The first question you have to ask yourself if you are planning some structural waterproofing is: “What do I want to do with that huge damp space beneath my house?”
Do you want it for storage… or possibly as a cool space to store your wine? Maybe use it as a playroom for the children or a home office.
What you wish to use the area for may have an influence on how much you want to spend and just how dry the area needs to be.
If your cellar or basement has always been wet or has water entering, but you would like to use it as, let’s say, a home office or playroom, ignoring the water ingress will be costly.
All too often general builders carrying out conversions of these areas feel it is not important to worry about or control the water ingress leading to damage and costly repair bills.
There are three main types of structural waterproofing:
Protection against water ingress is provided by the structure itself, i.e. sandwiched membranes or water-resistant concrete.
This is protection against live water ingress into potentially usable spaces by incorporating an internal water management system incorporating water movement pump stations.
It is important to ensure the advice you take is advice from a waterproofing specialist with the appropriate qualifications and experience so that a suitable water solution is created.
Your specialist should be suitably qualified and experienced (as a minimum, hold the CSSW qualification – Certified Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing), and be capable to devising alternative solutions to various needs and requirements, and also be able to provide guidance and information that assists with installations and future maintenance of the systems.
Getting the wrong advice from non-specialists, such as general builders, etc could be costly to rectify should water ingress occur. Generally, builders may not be able to provide the necessary essential insurance-backed guarantee.