Cellar Tanking

A traditional cementitious waterproofing solution


Cellar tanking is a method of cellar waterproofing which involves putting a lining on the cellar wall. This lining effectively forms a ‘tank’ around the cellar to stop water getting in. Cellar tanking is one of the original and most common methods of waterproofing a cellar.

In the past, when a property was constructed, the stone foundations were often installed with little or no mortar to fill and seal the gaps between the stones. This led to cellars that the builders and property owners expected to leak. Cellar tanking was developed to stop the leaking and make the cellars useable - and for the most part tanking worked. The cementitious lining gives a smooth, seamless wall surface which looks good and also provides moisture control.

That said, tanking can often be an imperfect solution...

Problems associated with cellar tanking

Cellar tanking systems work on the premise that a protective layer applied to the inside of a cellar wall can stop all water penetration. In theory this is sound, but it does not work all the time.

Cracks can develop in tanking for a number of reasons because it is very vulnerable to external factors. Examples include the property settling, ground vibrations (i.e. if your property is near a train line or underground) or extreme hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding earth.

When a crack develops in a tanking system, water ingress will occur and a lot of the money you spent on converting your cellar will be wasted. If your property is near a rail line or underground and you are interested in a cellar conversion then take the time to look through all the cellar waterproofing options.

This is not to say tanking is a bad option per se, there are times it is even the recommended option, it just isn't the most suitable for a number of jobs.

Tanking Failure

In this video we see a surveyor discuss a failed tanking system that has resulted in damage. Find out more about failed tanking by clicking the button below.

Failed tanking

Alternatives to cellar tanking

When a tanking system has failed Wise Basement Systems usually recommend that property owners protect their cellar with a water management system. Rather than preventing water from entering the cellar, water management systems manage the water when it comes into the cellar. The water is directed into a cellar drainage system where it is channelled either out of the cellar or to a sump pump.

Best of all, our internal waterproofing systems come with a 10-year structural waterproofing guarantee, and all work is carried out by experienced and qualified surveyors who are trained to CSSW (Certified Surveyor of Structural Waterproofing) standards.

Contact us about cellar tanking

For additional information and help on cellar tanking contact us on 0808 256 4538 or contact us online using our contact form.

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