The Complete Modern Guide to Basement Waterproofing


Damp proof paint will allow you to achieve the desired look in your home. It also helps prevent mould growth, which can exacerbate a range of health problems. Damp proof paint contains a powerful polymer that blocks water.

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The paint incorporates a water-reactive agent, which takes care of residual surface moisture, inhibits mould and protects against damp seepage and in turn stains. Damp proof paint can be used to treat a variety of damp proof problems but should only be used once the cause of the damp has been rectified. The paint can be applied to cement, brick, plaster, and concrete. Damp proof paint is most frequently used on walls under a render as a waterproof layer when damp proofing walls, to cover up damp stains on painted areas as well as under tiled areas as a secondary protection for wet areas such as bathrooms.

The product is particularly useful for treating moist rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens as well as part of a basement waterproofing system. As with all damp proofing products, you need to identify and fix the underlying damp problem.

Proper Basement Waterproofing

Once the damp issue is resolved, you need to allow the wall or surface to dry out completely — you can use a dehumidifier and increase ventilation to do this more quickly. You should also repair any damage, replastering if necessary, before applying it. Once the wall is dry, you then need to ensure the affected area is clean. This means removing any old paint and coatings e. The paint can now be applied to the surface with a brush, roller or spray, whichever method you prefer.

It usually dries within 1 hour to a smooth semi-gloss finish, but you should leave it a little longer before applying another coat. The paint can be painted over with ordinary emulsion paints once it is dry. You can read our guide on how to apply damp proof paint. Tanking is a form of damp proofing that blocks water ingress from entering a structure by creating a barrier. We will focus on its internal use, but tanking products are widely used externally in construction.

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Cementitious tanking allows you to achieve a warm, waterproof and welcoming space. Cementitious tanking is a cement-based coating, consisting of Portland Cements, blended with aggregates and chemical modifiers. It is microporous, meaning that it is fully breathable.

Identify the Type of Damp

Divide the ceiling height by 2 to get the maximum distance between cans. Renovating Plaster can be used for plastering most traditional background surfaces during renovation work. It is fully washable and resistant to the effects of condensation when the coating is fully dried out. You must make sure it is continuous, as any area that you miss will be vulnerable to the build up of water pressure. Using appropriate tools and equipment, the soil next to the foundation wall is excavated to expose the wall fully down to the footing. We will identify the issue and select the right materials and solutions to use. Tanking is a form of damp proofing that blocks water ingress from entering a structure by creating a barrier.

Cementitious tanking products contain an acrylic polymer, which after hardening becomes a vapour permeable coating that can withstand hydrostatic pressure. It also helps by improving the strength, bonding and abrasion-resistance of the surface. It is important that it is vapour permeable as this allows the room to breathe and reduces condensation. Cementitious tanking is designed primarily for use in walls under ground level, in particular the waterproofing of basements, tanks and ducts. It is applied to the internal face of the structure.

It can be used on concrete, stonework, brickwork and blockwork. If areas of the property are suffering from more severe water ingress then you should use cementitious tanking as a waterproof barrier rather than damp proof paint. It is also for those situations where the installation of a full damp proof membrane is not necessary. You need to prepare your internal surface so that a strong bond can be created.

This means stripping your substrate back to the original structure, getting rid of old paint, raking out mortar joints, removing any plaster or bitumen. Without a suitable surface to key to, the bond may be weak and vulnerable to water pressure so this is an important stage. In older buildings, preparing the substrate may take some time and effort to ensure it is suitable so be sure to allow for this. Read our guide for more information on damp proofing older properties. Once the surface is suitable to provide a mechanical key alternatively, you can use a Bonding Additive you can apply the cementitious tanking using a tanking brush.

You must make sure it is continuous, as any area that you miss will be vulnerable to the build up of water pressure. Hydrostatic pressure will find any weakness in a tanking system and water will get though it. After applying a cementitious tanking system you should always render over the tanking with a minimum of a 10mm sand and cement render coat or coat of renovating plaster before a final plaster skim is applied. Renovating Plaster is designed for use after the insertion of a new damp proof course to stop salts and control damp passing through the wall in the drying out stage.

Renovating plaster is a pre-mixed, lightweight backing plaster designed to control dampness passing through walls of older properties. It has similar properties to a 1: Renovating Plaster also helps improve thermal performance, with the added benefit of reducing condensation on internal walls and in basement areas. It also provides a barrier against salt transfer. Renovating plaster contains perlite aggregate, which controls dampness that passes through the walls of old properties.

Man-made fibres are also incorporated into the mix to control shrinkage, improve flexural strength and reduce the chance of cracking. It also contains waterproofing and salt inhibiting additives to minimise efflorescence, control pattern staining and mould growth.

The Complete Modern Guide To Basement Waterproofing

Renovating Plaster can be used for plastering most traditional background surfaces during renovation work. It can also be applied shortly after the installation of a new damp proof course system or used in conjunction with a basement tanking systems. It is best suited to older properties and unlike some other products can be applied to damp walls. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your surfaces are clean and free from contaminates — remove plaster and existing render, rake out loose masonry joints, cut out timber and vacuum any loose debris and dust. If the surface does not provide a good mechanical key then SBR Bonding Additive can be used to create a chemical key for the Renovating Plaster to stick to.

