As the country’s capital and largest city, London has a population of around nine million, and it’s continuing to grow. Therefore, it’s becoming more and more difficult to accommodate the sheer number of bodies in The Big Smoke. This applies to commercial and residential properties alike, as more people than ever before are visiting, working, and residing in London.
For this reason, it’s important to make use of every inch of available space. Underground properties are becoming increasingly common for both residential and commercial settings.
Previously, basements had connotations of being cold, damp, and dark. This is mainly because these spaces weren’t required to adhere to lengthy building regulations, as they weren’t intended to be inhabited. Today, if a basement is to be fit for residential or commercial purposes, it must undergo extensive structural waterproofing. As a result, the connotations have been flipped, with basements for residential and commercial use being perceived as cosy, quirky, and innovative.
Before we can go on to discuss applying waterproofing to London basements, we must first address what structural waterproofing is. In the property preservation industry, structural waterproofing refers to a property with earth retaining walls (such as a basement).
The most common form of structural waterproofing is Type C Waterproofing or Membrane Sealed Tanking. This refers to a process in which a membrane is implemented in the walls to trap water ingress and pump it away from the property.
As well as Type C Waterproofing, we also provide Type A Waterproofing (also known as cementitious tanking).
It goes without saying that London is a hub for businesses, with upwards of 50,000 commercial properties in the country’s capital. This can be a double-edged sword, though, as it means space can be limited and competitive for companies that want to establish business premises or expand their existing grounds. Turning to basements is one of the most effective ways of ensuring commercial space is being maximised.
Regardless of the commercial property type, whether it be offices, shops, restaurants, bars, etc., basements can’t be used in the absence of basement tanking. This is because basements are some of the most vulnerable structures to flooding due to their underground location. Therefore, to protect a building, its contents, workers, and customers, structural waterproofing must be employed.
As the most expensive place to live in the UK and the 15th most expensive city to live in worldwide, property value is a huge concern. Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, or estate agent, you want to make your property as appealing as possible. Due to the densely packed nature of London, larger properties can seem like a rarity. As a result, homeowners, landlords, and estate agents can all maximise their space by making use of basements.
There are so many conversions that can take place in a residential basement, including additional bedrooms, extra living rooms, home gyms, home offices, dressing rooms, and more. The possibilities are endless, but before any creativity can take place, the structural requirements need to be implemented. Without this, you run the risk of flooding taking place, which isn’t only inconvenient, but a safety hazard, too.
Basement tanking can be a costly procedure, causing many to wonder whether they can carry out structural waterproofing themselves. Unfortunately, basement tanking is a complex that requires extensive training, qualifications, expertise, and experience to administer correctly. Therefore, in order to waterproof a basement, a professional damp specialist is required.
If someone tries to tank a basement themselves, not only will it not adhere to building regulations, but it will likely result in future damage and costly repairs. Structural waterproofing is an investment, and it’s necessary to secure the well-being of a property. The importance of this step in building and renovation can’t be underestimated.
We’ve previously touched on what could happen to an un-tanked basement, but the impact could be more detrimental than you might initially think. For instance, regular water ingress can lead to flooding, which can result in hydrostatic water pressure. This can then decrease the stability of the basement wall, which can affect the building’s integrity as a whole. Not only is this a safety hazard, but it can lead to extensive damage that requires complex and expensive repairs.
With two decades in the damp and timber industry, you can rest assured that your property is in good hands with Garratt’s Damp & Timber LTD. If you have a basement that needs waterproofing, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll assess your property’s conditions and determine the best course of action for creating a usable space.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.