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Cellar tanking is used to keep your underground space free from damp walls, leaks and flooding. This is why we have prepared this helpful how-to guide to provide all the information you need to get started tanking a cellar to ensure it stays waterproof and ready to be used as a dry, functional space.
If you want your cellar or basement surveyed by an experienced waterproofing professional, get in touch with Rentokil Property Care today by filling in the online contact form below or call us on 0800 0121 437.
Walls and floors in cellars are often subject to lateral damp penetration. This is the movement of water, or moisture, into the cellar, from the surrounding ground.
This can result in a damp unusable space, which may also:
However, using specialist waterproofing techniques, cellars, vaults and other underground spaces can be transformed into a basement or cellar conversion to not only increase space in your property, and add financial value to your home.
When people are thinking of installing basement tanking they often wonder if they need to wait until the walls have dried up first. In actual fact, cementitious tanking slurry and bitumen tanking membrane sheets are designed so that they can even be applied directly to wet walls or the cellar floor to begin the process.
Once the cellar is prepared by removing damaged plaster and treating moulds, fungus or other contaminants where appropriate, our experts apply a minimum of two coats or more of bitumen tanking slurry depending on the circumstances. The first of which needs to be applied horizontally to the wall and should go down to the wall-floor joint. Tanking should be touch dry and able to support a second coat within 24 hours. If you are going to leave the tanking exposed for a while before applying a finish or plaster to the brickwork, you should apply an extra splatter coat to ensure an adequate key before rendering.
Damp proof membranes can be fixed to the wall by drilling plugs into the brickwork to prevent penetrating damp problems. Our technicians will fit the tanking membrane against the wall and drill specially designed studs that will hold fixings that secure the membrane to the wall. When fixing the membrane the sheets will overlap and joints need to be sealed with waterproof tape to avoid any gaps.
Best of all, if you are considering a cellar conversion, the tanking membrane can have render or plaster finishes applied directly to it or it can be used behind false walls or galvanised steel trunking.
The reality is that for some cellars prone to extreme hydrostatic pressure, subsidence, or even heavy vibrations from nearby roads or train tracks, simply tanking the wall with cementitious slurry will not be enough to ensure the cellar remains dry.
That is why we always advise our clients that they should get a specialist damp proofing survey before proceeding with any work. A survey allows us to identify any potential problems and enables us to suggest when a more reactive and adaptable waterproofing system may be required.
Typically this would require the use of a cavity drainage system in addition to damp proof membrane.
Tanking membrane is essentially a studded sheet of damp proof plastic that will manage any water ingress into the cellar. Alongside cellar waterproofing, tanking membranes can also be used to waterproof floors, basements, crawlspaces, storage areas and tunnels.
This cavity drain system means that water will gather in the drain and run to a sump pump to safely flush out any water that had gathered behind the cavity drain membrane.
The answer depends on the size of the space, the extent of your damp problem, and what type of waterproofing solution you require.
There are of course DIY products available that will enable you to tank the cellar yourself. Tanking slurry and membrane sheets are available from most large hardware stores, however, they do require a great deal of industry knowledge to apply correctly, otherwise, you run the risk of exacerbating any damp problems the cellar currently suffers from.
Professional waterproofing services would require a qualified waterproofing specialist to survey the property first to diagnose the extent of damage to cellar walls and to identify the correct form of waterproofing you require and whether tanking alone would be sufficient or whether a membrane and cavity drainage system would be needed.
The professional damp proofing experts at Rentokil Property Care have a wealth of experience when it comes to applying basement waterproofing or cellar tanking solutions and plenty of experience repairing systems that have gone wrong.
If you want professional help and advice when it comes to cellar tanking our team is ready to take your call on 0800 0121 437 or click the button below to fill in a quick contact form and we will get back to you.
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