There are many different solutions available for providing waterproofing and water control for your home’s foundations. These solutions can roughly be broken down into three main categories, or systems of waterproofing. There are traditional systems that are still used today, as well as modern basement waterproofing systems that tend to offer superior protection.
The three systems are tanking, exterior waterproofing, and interior waterproofing systems.
The more commonly employed technique is interior basement waterproofing systems. Rather than block the flow of water inside your walls, as with tanking, the water is allowed to enter your property, and then is channeled away.
This is not as scary as it sounds. Waterproof membranes are the modern answer to tanking. They are applied as a waterproofing to the interior walls, but act as a sort of umbrella, catching any water that enters the basement and allowing it to flow into the drainage.
The drainage systems often utilize weeping tiles and pipes to carry water away from your home. In some cases sump pumps can also be installed, which are a powerful water control system that pumps excess water from your home.
Interior basement waterproofing systems are then concealed beneath the surface of your basement floor. They are very cost effective and useful solutions for waterproofing, and offer added benefits over the more traditional tanking methods, releasing and draining water from your walls rather than containing it.
Exterior basement waterproofing systems have been around for a very long time, and is a traditional method that has evolved to become more complete and substantial than ever before. It helps if the exterior waterproofing system can be applied to the building during construction, as this avoids the need for excavation, but even as a post-construction system it is extremely effective, and well worth the costs. The outside of your property is excavated down to the footings of the foundations.
High quality waterproofing materials are then applied to your walls on the outside, to stop any water from entering your home. Blocked water is then fed into drains, which are installed to carry water away from the property. These are usually French drains.
Tanking is a traditional method of waterproofing that usually refers to work on the interior of your basement foundations. This refers to a system by which the entire inside walls are coated with waterproofing, such as a thick layer of hydraulic cement, resins, paints, or sealants.
The effect is that your basement is like a protected tank; water cannot get into the interior of the room, and is instead held back by a barrier.
This method is still used by many professionals, and can even be installed by amateurs. Despite being an easy waterproofing system to implement, tanking has a couple of major disadvantages.
Firstly, cracks can be formed in the basement tanking systems as the property settles or due to underground vibrations. Another major issue is that the method doesn’t actually stop or drain water, and this can cause pressure within your brickwork.
At Direct Waterproofing we tend not to use traditional waterproofing systems like tanking. If we do “tank” your walls, then we will use cavity walls and delta membranes to create a barrier that also allows water to safely drain away from your home.
Tanking can also be applied to the outside of your property in exterior waterproofing, though again delta membranes are preferable.
Although tanking is still a surprisingly popular option, we consider it a somewhat obsolete waterproofing system in the face of the modern exterior and interior systems that are available.
Exterior waterproofing systems are the most complete solution, because they actually stop water from entering your property, blocking it off at the external walls, and redirecting it away from your home. It is, however, a much more costly system, due to the excavation needed. If you are willing to make the investment, then it is highly recommended.
Interior waterproofing systems can provide instant relief from a damp or leak problem, and are much easier to implement. Although water can technically enter your home, it is discreetly drained away, and causes no harm. Interior systems tend to be less expensive.
Direct Waterproofing provides top class interior and exterior waterproofing systems that can make your home warm, dry and comfortable for life.