Basements are particularly prone to being damp or suffering from flooding because they are below the ground and water cannot always drain away effectively. If you are converting your basement area into a useable living space, it is essential that you take the appropriate measures to protect it from the damp.
How can water affect a basement?
When you check your basement and discover it is flooded or wet, the first thing you should do is look on the outside of your property. Areas that can cause water to get in include damaged drainage systems and gutters; if these are not taking water away effectively, it can build up and seep into the basement.
One of the issues with basements is that they are often constructed with a natural slump, which is the flow of water into the soil or drainage system. This can become ineffective over time, especially when flash flooding or a torrential downpour occurs. This can result in mould and damp problems or even a flooded basement.
Before you have a basement conversion carried out, you should check for any water-related problems. These can be indicated by water coming from the walls, condensation building up on floors and walls during the summer, humid and damp air, and blistering or staining on the walls.
Why you should waterproof your basement
A basement can be a very underused part of the house and there are lots of ways in which it can be turned into more than just a storage space. If you are looking to employ a basement company in London to convert the area, you really need to have it properly waterproofed at the same time.
Rather than being a waste of space, you can expand the size of your property by creating an additional bedroom or living area, give yourself a stunning new home office, or even design a home cinema. The ways to use your basement are virtually endless and will add value to the property in addition to adapting it to your needs.
How to waterproof effectively
There are different ways in which you can have your basement waterproofed. When you speak to a basement company in London, they will be able to advise you on the best ways to protect against damp.
One method is to apply a waterproof barrier on the walls, such as a cavity drainage membrane. This controls the water flow, as opposed to stopping it altogether.
In instances where there is no flood risk or free-flowing water, basement tanking can be used. Here a cementitious coating is put on the walls to form a waterproof barrier. Plaster can then be applied on top.
When you are going to the expense of converting your basement area into a room suitable for living in, it is important to also consider the damp issues that exist; otherwise, you could end up with a space that is unusable because of health problems or will cost you more to keep redecorating.