Waterproof Render

What is waterproof render?

When to Use Waterproof Render

Building materials manufacturers are always coming up with new ways of combining chemicals and minerals to provide us with superior products to use in construction. Sometimes, the main aim is an easier application, but improved performance and lower maintenance are also top reasons for this. Render is one product that is often improved with each new development. However, the technical terminology that you might come across when looking for a type of render for your property can be confusing. Keep reading to learn more about waterproof render and the other types of render available, the benefits of each, and which might be the best option for your home.

What is Waterproof Render? Rendering Explained

Render refers to a coating that is applied to the external walls of a building. It is a smooth and often white surface that you might see on the exterior of a home. Traditionally, render was a breathable and flexible covering that was made using a combination of water, lime, and an aggregate like sand. However, while this method hasn’t been as popular in the last decade, recently it has started to come back around and is still used for the conservation of period properties. Today, conventional render is made from a blend of sand, cement, and aggregate. That being said, many modern properties are free from cement. Newer render options can sometimes contain products that are designed to help with waterproofing and prevent algae growth on the walls. You can also find renders that are pre-mixed to work with external insulation or to provide a vibrant coloured finish.

Waterproof Render and Damp Proofing

If you are considering using a waterproof render, then it is a good idea to understand the different types of render available to help you make the right choice. Generally, you can choose from three types of render, which are:

Acrylic: Polymer or acrylic materials are used to bind this type of render. It is usually pre-made and can be ordered in tubs. You can also get acrylic render that is pre-coloured with enough colour to get a vibrant finish on the property. While it is designed to be durable, it is not very waterproof and can be prone to attracting algae.

Mineral: A cement-based top layer render that is applied in one coat and includes polymers and lime in the mix. It typically comes as a dry powder and will need to be mixed with water before applying. It is breathable and very suitable for applying on substrates with mineral wood insulations. However, it is not waterproof and actually quite absorbent, so it usually needs to be painted to protect it against rain.

Silicone: A silicone render is the best option to choose if you want a waterproof render for your property. It offers the same colour choice options and flexibility as acrylic render but has an additional layer of waterproofing. It can also be purchased with additional alkaline content to prevent algae and self-cleans through staying dry. It is also easier to apply compared to the alternatives, but on the downside, it is a premium product that tends to be more expensive.

Will Waterproof Render Stop Damp?

If you want to prevent moisture from getting through the external walls and add an additional layer of waterproofing and damp-proofing to your home, then a silicone render is a good choice. Despite costing more compared to other render options, the benefits of preventing damp and algae growth on the external walls mean that eventually it can help you save money in the long-term by preventing issues that are expensive to fix. Some of the main reasons to choose silicone render include:

1 – Self-Colouring: There are around twenty standard colour options on offer, and the colour is embedding into the topcoat. This means that once you have applied the render it does not need to be painted, and the colour will stay throughout its lifetime, so there’s no need for touch-ups.

2 – Water Repellent: Silicone renders have hydrophobic qualities, which make them very resistant to water and dirt. Not only can it prevent damp from entering through the external walls, but it is also self-cleaning. Most homeowners with silicone render say that all the maintenance they need to do is a light wash every few years.

3 – Flexibility: When it is correctly applied and maintained well, silicone render can be expected to last for more than three decades. The main reason for this is that compared with traditional render products, silicone render is much more flexible, allowing it to be better at resisting cracking and accommodating movement.

Waterproof Render and Damp Proofing in London

Penetrating damp can be one of the most problematic damp types to repair. The good news is that there are various products such as waterproof render that you can use to protect your brickwork and masonry, repel moisture, and prevent damp from getting in through the walls. Bricks and mortar and not completely waterproof, and even newer homes that are built with cavity walls and materials that are harder for moisture to penetrate can still be affected by water coming in from outside and leading to penetrating damp issues. Within the brickwork or stonework of a home, damp and excess moisture can cause internal damage leading to further issues like wet rot and black mould.

What Do You Use to Waterproof Render?

While silicone rendering products and other waterproof rendering can be used to protect your home against penetrating damp issues, it’s important to ensure that you get to the root cause of the issue before you apply any waterproofing products to the walls. Before you can go ahead and apply a waterproof render or any other kind of brick waterproofing product, you should ensure that any faulty mortar, cracks, and other building faults are fully repaired. Check that the structural integrity of your walls is in good condition before applying a product such as a waterproof render or waterproof façade cream.

What are the Alternatives to Waterproof Render?

While waterproof or silicone render can be an ideal way to protect your external walls from moisture and create a barrier to keep your home free from damp problems, there may be some instances where it is not suitable for your property. It is always good to know what alternatives are available to waterproof render in order to ensure that you choose the right damp proofing product for you. Some options that you may want to consider when damp proofing the external walls of your home include:

Water Repellent Paint

Painting the exterior walls of your home can serve various purposes, including improving the aesthetics of your home. If your walls have existing rendering and it would be a large job to remove this and apply a silicone or waterproof render, then you may want to consider covering the existing render or brick with a water repellent paint. These paints do not have a creamy consistency like traditional paints and are easy to apply. Once applied and dried, the paint is very highly impermeable and has a high capacity for bridging cracks. This makes it an ideal choice for surfaces that are cracked and treated. It can also be applied easily over old, cracked coatings making it a much cheaper yet very effective option.

Waterproof Façade Creams

Another option to consider is a waterproof façade cream, which can be applied to the external walls if they are exposed brick or unpainted render. One coat of a good product should protect the wall from water penetration for several years. They work by soaking into the stone or bricks. The consistency of the cream allows the active ingredients to penetrate deep into the material, which reduces water absorption and protects the substrate. This is a good option if your external walls are exposed brick and you want to protect them from water penetration without changing their appearance since the protective layer is invisible once applied. Along with this, it can also be used on an existing render product to create a waterproof barrier, without the need to remove or change the existing render. Façade creams for waterproofing also allow the walls to ‘breathe’ which in turn ensures that the damp already existing in the wall can evaporate and the walls dry out.

