It doesn’t take a lot for water to find its way into your basement, with minor cracks as small as just an eighth of an inch wide providing enough of an opening for moisture to seep through. Here at Garratt’s Damp, we routinely survey properties suffering from damp issues on the lower ground floor and basement. To the untrained eye, diagnosing the issue can often be difficult.
Our damp proofing specialists, with a cumulative 45 years of experience, have the ability to step foot into any room and having a fair idea of what work is required before even starting an inspection. Here, we will divulge exactly what issues our team look for when it comes to water coming through basement walls and floors and how we go about rectifying those issues.
No matter the quality of your basement’s cement flooring, cracks are inevitable, and this creates an entry point for water. Shrinkage cracks are some of the most common when it comes to cement flooring, especially within the vicinity of a penetration or entry point – this is because the concrete cannot shrink around the penetration and, thus, a crack appears.
Depending on the size of the crack, a simple concrete patching compound can be used to patch it with a water-resistant seal. While this can be a simple DIY fix, often such issues require professional attention to ensure that work is carried out to the highest of quality – especially if it is not an isolated incident. In the cases of when the amount of water seeping through basement floor cracks is severe, it is unlikely that this is the only issues that need addressing.
A common misconception is that some homeowners believe that simply adding a layer of paint of concrete cracks will solve the issue and stop moisture from seeping through. While it may work for the (very) short-term, the truth is that paint will crack and peel, leaving you back at square one. As paint isn’t always waterproof and will not expand in the same way silicate solution will, it simply cannot withstand the constant barrage of moisture.
Whilst waterproof paint is available, cracks in flooring are best addressed with a concrete patching compound. This is one of the best methods of stopping water coming up through the basement floor, especially if the floor sees constant traffic.
Just the same as when water penetrates cracks in cement floors, it will also make its way through any crack in basement walls. A humid atmosphere can quickly see the emergence of mould spores on the wall, just like any other room in the property. It is common to find basement walls covered in a white powder-like substance – this is called efflorescence. This is a powdery mineral salt left behind when water vapour passes through concrete walls.
The most effective means of saving your walls is to have waterproof panels installed, prohibiting moisture from passing through porous cement. For the best results, you should call on the help of a professional team to ensure that not only you benefit from the panels most suitable to your space, but also ensure they are properly installed. If not, you run the risk of mould building up behind the panels which can cause serious damage to your basement’s structure.
Any structure and/or property built below ground level requires some form of basement tanking. This is because a structure, normally a basement, is susceptible to the build-up of groundwater from around the periphery of the building, penetrating porous brick walls. As well as resulting in a build-up of damp and mould, a highly damaged structure can easily result in both flooding and decreased stability of basement walls, due to the hydrostatic water pressure.
All basement tanking conducted by Garratt’s Damp is in line with British regulations, which are split into two different types of waterproofing categories. We don’t just fix any outstanding issues in your home; we also safeguard against more damp issues rearing their ugly head in the future. This means focusing on the overall structure, ensuring that it remains safe for anyone that has a need to enter it, or indeed in and around the building as a whole.
Is your basement showing signs of damp? Do you think you would benefit from having a team of damp proofing specialists inspect the property? Get in touch with Garratt’s Damp today and our professional team will arrange a time convenient for you to complete a survey. Upon completion, we will offer a no-obligation quotation which will clearly detail all the work that is required to complete the basement tanking process in your property.
We can be reached directly by calling us on 0208 535 7536 or by sending us a message via our contact page.