your home properly.
Another thing to look for is foundation cracks. Foundation cracks are a common cause of wet basements and repairing them can save you from significant damage. Look around the foundation of your home for these cracks, and if you see any, take steps to fix them right away. When you call a London damp proof and waterproof specialist, they can help you fill in the cracks in your foundation to keep water out, as part of a larger basement waterproofing strategy.
Final Thoughts on Waterproofing Your Basement
Your basement can be a meaningful addition to your home, but it can also attract water damage if you’re not careful. Taking the right precautions can help you prevent water from entering your basement before it happens. London homeowners can mitigate damp and wet basements by calling damp proof specialists, like Damp Proof London, who use measures to seal off basements and cellars from water.