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What causes a basement to flood?

July 6, 2012

basement waterproofing work

We talk to Michael Erskine, a surveyor at Wise Basement Systems, about why basements and cellars are prone to flooding and what can be done to stop it. Michael has been in the basement waterproofing industry for a number of years and has basement waterproofing experience and qualifications.

Why do basements flood?

Firstly, it is important to understand that water will always take the path of least resistance to flow from a higher point to the lowest point. This means that it will try to exploit any weak points in the walls.

Traditional basement waterproofing systems such as basement tanking attempt to keep the water from getting into the basement by putting a cementitious render on the inside of the walls. This stops the water from entering and gives the inside of the basement a smooth and seamless wall. However cracks can develop in the lining over time. When a crack appears water will flow into your basement.

What should you do if you spot a crack?

Some contractors might tell you to re-tank the basement but would you really want to fix a failed system using the same method? Talk to a basement waterproofing specialist to find out your options.

What other methods of basement waterproofing are there?

Another common form of basement waterproofing is external basement waterproofing systems. These tend to be installed during the construction of a property as it involves digging a large hole around the property and installing a membrane. You can also install a French drain around your property which helps catch the water before it gets into your basement. Again though, there are problems with this as the drain could clog or the membrane could rupture. If this does happen the only way to fix it is by digging down to the foundations.

Which basement waterproofing method do you recommend?

At Wise Basement Systems we recommend using an internal water management system. Rather than preventing the water from getting into the basement we manage the water when it does. This gives us the advantage of knowing where the water will enter and where it will end up. We install a channel around the edge of the basement for the water to run through which directs it to a sump pump to remove it from the basement.

The basement can then be finished with waterproof floor tiles and waterproof wall tiles so that it looks good and anything that you store down there is guaranteed to stay dry. If you are planning on a basement conversion then this is the way to go as you know exactly what is happening to the water. Our basement waterproofing systems have a 10 year basement & cellar guarantee for your peace of mind.

Why have I not I heard of this method before?

That is because they are modern methods of basement waterproofing which many contractors do not yet know about or have the skills to implement. Another reason is that basement tanking is often requested by people who have heard of it before. Contractors are happy to oblige because it is a quick and for them, a cheap, fix.

What after my basement waterproofing is complete?

It really depends on the size of your basement. A common basement conversion idea is for extra storage space. If your basement is larger you could use it for an extra bedroom or bathroom – perfect for a growing family!

Find out more about why basements flood.

If you would like some more information on why basements flood feel free to contact Wise Basement Systems on 0808 256 4538 or find your local branch.

Alternatively, you can send us an email using our contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.

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