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Tips to Transform Your Basement into a Wine Cellar

Old cellar of the winery with bottles of wine

For many, selecting their favourite bottle of wine is akin to choosing between Ant and Dec – there is simply no picking! Wine connoisseurs dream of installing their very own wine cellar where they can store their bottles of choice in perfect condition, waiting for that moment when they can wow guests – or simply enjoy a glass of red or white in the evening. 

With the capability and adequate space in your home, it can be relatively simple to transform a basement into a wine cellar – of course, you do have to take the relevant damp-proofing precautions. After all, you don’t want your bottles covered in mould because you haven’t invested in proper basement tanking. 

Here, we will pass on some helpful tips and advice directly from the damp-proofing experts at Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd. to ensure that your basement-to-wine cellar conversion is a successful one. 

Stripping and Waterproofing Your Basement 

Clear away anything that you may currently have in your basement, especially if there are signs of mould and/or rot as a result of moisture stemming from humid conditions or leaks. Calling on the help of Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd. to conduct a damp survey will mean that your space is given a thorough inspection, as well as ensuring you are given the best recommendation of the work that needs to be carried out. 

It is likely that our team will recommend basement tanking as a solution to waterproofing the area. This will involve creating a barrier that prohibits groundwater from penetrating your basement, either with a sand and cement render or through the installation of a membrane to trap any water. 

Although the sand and cement solution is the most common type of basement tanking, our team will be able to offer an expert opinion on what the best course of action will be. Ultimately, this will leave you with a fully waterproofed basement area that is suitable for storing your favourite bottles of wine in ideal conditions. 

How Much Does It Cost to Tank a Cellar in the UK? 

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to how much it costs to tank a cellar in the UK. This is because the cost depends on a number of factors, including the size of the basement, its location, the method used, and more.  

How Long Does Tanking Last? 

Basement tanking can last up to a decade, and with proper installation from reputable waterproofing companies, it could even exceed this.  

Keep Light to a Minimum 

Make sure to keep light to a minimum in your basement, as wine is best stored in a cool and dark place, making the basement an ideal spot. Opt for artificial lighting options that you can control easily, and always close doors down to the basement that could allow natural light to seep in. 

What you may not know is that vibrations can upset your wine, as this can stop the sediment from settling, meaning lots of impurities hover throughout the bottle. This is very much why any true wine lover would scoff at the prospect of keeping a bottle in the fridge on account of the constant vibrations, as well as the opening and shutting of the door. 

Bespoke Wine Racks 

If a bespoke wine rack is within your budget, we certainly recommend this option, as it means you can make the rack fit around your basement and not the other way around. Depending on the size of your basement, you want to be frugal with space if possible – not to mention that, as we know all too well, any hard-to-reach space hidden behind furniture is the perfect breeding ground for dampness. If you can tailor your rack to fit neatly on the wall, then go for it. 

With a bespoke rack that fits into the design of your cellar, you can create your perfect space. Most basement conversions are known as active wine cellars, meaning that a specialised chiller unit may be worth considering to regulate the temperature of the wine. These commonly come with a specially designed insulated glass wall, too, assisting further in keeping your wine-cellar conditions at an optimal level. If your basement is poorly ventilated and can become somewhat humid, this will be the solution for you. 

Protect Timber from Damp 

It goes without saying that you want to safeguard against mould spores appearing on your wine rack’s timber frame. Here at Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd., we have seen all too often what can happen when wooden materials are left in potentially humid conditions without the proper care and attention. Ensure that your wine cellar is properly ventilated, allowing for the moisture in the air to travel out of the area without damp settling on timber frames. 

Regular Inspections 

When the conversion has been completed, and your wine cellar is installed, don’t forget to carry out regular inspections of your basement. Damp issues can creep up on you when you least expect it, often when the property has not been properly inspected for a prolonged period. 

Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd. is on hand to offer any help and advice that you may need when it comes to tanking a cellar and any other damp-proofing solutions. For more information on the range of services that our team offers, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our contact page today. 

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