How Often Should Waterproof Coatings Be Reapplied?

How often you will need to reapply a waterproof coating at your home will depend on the type of product that you choose. A good quality silicone render will usually last for around thirty years before you will need to start considering removing and reapplying it. On the other hand, water repellent or waterproof façade creams will last between two and three decades depending on the weather. Waterproof paint will not usually last as long but is easy to reapply over the existing paintwork.

If you want to avoid penetrating damp problems in your home, then a waterproof render or another type of waterproof barrier coating for the external walls is the best way to do this.


What is cementitious tanking

What is cementitious tanking?

Will Cement Tanking a Cellar Keep Moisture Out?

A basement or cellar space can be very susceptible to damp. This is because moisture can get in through the walls from the ground, and since the basement is below ground level, there is often much more moisture around the external walls from the soil, especially in wet weather. This is why if you have a cellar in your home that has not been damp-proofed, you might notice that things inside the cellar are affected by damp and mould after a while, or the walls in the basement are moist even if you do not have any damp problems in the rest of your home. If you want to be able to use your cellar for more storage or are considering converting it into a liveable area of your home, then cement tanking your cellar can be an ideal way to keep moisture out and prevent any further damp problems.

What is Cementitious Tanking and How Does It Work?

If you are thinking about converting your basement so that you can use it for storage without worrying about damp affecting your belongings or you want to take advantage of the space to use it as a second living room, bedroom, or another room in your home, then protecting it from damp and flooding is one of the most important first steps to take. Even a small damp problem in the cellar can cause issues by damaging your belongings and making the area unpleasant to spend time in. In addition to this, damp problems in your basement or cellar can get much worse as time goes on, leading to structural damage of your property and even negatively impacting the health of yourself and your family. Cement tanking involves applying a waterproof slurry to the basement walls and floors, to prevent moisture from getting through.

What is the Difference Between Waterproofing and Tanking?

When damp proofing a basement there are two main options to consider. These are tanking and waterproof membranes. While both work the same way, there are some considerable differences between the two.

Cementitious Tanking and Damp Proofing

Tanking the basement for damp proofing involves coating the walls, floor, and sometimes the ceiling of the basement with a waterproof slurry to seal it. The material is usually cement-based and is designed to prevent any moisture from entering at all. However, it can be a lot of work depending on the age and state of your basement currently. If you need to waterproof a basement that has been renovated in the past, then you will need to ensure that all plaster and other wall coverings are completely removed before the cement tanking slurry can be applied. You will also need to make any necessary repairs such as repointing, and in some cases, coat the masonry with a salt-neutralising product to ensure that the walls are at peak structural integrity, as this will make sure that the tanking slurry can work as effectively as possible once it has been applied and dried.

What is Cementitious Tanking Slurry?

Applying a cement tanking slurry is usually the best way to deal with low-level cellar and basement damp problems. It can be used on the entirety of the basement walls and floor or used to patch problem areas that may be more prone to damp than others. You can also use cement tanking alongside other damp proofing products such as a cavity membrane drainage system for extra protection. The tanking slurry is applied directly onto the masonry substrate of the walls to create a waterproof barrier that water is not able to penetrate. Once it has dried, you can apply internal finishes such as plaster and paint or wallpaper to finish your habitable area in the cellar.

Cavity Membrane Systems

You can use a cavity membrane system for damp proofing your cellar either together with or instead of cement tanking slurry. This involves installing a high-density studded plastic membrane, which is fitted to the walls and floor of the cellar. It is designed to prevent the water from entering the basement. Instead, there is a cavity left behind the membrane where the water becomes trapped before it is drained down into the floor cavity and away from the basement, often with the help of modular drainage pipes and a sump pump, which may be necessary if there is no natural drainage system present. This type of waterproofing for a cellar is an ideal choice if the area is prone to getting a lot of damp problems or flooding. It can be used on its own or you can apply a cement tanking slurry first before adding the membrane for additional protection against any moisture that might find its way through. It is designed to handle larger amounts of water in comparison to tanking.

Preparation for Cementitious Tanking and Damp Proofing in London

Successfully applying a cement tanking slurry to waterproof your basement will require a lot of preparation. Unlike a cavity membrane drainage system, which can be installed on existing walls and floors, you will need to fully remove any previous coatings on the walls. This includes taking off any existing render, plaster, paper, or paint from the walls and restoring them to the original masonry. Only when this has been done and any necessary repairs have been made can the slurry then be applied to the walls. Applying slurry over existing wall coatings, or onto masonry that has not been suitably repaired, can render it less effective. If you are tanking a cellar, another key part of the preparation process will also involve forming a cove joint in the floor slabs.

Once the prep work has been done, you may find that a key is needed for the slurry to properly bond with the substrate. If your cellar has materials such as waterproof concrete, for example, then this might be a challenge. Before applying the slurry to the masonry substrate, you can improve your results by first applying a bonding slurry coat over the substrate, which is designed to provide a key for the tanking slurry to bond to once applied.

What are the Main Benefits of Using Cementitious Tanking Slurry?

If you have a basement or cellar in your home, then you will need to damp proof it correctly before it can be anything but unused extra space. Without damp proofing, you will struggle to even use your basement as a storage area since anything that you put down into the cellar will be quickly impacted by the high levels of moisture and damp. Because of this, it’s no surprise that there are many benefits of using a cementitious tanking slurry to update your basement.

