Basement Waterproofing: An Important Facet of Facility Management

  • Brief Introduction to the Basement and its positioning

Basement refers to one or more floor, which is either completely or partially below ground level. With rising property prices and limited land area, Basement has become quite popular in densely populated locations, where it may or may not be used for residence purpose.

It is majorly used to store machinery, boilers or as a godown to stock materials. The basement is quite similar to any other floor, except that it has either limited or no exposure to direct sunlight and constantly remains in contact with groundwater, hence leading to dampening across walls as well as air within the basement.

  • The logic behind basement Waterproofing

As the name suggests, waterproofing simply refers to protection, control or shielding of any structure or tangible asset from excess wetness or dampening from liquid contact. While this contact can be perennial or cyclical, likewise given contact with water may be direct or indirect.

Given the physical location of the basement, i.e. extreme low point of a building or structure foundation with minimalistic sunlight and constant groundwater contact, it is almost a sin to ignore or underestimate Basement Waterproofing.

  • How does Basement Waterproofing work

Waterproofing or Damp proofing is typically applied outside of basement walls. It is pertinent to mention that only high quality and long resilient waterproofing material should be sued in the basement as unlike walls or roof, it is under enhanced risk or threat of moisture clogging therein. Absolutely, no compromise on a budget should be made here as. Otherwise, future repair and maintenance can be very costly and perennial.

  • Criticality of Drainage

It needs to be mentioned that irrespective of quality and quantum of basement waterproofing applied, it almost always remains in constant fear of leakage. One of the key elements to curb given fear is clear and unclogged drainage. Draining membranes are available, which may be applied outside basement walls, which allows or makes ways for the channel for water to flow into drains and pipes.

Basement Waterproofing is done on inside as well as outside of basement walls. It goes without saying that internal waterproofing is cheap and simpler compared to waterproofing externally. It requires excavation of the basement altogether when going for external basement waterproofing. However, external waterproofing offers long term rewards, which is normally missing in internal waterproofing.

Basement Waterproofing can be typically divided into three forms:

  1. Cavity Drainage: This process requires plastic membranes which are dimpled to cover or attach to floors and wall of the basement, which creates a drained cavity. Water entering into the basement is routed to a sump pump and ultimately pumped away.
  2. Tanking: Given process physically hold back groundwater
  3. Exterior Foundation Drain: This process includes exterior foundation drain which drains away liquid by gravity. This system does not require a pump or electricity and is most effective of all.

Basement Waterproofing may look like more of an expense burden initially, however if ignored can create multiple issues to people residing therein.  Absence of adequate arrangement often leads to damage tothe basement, thus spoiling overall property value and concrete structure. Given seepage slowly moves upwards and starts destroying other floors as well.