Basement Walls Waterproofing

01/25/2020

Not long ago, I was contacted by a friend of mine regarding Basement walls Waterproofing. This was an extreme case, but I thought I would tell the story just to try and create awareness for damp sealing, and the problems it could cause.

Graham had a Chemist, and stayed in a flat above. There was a double garage for his and his wife's cars behind the building, with access by means of a cement driveway, circling the shop. It was a three level building, with a basement storeroom below. Having being built four years ago, it was still considered new. The first hint that he needed basement water proofing, was when his wife had noticed that a dark patch had appeared on the farside wall.

Located across the road from the sea, it was first thought to be condensation. After working through a number of remedies, including a silicon sealant, membrane based damp seal, heaters and extractor fans, it was agreed to call for quotations. The source of the water ingress was diagnosed to be external. The driveway had to be lifted, (destroying it) and the soil excavated to reveal the basement walls. Health and safety meant shuttering had to be erected to hold back the excavated soil from collapsing back into the trench, before any of the work could be carried out.

The basement storage room had to be emptied while the work was carried out and Grahams lounge became a store room for the chemist. This meant he could no longer come home, after a hard day's work, and unwind by playing games in front of the TV. Instead he had to sit in the neighbourhood pub for two hours every night.

The site was left exposed for two weeks, to let the walls properly dry out. The remedy was to spray a polymer based product onto the exterior of the wall. The excavation was deepened, to build a catchment which was a trough filled with crusher stone, to accumulate future moisture. Pipes were then laid running along a trench (in places ten metres deep) to the nearest storm water drain.Read more here  terrace waterproofing solutions

It could have been a costly experience, both from loss of revenue, and the cost of the reinstatement. Luckily, the job was covered by the builder, who used it as an opportunity to train his new apprentices, but that never replaced the inconvenience incurred by Graham's customers, doing their shopping on a construction site.

That was an extreme case. Depending on the degree of the ingress, and the symptoms, the solution will be apparent.

Two out of every ten people I know, choose to ignore, or live with damp problems, not realising the possible resultant damage. Ever see little patches of white powder appearing on your walls? We once decided to ignore damp symptoms, and ended up replacing the door frame, next to our bathroom. What a nightmare that was, not to mention the unnecessary expense.