Easy to Apply

While there’s a lot of preparation involved for some cellars, the good news is that a cementitious tanking slurry is usually an easy product to apply. You may even be able to do it yourself once the basement has been prepared. And if your basement walls are still the original masonry substrate and do not have any other coverings, then all you may need to do is some minor repairs and apply a bonding coat before brushing or rolling the slurry on.

Liveable Space in the Basement

Whether you need more storage space or want to create a new room in your home, damp proofing is the first step to converting your basement into anything but a dark and damp area. Applying a cement slurry will provide a sealant for the walls and floors that allow you to use your basement for storage without worrying about water damage. In addition, you have also now finished the first main step towards converting your basement into a liveable room. Once it’s been damp proofed, you can add things like flooring, wall coverings, and have an electrician install power sockets and lighting.

Protection From Structural Damage

By using a cement waterproofing slurry to damp proof your basement, you can protect your home from the structural damage that can often be caused by damp that has been allowed to go on for too long. After a while, damp can lead to serious issues in the home such as wet rot and mould issues that could even make your home unsafe if not repaired.

Save and Make Money

Once your basement has been damp proofed with a cement slurry, you have a much more usable space, which in turn can add to the value of your home, helping you get more for it in the future if you decide to sell. Along with this, damp proofing the basement also prevents cold air from getting in and seals the basement so that warm air can’t escape, ultimately helping you save on your monthly energy bills. And, a damp-proofed, liveable basement could even be a source of income. People are often willing to pay for storage space, or you could rent it out as a spare room or even a whole apartment depending on the size.

If you want to keep moisture out of your basement and avoid damp problems, then applying cement tanking is a good option to consider.

Sump and pump system and Damp proofing

Sump pump and a water pump

Why Water Leaks are a Huge Problem with Basement Conversions

Water in the basement can cause musty smells, mould, damage to the walls and floors, and damage to your belongings and furniture. It is necessary to get rid of the water, fix any underlying basement problems, and take steps to keep your basement dry if you are in the process of converting it into a liveable room. Keep reading to find out more about some of the common reasons why water leaks occur with basement conversions, what you should do if your basement is wet, and how to handle damp-proofing going forward with your basement conversion.

What to Do If You Find a Leak in the Basement

If you find a leak in the basement or go down into the basement and it is wet, here are some important steps to follow.

1 – Stay Safe

It’s important to put your safety first if there is a water leak in the basement. Ideally, you should stay out of the basement until a professional arrives to advise you on what to do. Do not go into the basement with any electrical devices since this can lead to electrocution or shock. If you need to go into the basement, avoid touching any electrical devices or wet wires, and wear rubber boots to stay dry.

2 – Determine the Source

The next step is to try and determine the source of the water. Is the water leak a one-time problem, or has this been a consistent issue for some time? Water seepage is a problem that is likely to continue occurring if it is not correctly dealt with by damp-proofing the basement. On the other hand, if your cellar has already been damp-proofed then the issue might be due to a plumbing leak, for example.

3 – Remove Standing Water

You can use a wet-dry vacuum to get rid of any standing water if the cellar is only partially flooded. Otherwise, you will need a specialist or plumber to come and pump the water out if there is too much to clear on your own. Once this is done, you should consider drying out the area with a dehumidifier.

4 – Remove Items That Attract Mould

If they are wet for longer than a day or two, some materials such as fabric, wood, paper, and leather are likely to attract mould, so it’s a good idea to remove them from the basement. Some belongings may need to be thrown out depending on the scale of the damage, while others can be dried out and saved.

Reasons for Leaks in the Basement

During a basement conversion or even after the conversion has been completed, there are generally two major causes of water in your basement. These are sub-surface groundwater and surface water. These can both have several different causes including:

Water Coming Up Through the Basement Floor

If water is entering through the basement floor or getting in where the walls of the basement meet the floor, then it is most likely to be caused by a problem with subsurface groundwater. There are several reasons why this might occur.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is caused by rising groundwater and saturation during wet weather. This leads to pressure on the foundation, which pushes water through cracks and openings in the concrete. It can also sometimes be high enough pressure that it causes the floor and walls of the basement to crack even further.

Surface Water

If you have noticed water that only appears to be near the exterior walls of the foundation, then the problem is more likely to be surface water that is not correctly draining away. This can be caused by a few different problems, including:

Roof leaks: Water that is leaking in through the roof can run down the sides of the walls and cause damage to the ceilings or walls of the basement.

Landscape slope: Your garden and the soil next to your property should be sloping away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling and causing the soil to become saturated.

Overflowing gutters: When gutters are clogged or blocked, water overflowing from them can enter the basement and erode the soil around your property, which can lead to cracks in the foundation.

Leaky basement windows: Debris and leaves can clog the window wells, leading to them filling up with water. This can then leak into the basement through any gaps and cracks around old basement windows.

Short downspouts: The downspouts should be extended at least ten feet away from the house to ensure that the water running off is disposed of far enough away from the foundations.

Settled pavement: Over time, pavement and patios can crack and settle, which can lead to rainwater flowing away from rather than towards the house. You may need to hire a contractor to repair or replace the patio or pavement to ensure that it is sloping away from the property.

Basement Flooding

During wet weather, cellar flooding can be a common problem. Additional water on the surface and underground from heavy rainfall can put more pressure on existing draining systems or get around weaknesses. Some of the main reasons why your basement might be completely flooded include:

Exterior drainage issues: Exterior drainage systems can be prone to clogging with debris and other issues. If the drainage system was not installed correctly or fails due to issues such as a blockage, then the basement might flood, particularly during heavy rainfall.

Sump pump problems: If your drainage system has a sump pump that fails due to a mechanical problem or isn’t able to keep up with the drainage needs, this can lead to flooding of the basement.

Appliance or plumbing failure: Burst or damaged pipes, failed hot water tanks, or cracks in a washing machine hose can lead to major flooding in the basement and other areas of the home.

