Damp basement - to tank or not

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by nicnacs, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. nicnacs

    nicnacs New Member

    I live in the basement of a three story house. The basement is essentially underground with window wells. It is understandably damp. I'm thinking tanking will be the only solution but I am loathe to lose the brick detailing I currently have.

    Anyone have any other suggestions? It's mainly the external walls that are damp but some of the internal ones are too.

  2. wardoss

    wardoss New Member

  3. Bitty

    Bitty New Member

    If some of the <u>internal</u> walls are also damp, I guess it can't just be water penetration <u>through</u> the walls, so hopefully you won't have to tank.

    Damp on internal walls can only be caused by two things that I know of: Rising damp - solution: damp-proof course (can be injected) and Condensation - solution: more heating and/or ventilation!

    This doesn't mean, of course, that there ISN'T damp coming through your external walls as well....

    Tanking can also be applied to the exterior surface of your walls (and, I think, would be more effective), but this would invlove excavating the soil in contact with your walls - a big task. This would save you having to cover your attractive internal surfaces.

    The best suggestion I can make is for you to call out a number of damp specialists to investigate. Make sure you call a few, and <u>compare their findings very carefully</u> - remember it's in their interests to find expensive problems!
  4. nicnacs

    nicnacs New Member

    Thanks for the advice both of you. I think some of it is coming in from outside and some is coming up through the floor. I don't think there's much condensation and ventillation is OK as the basement isn't shut off from the rest of the house - there's stairs up to the ground floor. I also open my windows a lot and run a dehumidifier.

    So the next question is, where can I find some good damp specialists?! I've asked around but no one can recommend anyone.

  5. Bitty

    Bitty New Member

    If you don't have any personal recommendations (always the best route), you may have to start from scratch and consult the Yellow Pages.

    You could also ask anyone you know in associated trades; builders, etc.

    If you state what area you live in, perhaps someone on this forum might know a specialist there?

    As I said before, don't be afraid to ask quite a few different companies for advice and quotes!
  6. RED

    RED New Member

    Sounds like you should consider using sealocrete's cellarcote.
    I believe you can get it in a clear version I've only used the blue. 2 coats required, and it holds back 100m head of water. Marvellous product. A fraction of the cost of a membrane system! Cured all my damp in my basement conversion.
  7. RED

    RED New Member

    Forgot to mention that the cellarcote can be used on the floors and walls!
  8. nicnacs

    nicnacs New Member

    Yes I've seen your posts about cellercote before. It really works then? Is it just like a paint type material? You slap it on and off it goes? Do you need to plaster or anything over the top? How long have you had it in place? Evidence of damp (discoloured walls, bit of 'mould', etc) takes a while to come through in my basement so you think you've sorted the problem, and back it comes. If you used cellarcote a while ago and you're still OK, that would be great to know.

    To track down damp people , I found a great website: http://www.bwpda.co.uk/ British Wood Preservation and Damp Association. I found lots of people in my area, phoned a few up and three are coming round to do surveys.

    At least now I'll have a choice.
  9. Bitty

    Bitty New Member

    Keep us posted on your progress, nicnacs, I, for one, am always curious as to how peeps get on!
  10. RED

    RED New Member

    Yes it is very simple to use. Mix the 2 parts together but then make sure you get it on the walls quick the working time is 25 mins. 1 tin covered about 15-20 square metres but we coated it twice. We dabbed and boarded out in most of the rooms but in another we overpainted with a product called wetcote.
    I think the manufacturers say you can over plaster but the only thing to remember is that it repels water!!!
    I used the cellarcote and no mould, discolouration or anything.

    Another website thats worth looking at is http://www.basements.org.uk/
    There is information available on the product there under waterproofing materials - Sealocrete
  11. nicnacs

    nicnacs New Member

    Thanks for all the help and advice. I've had three damp companies come round to give me quotes and advice. You wouldn't believe the difference in what they had to say!

    I think I've decided what to do. In my bedroom and living room I shall be getting someone else to install a membrane (involving a plastic, bubble-wrap type material covered with battons and plaster board) to the external walls with an injected vertical and horizontal damp proof course on the internal walls and where the internal walls meet he external walls. That way I get to keep some of my brick work.

    Then in my kitchen I'm going to try out cellarcote.

    Some damp people said my bathroom wasn't damp. Some said it was. As it's all nicely finished and not showing any signs of damp, I'm going to leave it.

    I shall also be installing underfloor heating under a wooden floor (yes, it can be done) in my living room. I've found that having a more regular source of heat has helped in my bathroom.

    Total cost of works (including wooden floor and underfloor heating) approx £5-6000.
  12. Madtek

    Madtek New Member

    Just wondered how the cellar is 5 years on?
    Is cellarcote holding up ok?
    Is underfloor heating working well?
  13. Big Jumbo

    Big Jumbo New Member

    Or even if the o.p. is still alive considering he hasn't been seen for almost 4 years!
  14. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    Drowned apparently...........................or he spends most of his time wringing out his socks

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