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The Difference Between Water Resistant and Waterproof

One way to refer to the various types of basement tanking is “waterproofing” or “damp proofing”, but what level of protection does this provide to your home? Does a tanking system in basement waterproofing ensure fool proof protection against the threat of water ingress or does it simply minimise the risk? This brings us to the next point of the difference between water resistant and waterproof, which is detailed below.

Water Resistant

Very appropriately named, water resistant materials are able to resist the effects of water. Despite this, over time, water resistant materials allow water to penetrate through, which can lead to damage. Although water resistant materials can prevent the effects of water damage to some extent, they don’t guarantee full protection.

After 10 years, your waterproofed basement runs the risk of becoming water resistant as opposed to waterproofed. Of course, this is better than zero protection; however, for something as important as protecting your basement from groundwater ingress, you need to ensure that the measures you have in place are fool proof.


As the name suggests, waterproof materials aren’t affected by being exposed to water, hence the use of “proof”. A waterproofed material won’t allow liquid to penetrate it, meaning that no water will go inside, nor will any come out. Ultimately, any waterproofing needs to be capable of performing under the toughest of conditions. For instance, tanking methods for basement waterproofing equip a basement to handle all manner of conditions.

Since much of a basement sits underground, it can fall victim to groundwater penetrating porous walls. As a result, this can lead to flooding and even lead to the walls collapsing completely. Therefore, it’s imperative that tanking solutions for basements provide a waterproof resolution, as opposed to a water resistant one. This solution will be effective for as many as 10 years, meaning it will need to be reassessed and supported as the years progress.

What’s the Difference?

So, in short, what’s the difference between water resistant and waterproof? Firstly, water resistant materials provide protection from water that interacts with the material’s surface. Despite this, water resistant materials can’t be submerged in water, meaning that complete protection isn’t guaranteed.

In contrast, even when waterproof materials are submerged in water for a significant length of time, they still won’t allow water to seep inside. This is the key difference between waterproof and water resistant.

Water drops on a waterproof surface

What is Basement Tanking?

With this being said, what is tanking in basement construction? Basement tanking is a technique used to waterproof any structure that’s built below ground, or partially underground level. This is necessary to protect the structure from groundwater build-up, which is often responsible for the penetration of porous walls. If water manages to seep into these walls, it could result in flooding and even reduced stability. In the absence of a proper basement tanking system, you run the risk of severe damp and mould problems or complete flooding.

Basement Tanking Techniques

There are two key ways in which a basement can be tanked in the UK, including BS8102:2009 Type A and Type C Waterproofing. Type A Waterproofing is otherwise known as cementitious tanking, whilst Type C Waterproofing is called membrane tanking. Each method is effective; however, your individual property and situation will affect which technique is more appropriate.

Type A Waterproofing is the simplest and more common solution of the two and involves a barrier being created to prevent groundwater from entering the basement. On the other hand, Type C Waterproofing is more complex, as it involves the installation of a membrane to trap water and ultimately pump it away from the property.

How Much to Tank a Basement in the UK?

There isn’t an average cost of tanking a basement in the UK, as it heavily depends on the basement’s condition prior to the tanking, as well as the method of tanking that is selected. As a result, anyone looking to determine the costs of tanking their basement should get in touch with Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd for a no-obligation quote. We’ll be able to provide you with an accurate estimation, allowing you to make an informed decision about what your next steps should be.

Tanking Solutions for Basements with Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd.

Here at Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd., we have decades of experience in tanking basements, meaning you can rest assured that your property is in safe hands. If you have a property in need of tanking in and around London, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

We can provide you with a no-obligation quote after the completion of a site survey, enabling you to make the right decision for your property. Similarly, we can assist you with any other damp issues you may be experiencing. We look forward to hearing from you.

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