How Does a Basement Sump Pump System Work?

Even if you’re doing everything right with your cellar conversion when it comes to damp-proofing and drainage, you might still need a sump pump to deal with excess water in the basement. You may need a sump pump if your cellar has flooded in the past, if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, or if you live in a flat or low-lying area. Most sump pumps last around ten years, so if you already have one that is quite old, it might be worth getting another. Finally, get a sump pump system installed if you have anything in your basement that you want to protect like furniture or carpets.

Sump and Pump System and Damp Proofing

A sump pump is a small pump that is installed in the lowest part of the cellar to keep the building as dry as possible and to prevent flooding. Water enters the pump through a special drainage system, or it will simply travel naturally through soil. Sump pumps are usually kept in a sump pit, where it will pump any water it collects out of the pit and away from the home.

What is a Sump Pump System – Types of Sump and Pump System and Damp Proofing in London

Centrifugal pumps are the most popular option for homes. When the motor is switched on, the turning of an impeller uses centrifugal force to push any water towards the pipe sides. A void is then created and water rushes in from the pit to fill the space. Another option is a submersible pump, which is designed to rest in the water. It is kept in a waterproof space with the pump located at the bottom and the outgoing pipe at the top. These pumps come with a debris filter to prevent other materials from building up and clogging the pump.

Since water and electricity are not a good combination, you will need to bear in mind that sump pumps tend to use a standard household electrical current and need a grounded outlet. Since the sump pump is almost always located near water, you will need a ground fault circuit interrupter on the outlet to prevent the risk of electrocution.

What is the Difference Between a Sump Pump and a Water Pump?

Water pumps or drainage pumps are usually used for only draining clean water. Because of this, they deal with smaller particle sizes compared to a sump pump. A water pump can be used to drain water or fluids in several different areas. It is important to look at the particle size that the pump can handle if you are selecting a sump pump or a water pump.

Is a Well Pump and Sump Pump the Same Thing?

A well pump and a sump pump both work in the same way by removing wastewater from the sump pit or well. This is usually located out of the building. However, while these two pumps have similar components, they are different as they are used for different purposes.

When converting a basement, avoiding damp and flooding is one of the major things to consider. The best way to do this is with a drainage system and sump pump to divert water away.

Cavity membrane and Damp proofing

What is a cavity membrane

What is a Cavity Membrane?

If your home has had problems with damp in the cellar or basement, then you will already likely know how annoying it is to have a space in your home that you’re unable to use. Even worse, having damp in the home can also cause health issues for people living in the property. The good news is that damp does not have to put you off from utilising that unused space and adding extra rooms and value to the home. A cavity drain membrane system is the most ideal way to ensure damp proofing for a damp cellar, keeping your new room dry and safe for decades. Before converting your cellar into a liveable space, keep reading to find out more about this damp proofing system and why it might be an ideal choice for your property.

Cavity Membrane and Damp Proofing

Cavity membrane drainage systems are suited for using in cellars, basements, or vaults. The main purpose of such a system is for damp proofing, and a membrane made from high-density Polyethylene is typically used, which is installed on the floors, walls, and sometimes the ceilings of the basement. In many cases, it can also include a specific drainage channel that is installed to divert water towards a sump chamber. It will also usually include a pump that pumps that water outside and away from the building.

What is a Cavity Membrane and How Does it Work?

Cavity membrane drainage allows water in at the back of the membrane. From here, it is then diverted to where it should go. This is different to tanking or structural water proofing, which completely blocks any moisture from reaching the walls. The cavity membrane system can either be directly plastered onto or dry lined. This should be decided prior to starting the installation. In a situation where no natural drainage is available, a sump chamber and pump will be installed to direct the water away from the building towards a suitable area, such as an outdoor drain. There are two types of Type C waterproofing membranes: wall membranes and floor membranes. There are different types of each one to choose from based on your needs. Floor membranes usually have larger stud profiles.

Cavity Membrane and Damp Proofing in London

In the UK, many people live in properties with some degree of damp. Damp issues can make it impossible to use your basement as storage, as it will only cause damage to your belongings. And before you can convert your basement into a liveable room, damp will need to be dealt with to ensure that the walls stay dry for years to come. Otherwise, damp can damage your cellar conversion by causing issues with the internal décor such as crumbling plaster, flaking paint, curling wallpaper, and rotting skirting boards. It can also change the entire atmosphere of the space from somewhere that is cosy and inviting to somewhere that’s unsightly, uninviting, and seems dirty. If the damp issue isn’t dealt with before converting the basement, it can lead to serious problems down the line.

Why Do You Need a Basement Waterproofing Membrane?

There are several problems related to having damp internal walls or a damp basement. If you convert your cellar without having damp proofing carried out, the damp will make the whole area feel less comfortable. It can cause damage to the furnishings and decorations, and lead to an unpleasant and musty damp smell. Along with this, damp will also make your basement less energy efficient, which can lead to you paying more on your monthly expenses overall. There are also health risks linked to having damp in the home, especially for people who are young, elderly, or have respiratory conditions such as asthma.

How Do You Install a Cavity Wall Membrane?

Cavity drainage membranes are a popular method for waterproofing a basement. They work through internally lining a basement to divert any water into a drainage system when it enters the basement structure. The British Standard for waterproofing classifies Cavity Drainage Membranes as Type C waterproofing. The first element of setting up a cavity drainage system is to provide drainage that is accessible and maintainable. This can be done through Delta Perimeter Drainage Channels or with a modular drainage system. Cavity drainage systems shouldn’t be connected to a combined sewer, as this will create a higher risk of sewer surcharge and nasty smells.

