Tanking Walls Below Ground Level: Protecting Against Water Ingress

Tanking Walls Below Ground Level: Protecting Against Water Ingress

Greetings! In this article, I will be discussing the importance of tanking walls below ground level and how it can safeguard your property from water ingress and dampness. Damp walls can wreak havoc on your property, leading to structural issues, health problems, and overall damage. But fear not, as there are effective solutions available to combat this problem.

Tanking walls below ground level involves creating a barrier to prevent water seepage and moisture from entering your property. It is particularly crucial for below ground structures, such as basements and cellars, but can also be beneficial for damp walls above ground. Let’s dive deeper into the methods used for tanking walls below ground level.

Key Takeaways:

  • Basement waterproofing and below grade wall waterproofing are essential to prevent water seepage and moisture intrusion.
  • Tanking walls can be accomplished through either cementitious tanking slurry or waterproof tanking membrane.
  • Cementitious tanking slurry is a liquid coating that forms a waterproof barrier when applied to the walls.
  • Waterproof tanking membranes act as a barrier against water ingress and are often used in conjunction with a drainage system.
  • Identifying the root cause of dampness is crucial before implementing a tanking system.

Why do walls get damp?

Damp walls can be a persistent problem in many properties, causing a range of issues such as structural damage and health concerns. It’s important to understand the various reasons for damp walls in order to effectively address the issue and prevent further damage. There are several factors that can contribute to the dampness of walls, including penetrating damp, rising damp, hydrostatic pressure, and water ingress.

  • Penetrating damp: This occurs when water enters the walls through structural faults or external factors such as blocked gutters. The water penetrates through cracks, gaps, or porous materials, leading to dampness and potentially damaging the integrity of the walls.
  • Rising damp: Rising damp happens when moisture from the ground rises up through the porous walls via capillary action. This can be a common issue in older properties or those with inadequate damp-proofing measures, resulting in damp patches, mold, and a musty smell.
  • Hydrostatic pressure: Hydrostatic pressure refers to the pressure exerted by water on earth-retaining walls, such as those in basements or below ground level. If the walls are not properly sealed or protected, water can seep through the walls and cause dampness.
  • Water ingress: Water ingress is the term used to describe the entry of water into a structure, which can happen through various means. It can occur due to faulty plumbing, leaks, or inadequate waterproofing measures, leading to damp walls and potential water damage.

Identifying the specific cause of dampness is crucial in order to implement the appropriate solutions. This could involve conducting a thorough inspection of the property, including checking for any visible signs of dampness, assessing the external factors that could be contributing to the issue, and seeking professional advice if necessary.

Cause of DampnessDescription
Penetrating DampWater enters the walls through structural faults or external factors such as blocked gutters.
Rising DampMoisture rises up through porous walls from the ground via capillary action.
Hydrostatic PressureWater exerts pressure on earth-retaining walls, causing water seepage.
Water IngressWater enters the structure through plumbing issues, leaks, or inadequate waterproofing measures.

By understanding the reasons for damp walls, property owners can take appropriate measures to prevent further damage and ensure a dry and healthy living environment.

Types of Tanking Methods

When it comes to protecting walls against water ingress and dampness, there are two popular tanking methods: cementitious tanking slurry and waterproof tanking membrane.

Cementitious tanking slurry is like a paint-like substance that is specially formulated to create a waterproof barrier when applied to internal walls. It can be used to address damp walls above ground and also serves as a Type A waterproofing system for below ground structures. To ensure a successful application, it is crucial to properly prepare the wall, mix the slurry with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply multiple coats for maximum effectiveness.

On the other hand, waterproof tanking membranes are plastic sheets that act as a reliable barrier against water ingress. These membranes can be applied to both above ground and below ground structures. To install the tanking membrane, the wall area must be measured accurately, the wall surface should be properly prepared, the membranes need to be fixed securely, and any gaps should be sealed to prevent water seepage.

Regardless of the tanking method you choose, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions meticulously. Proper application is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the tanking system and to provide long-lasting protection against water seepage and dampness.

FAQ

What is tanking walls below ground level?

Tanking walls below ground level is a process used to protect against water ingress and dampness in properties. It involves creating a waterproof barrier on the walls to prevent moisture from seeping in.

Why is tanking walls important?

Tanking walls is important because damp walls can lead to structural issues, health problems, and property damage. By implementing a tanking system, you can prevent water seepage and control basement moisture.

What are the common methods of tanking walls?

The two common methods of tanking walls are cementitious tanking slurry and waterproof tanking membrane. Cementitious tanking slurry is a thick liquid coating, while waterproof tanking membranes are plastic sheets that act as a barrier against water ingress.

How does cementitious tanking slurry work?

Cementitious tanking slurry is applied to the walls as a paint-like substance. It chemically creates a waterproof barrier that prevents moisture from entering the walls. It is easy to apply and has no structural impact.

How does waterproof tanking membrane work?

Waterproof tanking membranes are plastic sheets that are installed as a barrier against water ingress. They can be used on both above ground and below ground structures and are often used in conjunction with a drainage system.

What causes damp walls?

Damp walls can be caused by various factors, including building faults, penetrating damp, plumbing issues, and rising damp. Penetrating damp occurs when water enters the walls due to structural faults or external factors such as blocked gutters. Rising damp happens when moisture from the ground rises up through the porous walls via capillary action.

How do I choose the right tanking method?

The choice of tanking method depends on several factors, including the severity of the dampness, the location of the walls (below or above ground), and the specific requirements of the property. It is advisable to consult a professional waterproofing expert to assess the situation and recommend the most suitable solution.

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