Your basement is an investment, whether that’s due to you having it constructed after you move in, or because its part of the reason that you initially purchased the property in the first place; either way, it’s an important part of your property, and that’s what makes it worth protecting.
To that end, no one could blame you if on the discovery of a minor leak, or a small amount of flooding, you call a plumber to come and have a look at your basement, and potentially remedy the situation.
Whilst plumbers are incredibly skilled tradespeople with a difficult job, it’s important for you to know that waterproofing a basement is an entirely different skillset than that which most plumbers commonly employ.
So, why should you use a basement waterproofing expert instead of a plumber?
What Is the Difference Between a Plumber and a Waterproofing Expert?
The difference between a waterproofing expert and a plumber might not be clear to someone who is looking for an answer to a leaking basement – or to someone who is conducting the same search in a rush. So, here is what you need to know.
Firstly, a plumber is a tradesperson who is trained and skilled at either installing, fixing, maintaining and diagnosing fault with water delivery, water dispersal, and certain waste dispersal systems within your property. What we mean by this is that a plumber should always be your first port of call if, for example, a pipe has burst, a tap has stopped working properly, or your water pressure has dropped dramatically.
Primarily, a plumber will be familiar with and be more than capable of dealing with the majority of water based problems within your property, should they stem from the internal piping, fitting and water supply.
A basement waterproofer however, whilst dealing with water, deals with it in a separate manner. The chief source of water that a basement waterproofer is going to be dealing with for example is going to be unwanted water ingress, most likely from natural exterior sources – chiefly moisture found within the earth or stemming from rain (though that doesn’t rule out other sources of moisture in a basement).
A basement waterproofers job is to try to ensure that the water making its way into your basement does not do any real or lasting damage, and that is done in a number of ways.
What Does a Basement Waterproofer Do?
A basement waterproofing expert has a number of different methods at their disposal to fully waterproof a basement, and in most cases, they will employ a couple to keep a below ground structure dry and protected.
For starters, there are three types of below ground waterproofing that can be employed in a basement or cellar that will keep them safe, dry, and in compliance with British waterproofing standards.
The first type of waterproofing is called Type A Waterproofing, known colloquially as tanking. This is where a basement waterproofer will apply a waterproof coating to either the exterior or interior of your basement (more commonly the interior), which stops water from entering your basement entirely, as the liquid cannot seep through the coating.
Usually Type A Waterproofing is combined with another form of waterproofing – and you will find that BS 8102 (the British Waterproofing Standard Requirements) do call for waterproofing measures to be combined.
So, you may find that a waterproofing engineer combines Type A Waterproofing with Type B. Type B Waterproofing is where the materials that comprise the basement itself are made out of waterproof materials, so the very walls and foundations of the basement are waterproof. This method can be quite effective – especially if also combined with a Type A or Type C system.
Obviously though, with Type B Waterproofing being applied during construction of a property, and appearing primarily within commercial buildings rather than private homes, its much more likely that a basement is going to be waterproofed by combining with either a Type A Waterproofing, or a Type C Waterproofing system.
A Type C Waterproofing system is a reliable one, that is usually introduced in combination with a Type A or B waterproofing system thanks to its simplicity when it comes to installation, and its reliability.
Also known as a cavity membrane drainage system, this system involves a membrane being fitted to the interior of a basements walls and floors that collects water ingress as it enters the basement, channelling it towards a sump pump, which in turn stores and pumps flooding water away from the basement, keeping it dry and secure.
Plasterboard and flooring can be placed on top of these membranes to retain a normal look and usage in the room, and with the implementation of a Type C Waterproofing system you will find the room is a lot more usable and dependable at times of increased moisture.
The waterproofer in these instances then has to be adept at the application of both Type A and Type C systems into homes and other properties that need waterproofing, as well as being capable of replastering the walls once the waterproofing is in place. They also have to be skilled in installing and maintaining sump pumps once they are in the property.
This is all on top of tasks like mending cracks in a properties walls to stem leaks, and undertaking crucial survey work to determine what waterproofing work will need to take place in order to secure a basement.
As you might have ascertained, a basement waterproofing engineer has quite a different job from a plumber that combines construction work with technical and mechanical engineering.
If you need to make use of any waterproofing services, either to fully fit out your basement to protect against water ingress, to have a new sump pump installed or even to arrange regular sump pump maintenance then please feel free to contact us online or call 0800 019 9049 today to talk to our team.