What is a Drainage Membrane? Preparing the Area

Before a cavity drainage membrane can be installed in the cellar, any new concrete should be pre-treated using an anti-lime treatment that will prevent limescale from forming in the new drainage system.

What is Type C Waterproofing?

Type C waterproofing is designed to provide a structure with drained protection, or cavity membrane drainage systems. They are a popular option for damp proofing existing cellars and basements and a popular option for installing in new homes with a basement. The reason why drained protection is needed is that earth-retaining walls are subjected to hydrostatic pressure, which occurs when external water pressure is exerted on the structure. While some primary resistance will be provided by external basement walls, any structural weaknesses may cause water to get into the property and lead to floods and other destruction. Type C drained protection ensures that any cellars, basements, and other structures located below-ground are protected if water ingress occurs. It involves using a specially-designed cavity membrane to cover floors and walls, along with the installation of a drainage system designed to channel and redirect water entering the property. As a result of this, any items in the basement will not be affected if water gets in.

When To Use a Cavity Wall Waterproofing System

In most instances, a cavity wall waterproofing system will be used for refurbishment projects in existing properties like a renovation or conversion of the basement. They are also often used in the construction of new build properties. In some instances, you may also need to think about using combined damp protection. This will usually be recommended if there are risks that are considered to be high, or if the potential damage caused by the cavity membrane system failing is a lot. If this is the case for your property, then you can also use type A protection, which involves external or internal tanking, or structurally integral, which is known as type B protection, alongside your type C drained protection.

What are the Benefits of Cavity Membrane Drainage Systems?

There are various benefits of using a cavity membrane drainage system for damp proofing in your property. These are:

No External Changes Needed

Unlike some other types of waterproofing systems such as tanking, type C cavity membrane waterproofing systems do not require any external changes to be made to the structure of your property. This allows you to get a high level of water ingress and damp protection without the need for a lot of building work and labour. It’s also typically a cheaper option compared to other damp proofing types.

Reliable Protection

This waterproofing system type is designed to provide protection for your property that is reliable and long-term. It protects your belongings and home from damp problems and water ingress for many years.

Protect Your Property From Structural Damage

A cavity drain membrane system provide an option to safely deal with any water that may have entered a building. With this controlled drainage system, the water can be easily removed, and pressure is prevented from building up against the structure of the internal walls. Since there is an air gap left between the wall and the membrane, this allows the structure and materials to breathe, which encourages drying out after being subjected to water ingress.

Can Be Used on Any Property

You can use a cavity membrane waterproofing system on both new builds and for refurbishing older properties. This type of waterproofing can be used for more peace of mind with new properties that are built on land that is susceptible to flooding. For older houses, a cavity membrane waterproofing system provides a reliable and robust waterproofing option for homeowners who want to refurbish a cellar or basement into a space that is usable and liveable.

Who Should Install a Cavity Waterproofing System?

In general, the installation and fitting of a cavity drain waterproofing system is not a task to consider doing on your own. For an installation that is compliant and reliable, you should hire a trained professional with a good knowledge of the complete installation process and the specifications that need to be met. This is because even small mistakes during installing the membrane can lead to weak patches, which can render the entire system inefficient by causing pressure to build up at these weak spots. This increases the risk of flooding and damage to the property.

If you are converting a basement or cellar or building a new cellar or basement in a new property, then damp proofing is one of the most important parts of the process to consider.

Damp Proofing Coal Vaults in London

Damp Proofing Coal Vaults in London

The Benefits of Converting a Basement in London

Getting a basement converted is becoming a more and more popular trend in the UK, especially in London where space is at a premium. With the rising price of property in the UK, more and more homeowners are considering converting their basements into a useable and liveable space rather than upgrading to a larger home. Utilising the space underneath a house has long been a popular option in other countries such as Canada and the US, and now there is a bigger move to convert basements in the UK as homeowners realise how much it can benefit them. Here are some of the main benefits of converting your basement in your London home.

Ideal for City Living

While there are different ways to add space to your home, any homeowner is aware that building into the back garden is often the only option if you want to build an extension on a house. This can often be a very restrictive option that might not always be possible if you are living in a city like London, where space is at a premium and outdoor spaces are often small. Some houses in London don’t even have a garden and you may be lucky to have a small back yard. Because of this, a basement conversion in London is the perfect option for anybody who doesn’t want to give up the small amount of precious outdoor space that they have.

Utilise the Space

Having a basement conversion carried out can be an ideal way to add a surprisingly large additional useable space to your home. Right now, if your basement has not been damp proofed, you may not even be able to use it effectively for storage, which can lead to a huge amount of space going wasted underneath your home. Many basements span the entire ground floor of the property, so when it comes to the ways that you can use it, the opportunities are endless. Some people use a basement for additional storage, while for others it becomes an ideal home office space. Or, you could turn your basement into an additional living room, bedroom, games room, or even a home cinema – the choice is yours.

Make Money

When you consider the price of properties in London, the benefits of getting your basement converted become even clearer. According to experts, getting a basement conversion in the UK capital could potentially increase the value of your home by up to a massive thirty percent. Along with this, you could even make money from your converted basement if you don’t want to sell your house. Depending on the size of your basement, you could turn it into a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom or even an entire apartment with its own entrance that you could rent out to a lodger or offer as tourist accommodation in London.

Improve Energy Efficiency

After having a basement conversion carried out, you will notice that your home is more energy efficient overall. This is because you will need to damp proof and seal the foundations of your home in order to ensure that the new room in your basement is not at risk of damp and flooding. Along with keeping moisture out of the basement, this treatment will also prevent cold air from getting in, which can make a massive difference to the temperature control in your home and make it easier for you to heat your home in the winter without the central heating system working quite as hard. Properties with a basement tend to have fewer external walls that are directly exposed, and getting your basement converted will mean that you need to invest in improved floor and wall insulation.

