Dampness is quite a troublesome issue in London. In the early stage, dampness could generally be something or nothing, perhaps a few spots of stains on the walls.
However, when severe, it can be extremely eradicative and could bring potential damage to a property.
It stimulates mould growth resulting into poor quality accommodation and posing damage to the interior of the house. Dampness could worsen even more and cause different types of timber decay.
However, an insignificant dampness which is not so acute, could be easily tackled and controlled by relatively less expensive means.
- WHAT IS DAMP BASEMENT ?
Basements, due to being built into the ground are possibly vulnerable to get intruded by water, resulting into a wet basement. The reason behind this is possibly the constant pressure exerted on the basement walls, by the water present in the soil . Another reason could be that water goes along the path of least resistance inside a building and with time finds its way into the basement.
In case of an acute damp basement, you need to get a damp survey and basement tanking done in your home. However, in case the problem isn’t extreme and rather in its earliest stage, check out the following steps :
1. In case a water leak is the source of your problem, have it fixed first. A leak could be due to standing water due to heavy rain.
2. Clean out the gutters.
3. Equip your basement with a dehumidifier.
4. Install French Drains around the house.
5. Redirect the source of water.
6. Insulate the walls of the house and basement.
7. Affix a waterproofing membrane to your house.
8. Install a floor drain.
9. Try to lower down the amount of humid outdoor air entering into the basement.
It is hence very important to check for the signs of dampness in the basement before buying a house with a basement. Basement dampness doesn’t usually occur in new homes. Before backfilling, the builders now-a-days damp-proof the basement and install drain tile outside the foundation.
It’s hence quite necessary to get an independent home inspection or a damp survey and then further waterproofing your basement.
- DAMP SURVEY :
A Damp Survey, is simply a survey or an inspection, conducted by a certified and chartered surveyor, to test for dampness throughout the property and recommend the appropriate treatment. A surveyor should make you aware of the intensity of the dampness and the potential damage it may cause. He then briefs you with the steps you should consider to mitigate it. A surveyor, however, would not always be expected to give you a precise description of dampness in detail.
A surveyor may be equipped with a damp meter to check if the damp is an old one. He may also take notes and photographs along the inspection in order to prepare a detailed and properly written damp report. He would then recommend you a specific damp-proofing solution to eliminate the problem. In case of a Damp basement problem, you’d probably be suggested to get Basement Waterproofing. Before you pay for a survey, make sure you’re assisted by a RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) trained surveyor.
BASEMENT TANKING :
Basement Tanking(or Waterproofing), is the technique of building a durable waterproof tank, which helps in keeping a basement, free from damp or moisture. It is done either internally or externally. External basement tanking is most commonly employed when the basement is made. Internal basement tanking is done inside the basement unlike the former one which is done along the outer edges.
Usually, a ‘slurry’ is applied on the walls such that it forms a ‘tank’ around the basement which consequently prevents a leakage by resisting the water from getting in. Such a tank formation thus provides moisture control. When you have decided to get a basement tanking for your home, make sure you seek help from a PCA (Property Care Association) approved damp course provider.