Prevent Water Ingress for a Useful and Useable Basement

A basement adds value, convenience and kudos to any home. But only if it is properly waterproofed with a tanking system.

In the current economic climate, there is a strong tendency for homeowners to improve or extend their existing homes rather than risking an uncertain housing market and upsizing. In cities, and in London especially, there is often little scope for extending outwards, and many have already had their lofts converted.

That leaves just one direction. Some properties already have a basement that is under-utilised, while in the case of others, the owner might decide to install one from scratch. In either case, looking for a basement tanking system in London is likely to be at the top of the agenda to make the basement a healthy and habitable environment.

What is a tanking system?

In the context of a basement, there are various methods used to waterproof a basement. The term tanking essentially means waterproofing using a tanking system that consists of a liquid waterproof coating, known as tanking slurry, which is applied to the walls and floor to keep the moisture out. It prevents water ingress entirely if applied correctly. This makes it different to a cavity drainage system, in which water is allowed to enter and is then controlled using membranes and sent to a specific exit point using cavity drainage channels and sump and pump systems..

Does your basement need tanking?

The answer to this question is almost certainly “yes.” The nature and location of a cellar or basement means that damp walls are extremely common. Water is held in the retaining earth outside and can soon find its way through the walls and straight into your cellar. However, there is more than just water to worry about. As it passes through your basement wall, it carries minerals and salts, often leading to problems. The tanking system uses a specially formulated type of slurry that is designed specifically to deal with these problems, as well as preventing further ingress.

What happens without a tanking system?

Tanking is especially important if you live in an area of high rainfall or where the earth has consistently high moisture content. Without this treatment, the walls will gradually absorb more and more of the moisture from the outside, ultimately leading to seepage when they become saturated, as well as causing damage to fixtures, fittings and decoration. It may be necessary to use a combination of structural waterproofing methods and it essential the correct method or methods are selected relevant to the property and surrounding area.


Over time, the consequences of failed waterproofing can be severe. With long term exposure to damp, support rods and armatures can rust, walls can start to sag and ultimately, the entire structural integrity can be compromised, leading to extensive, expensive and potentially dangerous collapse and even a flooded basement.

Safe and sound with tanking

Clearly, it makes far more sense to install the right tanking system or cavity drainage system at the outset rather than wait for problems to arise and then try to put them right.

Ask an expert to take a look at your basement so you can rest assured that it is adequately tanked and waterproofed. That way, you can derive all the benefits of your very own subterranean bolt hole, right there under your house.