Space for Your Growing Family

With the current prices of homes in the UK – and London in particular – it’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are looking for new ways to improve the space in their existing property rather than purchasing a new one. Additional space might be necessary if you are thinking of extending your family, but buying a new home might not be in your budget right now. Along with that, buying and moving into a new property can be an extremely stressful process. A basement conversion can give you an entire new floor that you can use for living and storage space, providing you with the extra room you need for an expanding family in the home that you currently live in.

Protect Your Belongings

If you have a lot of belongings and want somewhere to store them, then you might have considered a basement conversion. While there are lots of options for storing items including self-storage units, these can get expensive over time. If all you want to use the basement for is storage, then you will only need to damp-proof it. Once it is damp-proofed, you can put whatever you like in there and it should be well protected. Despite the amount of space that is often available in many basements, if the space has not been damp-proofed or converted into a suitable storage area then you might find that after just a few days or weeks in there, your items have gotten damp and there will be a high risk of mould.

Avoid Structural Issues

The preparation work that goes into getting your basement ready to be converted to a useable room or storage area in your home can also help to protect your property from structural issues. Many homeowners are aware of and prioritise structural issues on the ground floor or the higher floors of the house, but overlook the basement. However, since the basement is so close to the foundation of the property, it’s not uncommon that this is where a lot of structural issues and other problems start. By converting your basement, you can seal the foundations and add reinforcement that will prevent issues from developing in your property over time. Damp-proofing the basement can also be effective at helping to prevent issues like rising damp in the future.

Damp Proofing Coal Vaults – Preparing for a Basement Conversion

Whether you want to convert a large basement into a living space or have a small coal vault that you’d like to be able to use for additional storage, there are several ways that you can do this. The two most popular ways to damp proof your basement or coal vault are to either apply a waterproofing slurry or tanking product or have a cavity membrane system installed.

Damp Proofing Coal Vaults in London With Tanking Slurry

Tanking is a process that involves applying a waterproof slurry to the walls of the basement or coal vault. The purpose of this is to seal the walls and floor and prevent any moisture from entering. It is typically the best option if you have low-level damp problems in the space. However, it can be a big job to carry out as there is a lot of preparation work involved. Firstly, you will need to make sure that all coatings that are currently on the walls such as existing rendering, plaster, paint, wallpaper, and more are completely removed and that it is stripped back to the original masonry substrate. You may also need to prepare the masonry for the slurry to be applied beforehand by repairing any cracks and holes in the bricks, repointing, and using a salt-neutralising product. Without the right preparation, there is a higher risk of damage once the slurry has been applied as the water pressure can build up and cause issues if the walls are not strong enough and in good enough condition to withstand it.

London Coal Vault Conversion – Damp Proofing With Cavity Membrane System

Another option to consider when it comes to damp proofing your basement or coal vault conversion is to use a cavity drain membrane system. A high-density studded plastic membrane is applied to the basement floor and walls, and in some cases the ceiling. Unlike the slurry, which is applied directly to the wall substrate, this option allows for a cavity to be left behind the membrane that ultimately allows any water that does get in through the walls to be drained away to the cavity underneath the floor membrane, where it eventually drains away completely from the basement and outside away from the foundations via a drainage system.

You may also need to have a sump pump installed to aid with this. If your basement or coal vault has severe damp problems or is prone to flooding issues, this might be a better option for you compared to tanking. Along with this, having a cavity drain membrane system installed requires less preparation work beforehand. This system is designed to withstand larger amounts of moisture, so will work better if your basement is prone to damp.

If you have a basement that currently serves as a place to gather dust and cobwebs, then you’re missing out on a lot of space that could be used in your home. In London where space is at a premium, there are lots of great reasons to get a basement conversion.

London houses

Damp Proofing

London housesAt times, your home may show some signs of dampness. This is a serious problem that you should get worried about and repair with Damp Proofing London. Dampness in your building will encourage the growth of moulds a condition that is not good for the inhabitants of the house. To humans, mould infestation affects immune and respiratory systems. This is the side effects of animals. Worse is the eventual damage of your entire building that lowers its value.

When you notice this kind of infestation in your building, you need to take quick measures to curb the problem. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are very important to prevent further damages. All these can be addressed well by a specialist who in most cases is a damp proofing company.

In London, Damp is mostly caused by condensationpenetrating damp and also rising damp. The companies are therefore very important for the various benefits. These include

It prevents moisture vapour and related salts that cause contamination in the structure and within causing serious structural problems

Damp prevention prolongs the lifespan of the structures. This is done so by the fact that only the natural evaporation of dampness in the building will take place

They restore damp issues very quickly and easily. This saves a lot of structures from being degraded by this problem

The damp companies in London are certified and they offer guaranteed services that last for as long as 30 years or more.

Environmental and structural factors

Dampness in most cases is caused by structural and environmental factors. If a house is built in a floodplain, e.g. those in West London, there is a need for an effective basement tanking or damp coursing because the lower floors reach the water table. For instance, structures found in south London like the Victorian properties were built based on the antique standards other than today’s thus making them vulnerable to the rising and penetrating damp. Insensitive modifications on these structures have intensified condensation issues.

Weather patterns in Britain are constantly changing with wetter, milder winters and hotter summers. Additionally, torrential rains and floods have become common thus making it necessary for buildings built in the 21st century to revise their damp proofing. This is possible with London Damp Proofing Company which has specialized and experienced staff in conservation damp proofing. The company will also recommend a treatment plan that always pays attention to your property’s heritage.

Damp treatment

The method to use in damp proofing depends on the cause of dampness. Structures experiencing condensation can best be treated by insulation, providing better ventilation and more effective heating. On the other hand, penetrating damp can be remedied by application of water-repellent coatings on the property’s external walls while rising damp can best be treated using a more effective damp proof course.

