Why waterproof a basement?
Basements and all below ground structures require a level of protection to eliminate risks of flooding from the ingress of ground and surface water. A basement maximises potential space, is thermally efficient, strengthens the structure and increases the property price. Basements are waterproofed for such things as storage, car parks, accommodation, gyms, swimming pools etc.
How to waterproof a basement?
There are various ways to waterproof a basement and choosing the correct method depends on the following factors. The first being ‘what the basement is going to be used for’. Different levels of environmental performances are required depending on the basement usage. The British Standards BS 8102:2009 defines these levels as grades 1 to 3.
Grades of waterproofing
Grade 1 – Some seepage and damp areas tolerable. Inappropriate for dwelling.
Grade 2 – No water penetration acceptable but water vapour and damp areas are tolerable.
Grade 3 – No water penetration or water vapour acceptable. Completely dry environment.
The majority of basements are for domestic accommodation which is Grade 3. Garages and car parks for example may not need to be entirely damp free and would be classed as Grade 2. You can always upgrade from Grade 2 to 3 but it’s always best to construct a basement as Grade 3 saving time and money at a later date.
Once basement usage has been decided a survey is required to gather site information to determine the most suitable waterproofing design. The main points that need to be considered are:
- New build or Existing
- Condition of existing structure
- Water table
- Surface water
- Soil Drainage
- Grey and Foul water facilities
Site surveys can either be carried out by an independent surveyor or a specialist basement waterproofing company. DELTA technical staff provide design support and consultation if required and are available to attend site meetings throughout the project.
With the site information the form of construction can be decided. There are 3 forms of basement construction as described in BS 8102:2009 – Type A, B and C. Click below to continue…
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