Most families yearn for extra space as an inbuilt requirement in today’s modern world. Generally the initial reaction is to consider moving to a bigger and generally far more expensive home, with the built in stress and heartache that such a move brings.
There is a growing band of homeowners that are utilizing the space they already have, by converting dank and dingy cellars and basements into bright and cosy additional rooms instead.
Extending your home to provide more space is always an option, but ultimately there will be a significant loss of external space.
Practically, for your average household, converting your cellar or basement can add as much if not more space to your home as extending upwards into the loft, or going out over surrounding land.
A dry, comfortable basement/cellar is a great asset to your home with the usage options countless. So just think for a moment, what would you use the extra living space for?
Popular options include:
- Home office
- Additional bedroom
- Child’s playroom
- Home cinema
- Living rooms
- Wine storage
- Games room
Whatever your choice the critical point is that habitable space must be dry!
Rarely were existing basements/cellars in older properties designed for habitation with the intended usage likely to have been for storage, e.g., coal, foodstuff, etc.. Here lies the challenge!
One of the most important factors with any cellar or basement project is making sure the waterproofing choice and its application is correct.
Structural waterproofing below ground level is a specialised operation and should be carried out by professionals having the right level of understanding as to what is required and experience in the conversion of existing basements. So what systems are available? Many, is the answer but all systems will fall into one of three categories as defined in BS8102 – 2009. These are:
Type A – Tanked Protection
The application of a bonded waterproofing system. Commonly referred to as Tanking.
These types of system are designed to wholly prevent physical ground water from penetrating the structural walls and floors. Typical products used to provide Type A protection are liquid applied membranes such as epoxy or bitumous products, self-adhesive sheet systems and cementitious compounds.
Type B – Integral Protection
This form of waterproofing relies upon the structure itself to form a water resistant shell to resist ground water penetration. Typically Type B forms are constructed using specially designed concrete incorporating steel reinforcement. Walls and floors are structurally linked with waterbars placed at construction joint detail.
Traditionally Type B is created in larger scale commercial and civils development, however we are seeing an increased use in new domestic construction.
Type C – Drained Protection
The principle of this form of waterproofing is to allow ground water to penetrate the structure so not to allow hydrostatic pressure build up. This method manages penetrating water by guiding it to an internal drainage system via a sealed isolating dimpled sheet membrane and directing it to a suitable discharge point outside of the building.
The correct design of the drainage system is critical to its success.
D&S offers two forms of structural waterproofing system:
- Hey’di K11 (Type A)
- SovDrain (Type C)
Hey’di K11 is a salt resistant cementitious tanking compound engineered to resist hydrostatic pressure whether applied externally or internally. When applied to the internal side of the structure the K11 System will not require any supporting walls or indeed loading slab, thus enabling the designer to maximise useable internal space for the building occupants.
SovDrain is a pressed high density polyethylene manufactured with varying stud depths including 3mm, 8mm and 20mm which with an effective internal drainage facility will provide an effective long term solution to waterproofing issues in both new and existing buildings.
With thousands of written specifications produced annually there is clearly a requirement for professional guidance in waterproofing solutions but remember when it comes to choosing a system it’s not “one size fits all”, rather what is best for the structure once all design considerations have been addressed.
If you have been one of the unlucky ones and your home/property has been flooded then you may have been told you need to get a drying certificate, this is not true. With D&S we don’t need a drying certificate to get you back in to your home so its fit for purpose. On average we take 2 weeks to get you back in to your property after the flood water has gone down.
To get your home fit to live in and we mean all walls, floors and doors back on and flooring down and paint on the walls and ceilings, and us gone so you can move on with your life. We use a produce that will make your walls and floor water proof from future flooding, with a 10 , 20 or 30 year guarantee on our work and products. So you can have total peace of mind.
After flooding ground salts, bacteria and detritus will contaminate the plaster. Ground salts are hygroscopic and as such will continue to attract moisture indefinitely. The problem will be exacerbated where seawater flooding has occurred, or foul water is involved. The background masonry is also likely to have become saturated with water and contamination. The plaster should be removed as soon as possible after flooding, as this will aid the drying out process.
We at D&S can turn your property around fast by utilising the following specification, we use a system called K11 this is designed to be applied to damp surfaces. Therefore a property can be reoccupied much quicker than conventional treatment methods, saving great expense at re-homing and the cost of hiring driers and dehumidifiers.
THE STAGES WE FOLLOW
- Remove all plaster to 300mm above the last signs of damp or salt
- Apply a masonry sterilising wash, this is done t get any bacteria from gray or brown water
- Then a Anti Sulphate is applied this is to aid the hold back of salts from the still wet brickwork
- A bonding coat is then brushed on
- Once the bonding coat is still green we then render the area to give a flush clean surface
- Once all this has been done we can then start to apply the K11. This goes on as 1 coat above ground and 2 coats below ground
- Once the above has dried we can put the finishing surface on, this can be a plaster finish or plaster board finish. Then its just the decorating to be done
Let’s not forget the floor can be done as well although this is done a bit different to walls.
All the above should take no more than 2 weeks, and all the produces have a BBA certificate and has been tested to 15Br of presser this is 150m below sea level. That’s not a basement that’s a bunker.
This tanking system will prevent dampness within the body of the wall penetrating the new plaster whilst at the same time allowing the masonry to breath and dry out allowing decoration to be made earlier, but bear in mind the plaster will only be drying from one direction so this will take 2/3 days instead of 1 day.