There are times when damp problems get to a complicated stage especially when different causes converge to cause more damage. The best thing to do in such a case is to contact an expert like London Damp Proofing Ltd which will fully diagnose and cure all damp problems with a 30-year guarantee of their treatment products.

What happens next?

Call London Damp Specialists on 020 7458 4864.

Alternatively, you can book a survey online by completing your details below.

Once you have submitted the form, one of our surveyors will be in touch with you to discuss your problems within 24 hours.

Your free, no obligation damp survey will typically only take between 15 to 30 minutes.

30 year guarantee We also offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

Free damp survey No obligation survey with detailed reports and quotations

Experienced & qualified Team qualified to industry standards (CSRT & CSSW)

Fully insured Public liability limit of indemnity £5million

Federation of Master Builders
Trust Mark
Registered Fairtrades
Certified Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

Request a free survey

Dry rot

Rot Problems?

A Lot of Rot?

Dry rotDry rot, wet rot, penetrating damp, rising damp, condensation: all water-damage problems faced by home owners and all problems that need to be fixed sooner rather than later. But each is a different issue with a variety of effects and treatment methods. One quick call to London Damp Specialists is all it takes to diagnose your damp or rot problem and here’s a quick guide to spot your rot.

Dry Rot

When damp is combined with poor ventilation you have the perfect feeding ground for fungus. The fungus is highly invasive and can affect any type or age of property. It feeds off timbers and quickly spreads into plaster through cracks and cavities. Common signs of dry rot are damaged timbers (often out of sight below floors or in lofts) and visible orange/brown dust before it manifests itself in fluffy white spores and mushrooming spores – the latter stages show an advanced case of dry rot.

How is Dry Rot Treated?

Dry rot needs to be treated professionally and quickly in order to halt any further spread and eradicate it fully. It can be a disruptive process as it involves plaster and timber removal and replacement as well as treatment with a dry rot-resistant solution.

Wet Rot

If there is a constant source of water ingress or a leak from somewhere in the property, wet rot will develop – it could be from leaky plumbing, damaged gutters, downpipes or deteriorated pointing. Whatever the cause, it needs to be sorted! Wet rot isn’t as destructive as dry rot but left unchecked can badly affect timbers, leading to structural damage. If you notice a musty smell, spot fungal growth or distorted or discoloured timbers, you could be suffering from wet rot. It’s important to get it diagnosed professionally, not least to make sure it’s not dry rot, and make sure it is treated effectively and correctly.

How is Wet Rot Treated?

First and foremost, the source of the water ingress needs to be found and stopped. Following that, it must be determined how much wet rot has affected the area and timbers treated accordingly – probably removed and replaced, and new timbers, as well as the surrounding remaining wood, treated with fungicidal solution.

We would always recommend you seek professional help if you suspect your property is suffering from any kind of rot-related damage. Treat it before it becomes a major problem.

What happens next?

Call London Damp Specialists on 020 7458 4864.

Alternatively, you can book a survey online by completing your details below.

Once you have submitted the form, one of our surveyors will be in touch with you to discuss your problems within 24 hours.

Your free, no obligation damp survey will typically only take between 15 to 30 minutes.

30 year guarantee We also offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

Free damp survey No obligation survey with detailed reports and quotations

Experienced & qualified Team qualified to industry standards (CSRT & CSSW)

Fully insured Public liability limit of indemnity £5million

Federation of Master Builders
Trust Mark
Registered Fairtrades
Certified Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

Request a free survey

Condensation on window

Condensation Control

Condensation Control in Homes and Buildings

Condensation on windowAs we emerge from winter hibernation, it’s a good time to take a look at our homes and properties and assess any effects the wintry weather may have had. Even if it hasn’t been a harsh winter temperature-wise, there are still many factors that may have taken their toll on your property. Deal with them now and avoid nasty surprises later in the year!

Clean gutters

Unless you live in a completely tree-free zone, the chances are there will be leaves and debris in your gutters. Clogged gutters and downpipes can lead to ineffective water drainage, damp and mould penetrating walls, or broken guttering. Get rid of the debris and check all water drainage is clear and free of holes or damage. A leaky downpipe can push water into the outer skin of your property which in turn will penetrate the inner walls and cause an unpleasant and potentially expensive problem. A little bit of routine maintenance will allow any rainwater to be carried away effectively. Check also for any signs of water damage around the drainpipes and have any pointing or render repaired to prevent water ingress.

Roof repair

High winds take their toll on roofs – make sure you replace any missing, broken or damaged tiles as soon as you can to avoid water seeping in and causing damage to timbers. Have any debris removed too to prevent rotting and damage in the future.

Fix drips

Beyond the obvious dripping taps, check pipes under sinks and pipes and hoses around appliances – any drip left unattended can cause mould, and damp problems will quickly follow. Clogged sinks and ‘sweaty’ pipes near sinks can be easily remedied to avoid future damp or condensation.

Don’t forget to look up and look down

Take a look around any attic space for signs of water ingress from chimneys, roofs, Velux windows. Also for insect infestation – if they have got in somewhere, there will be gaps through which water can enter. Basements too may be neglected over the winter so give them a once-over for and check for damp penetration, particularly if it’s been a wet winter.

Your home is your refuge during winter so make sure you give it some TLC and keep it that way. Tackle any small jobs before they snowball into big, expensive problems and always seek professional advice.

What happens next?

Call London Damp Specialists on 020 7458 4864.

Alternatively, you can book a survey online by completing your details below.

Once you have submitted the form, one of our surveyors will be in touch with you to discuss your problems within 24 hours.

Your free, no obligation damp survey will typically only take between 15 to 30 minutes.

