Tanking Membrane - Jargon Busters


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Welcome to a new feature on the website – Jargon busters!

In a new series of articles, we are going to look at some popular industry terms and let you know exactly what they mean.

First up is a popular term for a basement waterproofing technique that goes by a number of names – tanking membrane.

What is tanking membrane?

When people talk about tanking membrane it is most likely they are referring to cavity wall membrane – a cost effective and modern way to waterproof spaces below ground level.

A number of structural waterproofing companies, Wise Basement Systems included, keep the terms “membrane” and “tanking” separate, because tanking usually refers to a solid barrier system such as waterproof cement. Membranes differ from these tanking systems because a membrane will help manage any water ingress into a space whereas “tanking” simply blocks it.

How does cavity wall membrane work?

The cavity wall membrane is fixed to the basement walls and looks as if someone has covered your walls in a plastic sheet. The membrane itself is tough, durable and creates air gaps between it and the basement wall, which allows the structure to breathe whilst dealing with any water ingress.

The idea of covering your basement walls with a cavity wall membrane is to control the water which enters your basement as opposed to holding it back (which can result in extreme pressure leading to cracks in the wall).

So, what happens after water enters the basement and runs down the back of the fitted membrane?

The water is controlled through a drainage channel and pumped back out of the property via a sump pump. This combination of membrane, drainage and pumps is one of the most popular types of modern structural waterproofing.

Advantages of cavity wall membrane

Well for starters the cavity wall membrane can be integrated into most structures below ground level, it is simple to maintain and perhaps most importantly, it is one of the most cost-effective long-term water management solutions available.

Furthermore, after the membrane fitting has been completed, the wall can easily be adapted for a lick of paint, plaster or wallpaper to give the space any level of decoration it needs for its purpose.

Find out more about tanking membrane

Now that you know what people mean when they say “tanking membrane”, you may be wondering if it is the waterproofing solution for you - take a look at the links below to find out more.

Until next time, that is all from Jargon Busters.

Discover more

Cavity wall membrane – Find out more about this effective waterproofing material
Drainage systems – Find out more about what happens to water after it is caught by the membrane