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Basement waterproofing: what architects need to know
Taking on a project to convert an underutilised space, such as a basement, can add significant value to a property, but it can also prove to be quite a challenge.
As architects, you may already be aware of the health hazards associated with basement conversions and as property preservation specialists, we can work with you to help make sure the spaces you design are built in a healthy and safe environment for your clients.
Why is basement waterproofing essential?
According to the Basement Waterproofing Association it is essential for the success of any project involving below ground structures that strategies for dealing with groundwater, soil gases and contaminates are considered from early stages of the planning and design.
If you’re developing an existing building, you often find the walls and floors of cellars are frequently damp, as moisture from the ground penetrates laterally through them. In some circumstances there may be puddles of water present where the basement is subject to significant hydrostatic pressure.
This damp atmosphere cannot be left to fester as it will create an unhealthy living area, which may cause future health problems, such as allergic reactions, including sneezing, red eyes and skin rashes.
The best method of waterproofing
Over the years, various methods of waterproofing have been introduced and at BCS Property Projects, we favour the use of modern cavity drain membrane systems as they are the most sympathetic to the existing structure and provide a reliable water management system.
According to Wykamol Group Limited, since the introduction of BS 8102:2009, (the British Standard for waterproofing structures below ground) the use of cavity drain membranes has become the most popular form of structural waterproofing in the UK.
The benefits of a cavity drain membrane system are:
- Any water that penetrates the structure will depressurise when it enters the air gap behind the membrane and travel behind it into drainage channels buried in the floor
- The water is pumped away from the basement, leaving a completely dry internal space
How can we help architects?
We have the ability to survey basements and install effective waterproofing systems to rectify any problems within a property. We offer professional basement tanking and waterproofing services for basement conversions throughout the UK and we’re keen to work with architects on innovative projects.
What do I, as an architect, need to do now?
If you’re currently working on a basement conversion project and would like to know more information about how to make sure a healthy and safe environment is created, we would love to hear from you.
Please call 0333 323 7760 or tweet us at @BCSPreservation.