30 year guarantee We also offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

Free damp survey No obligation survey with detailed reports and quotations

Experienced & qualified Team qualified to industry standards (CSRT & CSSW)

Fully insured Public liability limit of indemnity £5million

Federation of Master Builders
Trust Mark
Registered Fairtrades
Certified Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

Request a free survey

London Damp Specialists

Damp House Problems

How to identify a damp problem in the house

Living in a damp house can be very dangerous and can cause you a lot serious health issues. As such, a little leak is something that should not be ignored. Although you might not be able to notice the immediate water damage, bacteria and mould growth can start within a short time of water intrusion. Damp homes have been found to be the cause of respiratory illnesses. A damp house is a conducive place for breeding of parasites and bacteria.

It is, therefore, important to ensure that your property is well kept and regularly inspected to prevent you and your family members from getting sick. The following are different ways to help you know whether your home is damp:


Condensation on the window is an indication of a damp house. Excessive condensation may be a sign of too much water vapour in the home. Condensation is an indication of a damp problem and poor ventilation. It is essential to ensure that you check your house regularly so to avoid exposing your family to diseases.

Black mould

Black moulds are another thing that you will notice in a damp house. Moulds are usually life threatening since the can cause severe diseases especially to those people with a lung condition. Make sure that you check the entire isolated ceiling, walls, door frame and window carefully to avoid causing more problems.

Tide marks and stains on the wall

Leaking pipes and overflowing gutter are usually the cause of damp patches on the wall. The wet patches can appear at any point or place on the wall. The tide marks are often caused by salts and evaporation from the ground. You will likely notice the tide up to one meter above the skirting board.

If you fail to see the tide marks, then another very common sign is staining. Typically the stain is usually yellowish or brownish in colour and is also seen up to one meter above the skirting board. Stains make the wall to appear untidy and unattractive. Make sure to call a technician to come and examine your home so that to avoid getting more damage.

Salts within plaster

White fluffy deposits in the form of salt are a sign of a rising damp in your house. These salts can cause a lot of blistering patches on your walls. These white patches can destroy your wall leaving you with a financial burden.

Peeling of the wallpaper

If you notice that the wallpaper is coming off or is peeling from the wall, then that is an indication of damp. The wallpaper also starts becoming loose starting from the corner. Due to the moisture in the wall, the wallpaper becomes loose from the skirting board making the wallpaper turn or curve up.

Decayed skirting boards

When timber comes into contact with water, it is capable of decaying. The dampness causes the skirting boards to rot making them crack. Check out if the skirting board is easily crumbled, cracked or has localised fungus that is growing on. Ensure that you also check whether the boards have flaky or damaged paint.

Musty odour

Musty smells are often caused by damp conditions or mould spores. Any home that has dampness problem is typically affected by mould or mildew. A home develops a musty odour once it becomes damp. It is usually easier to notice the smell since it is very strong and uncomfortable.

Musty odour can also cause health issues especially if the person is allergic to smell.


What happens next?

Call London Damp Specialists on 020 7458 4864.

Alternatively, you can book a survey online by completing your details below.

Once you have submitted the form, one of our surveyors will be in touch with you to discuss your problems within 24 hours.

Your free, no obligation damp survey will typically only take between 15 to 30 minutes.

30 year guarantee We also offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

Free damp survey No obligation survey with detailed reports and quotations

Experienced & qualified Team qualified to industry standards (CSRT & CSSW)

Fully insured Public liability limit of indemnity £5million

Federation of Master Builders
Trust Mark
Registered Fairtrades
Certified Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

Request a free survey

Penetrative damp

Water Damage Specialist

Water, Water, Everywhere...

Penetrative dampWater damage to a property can be distressing and expensive. Whether the damage is a result of a leaking pipe, either from your house or from an adjoining property, or a leaky appliance, or there’s been a slow ingress of external water; the damage can be extensive.

The first thing to do is isolate the cause. If it is from within your property, turn off the water at the mains to prevent any further water entering. If it is from a neighbour, let them know and advise them to turn off their water. Take photographs of any visible damage – you will need these in the event of an insurance claim.

Remove any damaged or affected soft furnishings to prevent the spread of damp and mould – carpets, curtains, sofas, mattresses, whatever is in the immediate vicinity – and leave them to dry. Call your insurance company as soon as you can. Hopefully you will be covered but bear in mind they may not pay out if the damage is deemed to have been caused by a design flaw in any building work that’s been done.

Your insurance company will probably either send out a surveyor to assess the damage, refer you to their preferred supplier of damp solutions or ask you to contact a damp expert yourself – someone like London Damp Specialist. We would survey the damage and send a report which would include readings from a damp meter and images of affected areas. Subject to their approval, work would begin to restore your home to its habitable, dry and safe condition.

What is the likely course of remedial action? It will depend on the extent and cause of the damage but typically work would include: removal of any damp plaster and floorboards; using a humidifier to dry out affected areas; adding a salt neutraliser to remaining walls to dissolve any salts present from water penetration; applying waterproof sand and cement interior – and if appropriate, external – render.

Whatever the cause of the problem, the main point to remember is not to panic and act as quickly as you can to stop any more water damage. If you own a home or property that has previously suffered water damage and are worried about any long term affects, seek professional advice.

What happens next?

Call London Damp Specialists on 020 7458 4864.

Alternatively, you can book a survey online by completing your details below.

Once you have submitted the form, one of our surveyors will be in touch with you to discuss your problems within 24 hours.

Your free, no obligation damp survey will typically only take between 15 to 30 minutes.

30 year guarantee We also offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

Free damp survey No obligation survey with detailed reports and quotations

Experienced & qualified Team qualified to industry standards (CSRT & CSSW)

Fully insured Public liability limit of indemnity £5million

Federation of Master Builders
Trust Mark
Registered Fairtrades
Certified Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

Request a free survey