When mixing the plaster using a machine, be careful not to exceed a mixing time of five minutes. When mixing by hand, consistency is key so follow the packet instructions. Renovating Plaster should then be applied in one coat between mm thick. Additional coats can be applied if a greater thickness is required but you will always need to provide a mechanical key.

Liquid Epoxy Damp Proof Membrane has two components - a base and hardener. When mixed together and applied to a concrete surface it forms a barrier against the passage of water and is tolerant of residual moisture in concrete floors. The solvent-free membrane contains certain chemicals that allow it to cure rapidly, reducing the passage of water vapour and acting as a barrier against residual moisture. A liquid Epoxy Damp Proof Membrane can be used as an above ground damp proof membrane on concrete floors and concrete screeds.

It is often used before the installation of a new floor covering. Ceiling tiles have gotten a huge face-lift in recent years, so your basement need not look like a bland boardroom. You'll need a few extra inches of headroom to hang the grid; ask the manufacturer. Then fasten one or two layers of drywall to them, using resilient clips and metal furring channels called hat channels, for their shape. This isolates the drywall from the joists, eliminating vibration and thus minimizing sound travel. A dim basement is a real turnoff, so you'll need more fixtures than you've got elsewhere.

A good rule of thumb: Divide the ceiling height by 2 to get the maximum distance between cans. Skip the corrugated metal and go for prefab wells made from fiberglass or another faux-stone material. Top them with grates or plastic covers so that people can't fall in, but make sure the toppers can be removed easily by a young child to ensure emergency egress.

Sometimes a finished basement floor makes the bottom stair a little too shallow, throwing off the whole run. Measure the rise of each step. If any are shorter than 7 inches, you can remove the treads and add spacers to pad them out as you go up. You don't need a full kitchen. But you'll get plenty of mileage from a mini fridge for beverages, a cabinet to hold snacks, and a microwave for heating leftovers or making popcorn for movie nights. Keep a tray handy for stacking and transporting dirty dishes upstairs. Unless you're positive you'll use it a lot, consider skipping a single-activity table.

Check your gaming platform for recommended clearances around and above the console. No one should break a bone playing a virtual version of any sport. Opt for synthetic fibers that resist mold and mildew. Dress up the walls. Be smart about storage. Built-ins near a walk-out entry have room for coats and boots. Positioned to hug the stairway, they save space.

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Traditional wall sconces add charm in a basement, where can lights usually prevail. Here, a warm bronze finish and white shade complement the surrounding woodwork. Build a better stair. The first-floor door was removed to let sunlight spill downstairs. A handsome handrail and newel post were finished to match the built-ins. Take every opportunity to brighten up closed-off rooms. A reeded-glass light on the bathroom door fosters an airy feeling inside but still permits privacy.

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Put a fireplace front and center. A direct-vent gas unit lets you avoid lugging firewood downstairs. Make hopper windows less basement-like. Built-in cabinets beneath them act as a visual anchor, making their high placement seem just right. And they gain substance and polish from crisp trim, deep sills, and bronze latch closures. Use furnishings to set the tone. A leather chair and colorful textured accessories warm up a light, airy space. Make sure temps stay toasty. A chilly basement will chase people away faster than you can say "brrrr.

If you need supplemental heat, try electric baseboards or radiant mats. Build a spot for the bed.

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Instead of aligning the full-size bed with the room's long axis, it was turned 90 degrees and tucked below the window for a perfect fit. The bookshelf doubles as a headboard and nightstand; deep drawers hold clean linens and give guests room to unpack. Continue details from adjacent spaces. Here, the wainscot ties the sleeping nook in with the rest of the rooms. Layer rugs for warmth. An area rug laid on top of rugged wall-to-wall carpet adds welcome texture and softness underfoot.

A swing-arm reading lamp saves space and directs light right where it's needed; sconces flanking the high window draw the eye upward. Go for light-reflecting finishes. We love this can't-fail combo of traditional white fixtures, a painted medicine cabinet, and shiny chrome hardware with porcelain accents. Don't risk an overflow. Have a plumber install a backflow-prevention valve on your main drain line to prevent backups into below-grade sinks or tubs. Get rid of humid air. Extra moisture is the last thing a basement needs. Add a humidistat to your bath's exhaust fan that will automatically turn it on when the air's too damp.

Here, the sink, tub, and toilet share the same wall, which simplifies plumbing installation and keeps costs down. A full, below-grade bath needs a sewage ejector system with a tank and pump. For a half bath, consider a macerating toilet, whose compact tank can handle the sink and john. For a small entry area, skip the coat closet. Wall hooks and a bench get the job done without eating up much floor space. Opt for easy-care, durable flooring. Large-format tile has fewer grout lines, and a dark color disguises dirt.

Use stackables for a compact laundry. Double-decker machines have a small footprint, leaving room for a sink area with open shelving, where you can treat stains and store cleaning supplies. A rechargeable portable light, stored in an easy-to-find spot, in case of a power outage.