Issue: Damp Proofing a Cellar in a Public House in Medway
Survey Type Booked - Cellar Waterproofing Specification - for a regular commercial main contractor client
We were asked to attend the site on behalf of a large redevelopment contractor who had recently acquired a closed-down public house in Rochester, Kent. They were extending the property, converting it into apartments, and investigating damp proofing the cellar.
We were asked to design a water management system to allow the large cellar area to be used as apartment storage and a plant room. At the time of our visit, the cellar area was used to store beer barrels and drinks.
There was evidence of historical water ingress to the area as there were some perimeter drainage channels leading to a small cut-out hole in the floor where a single off-the-shelf pump was installed (testing the pump revealed it to be non-functional).
Walking around the cellar area with the site manager discussing possibilities, it was deemed feasible that a Type-C cavity-drained water management system could be introduced, including perimeter-based drainage with maintenance access, vertical and horizontal cavity-drained membrane installation all working in partnership to move any ingress of water to a twin pump sub pump station which would move water safely out from the area to a local point of exit (normally rainwater drainage externally).
As the client was in attendance carrying out the renovation of the rest of the property, we were asked not to include all of the relevant insulation as part of damp proofing a cellar. The dry lining, insulated flooring, and replastering are something we would normally do; however, on this occasion, we were happy for the main contractor to carry out these follow-up works, which do not form part of the certification.
A suitable new rainwater drainage collection externally was the ideal position and placement for the exit water from the cellar area pump install.
We have found that without a doubt, this Type-C cavity drained system is the most reliable below-ground system to install rather than more traditional cementitious sand and cement render systems which are designed to block the passage of water into the basement.
After some vertical wall preparations and attention to the floor detail encouraging water to run towards the sump pump station, we introduced the effective Type-C system to the whole area.
We took photographs throughout the project and importantly recorded a flood test towards the end of the project. We simulated water ingress into the area using a number of hoses, flooding the cellar to ensure that the water ran correctly and efficiently, making its way to the sub-pump station where the water was recorded and removed by the working pumps.
Once this test was carried out, everything was sealed up and left ready for the main contractor to carry out the internal completion works, including the insulation and dry lining.
A 10-year certification was issued for these works carried out by South East Timber and Damp.
The client was also educated on the importance of heating and ventilation in these areas below ground, which they were attending to within their specification stop.
As a CSSW-qualified surveyor, I am qualified to design, install and certificate below groundwater management systems; it is always important to ensure that any surveyor specifying, designing, or installing has the CSSW qualification.
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