Any family that has been through a basement conversion on their home or may be planning to get their current cellar or basement converted will have thought about the possible risks that are involved when it comes to a basement construction.
One of the more prominent issues with a basement conversion will be the waterproofing system. A basement is only as good as it’s base – the foundation of the build. Therefore if the basement construction company you have used to get your basement constructed hasn’t done a very good job, then it will only go down from here.
Although basements wear and tear over time, you know its a real issue with the quality of work when you start to see basement waterproofing problems surface in the first few months or years of your basement conversion. There are many reasons that a basement may be falling apart. A lot of the pressure will come from the structure your basement was built on, so if the foundations and stud walls are not sturdy and durable, then your basement may be at risk of collapsing (and the rest of your home along with it). On top of this, it can also be a problem with the basement waterproofing.
Basement Waterproofing is Essential in Increasing a Basement’s Lifespan
The trick to making anything last is making sure that you look after it. Some problems can be prevented and stopped before they become detrimental.
The whole point of a basement waterproofing and tanking system is to keep unwanted moisture from the ground out of your basements walls and flooring. Damp dirt can cause basements to erode and wear down quicker than a basement with a good quality waterproofing system.
A waterproofing system is made up of membranes which are waterproof and cover the walls to make sure moisture doesn’t pass through. A waterproofing system may include other things such as sealants, sump pumps, drains and more. A waterproofed basement is required in the UK by basement building regulations. Not having a good enough standard of waterproofing will cause problems and safety issues.
Types of waterproofing:
Interior wall and floor sealers – Cracks and pipe holes are the most common places for seepage in concrete basement foundations. These can be sealed from the inside.
Interior water drainage – This is a widely accepted technique in the basement construction and tanking industry. A basement waterproofing solution such as this mitigates basement water, so it is not technically waterproofing, but it prevents water damage by draining water from your basement.
Interior waterproofing – This method uses coatings to cover areas where condensation is the main issue. It is also good for minor dampness, but will not stop major leaks.
Exterior waterproofing – Water intrusion can be stopped by outside waterproofing methods. It involved excavating the existing basement, washing and drying them, then sealing the dry walls with a waterproofing membrane.
Problems To Look Out For With Basement Waterproofing
A musty odor – If the basement has a damp and musty odor when you enter it, it may be a sign of water damage that has occurred because of water seeping in through the floor and walls. Although the damage may not be visible, the smell is always a red flag.
Mold forming – Damp areas are more likely to form mold. Whether it is black, white or green, any mold is a bad sign. Not only do you have a water problem, but now you also have a mold problem, which can be bad for your health.
Water marks and efflorescence – This is something that you will be able to notice before the damage gets too out of hand. If you spot any water marks such as water that looks like it has been dripping down the walls or a white, chalky substance (efflorescence), then you have a water seepage problem.
Seepage from the floor – Floor cracks and water seepage can indicate that there are damages to your waterproofing system. An interior drain tile system can usually resolve this basement waterproofing problem.
Causes of Leaks and Water Seepage in a Basement
If the concrete that makes up the basement is not left to cure properly of any air pockets are not removed, then it will be more likely to crack and let water through.
Rainwater can also be absorbed by the soil below your basement from clogged gutters and downspouts.
The foundation footings can also be susceptible to soil erosion and movement of the ground when they are not spaced properly. Ground movement can cause water to break into the basement.
Whatever the issue is with your basement waterproofing system, a professional basement company can fix it. UHM Basements of London are experts in basement waterproofing. They will be able to take on any issue no matter how big or small.