The basement is the most underused space in any home. Why? Because it is dark, uninviting, and often smells like damp. However, this is a treasure waiting to be uncovered and it can be turned into a functional, warm space easily if you get to know the basics of tanking. This guide covers everything you need to know about basement tanking, and why it is simply a smart move for your property.
What Is Basement Tanking?
Basement tanking is the process of converting a basement from a space that can’t be used as a proper room into one that can be. The easiest method is to apply slurry or concrete to the walls and floor to make it water resistant. For this to be applied to the pre-existing walls and flooring, said features need to be in a good enough state to handle it. Where there is already water damage and damp present, the job becomes more difficult and larger to take on.
Is It The Same As Waterproofing?
These two processes are separate and require different budgets and applications. It is useful to understand the difference between tanking and waterproofing, and the main one is that waterproofing takes longer and is more involved. It may mean installing a cavity drain system which would set the room up to be completely waterproof. Conversely, tanking is applied to the existing features of the room and coats the surfaces to ensure they are stronger and can’t be impacted by any threat of damp. Remember, tanking is called Type A, and waterproofing is called Type C.
Why Is It Necessary?
Tanking is necessary if you want to use a basement area. Without it, the room would be impossible to decorate and make functional on any advanced level. Damp causes untold damage to properties, and when water creeps in, there is no point even thinking about spending money on plaster, paint, or wallpaper because it would just continue to suffer from damage until the underlying problem has been tackled.
Benefits of Basement Tanking
There are some great benefits to basement tanking that are worth thinking about if you are serious about making the room into a liveable space.
A Habitable Space to Increase Your Property Size
When it comes to your home, you will naturally want to use every single area inside of it to its fullest potential. So if you have a basement space that is currently sitting empty because you suspect there may be water in the walls or floor, then tanking can make it possible to use it. Increasing the liveable spaces within your property will also increase the property price when it comes to selling it, and make it more attractive to buyers who are looking for a home with more to offer.
Even if you don’t want to use the basement for much, supporting the internal and external walls and flooring will make the entire house safer and more sustainable. Structural integrity can be compromised in many ways, but water damage is the biggest and most common to be found in UK homes all over the country. The fact is, if you have a way to make your house more stable then it is arguably worth the cost.
The Health Factor
Water creates mould which impacts health. This will never change, but if you see any signs of mould or potential damp spots, it is essential to fix the problem as soon as possible. Your health and that of your family can be affected by this issue and it is not worth the risk.
To tank your basement, is it always best to call in the experts. Though you may still want to know the process, and this is explained in a bit more detail below with some key points.
The first step our surveyor will carry out is to observe any areas of noticeable seepage. This is the point where water is infiltrating the property and needs addressing. You can do this before the survey too.
If basement tanking is an appropriate course of action, then the next step typically involves mixing some cement or specialist tanking slurry. This will be applied to the floor and walls to make the whole area safe and usable. This slurry is designed to stop water entering the house. It may be necessary to apply coats to external walls too.
Walls and Floors
Often, there is a need to strengthen the joints between the wall and the floor. This is just to make sure that the whole structure is completely sound and functional in the long run. It doesn’t make economic or structural sense to apply tanking slurry to an area where there are weaknesses because it would compromise the overall effectiveness of the application.
The cost of tanking a basement varies depending on the size of the area and the extent of the damp. To get a projected cost for your basement, contact our team of experts for a survey and inspection. On average, expect to pay between £40-£60 per square metre if there is minimal or zero damp damage. Where the walls and floor need extra attention, a damp proofing course is unavoidable. This will increase the overall price as a complete DPC costs upwards of £2,000. The first action to take is to book a survey. After this is complete, it will be easy enough to determine the recommended course to take and how much it will cost in total.
Tanking a basement area prohibits damp problems from taking hold. It is the only route to stopping rising and penetrating damp in its tracks and will ensure that the cellar level is completely functional for whichever purpose you decide. These rooms are great for second reception areas, home offices, playrooms, exercise spaces, and utility zones but it is important to set them up correctly. This will avoid unnecessary damage and be the most cost-effective, budget-protecting option.