Basement conversions are increasingly popular and everything you need to complete the job is available at www.basement-living.co.uk The key to success in this field is to make absolutely sure everything is waterproof and with over 70 years of experience in the field Wykamol have produced a range of products which can't be beaten.
All this means that once neglected, mouldy and dank basements can be transformed into wonderful cosy living areas. Wykamols range of products is extensive and Data sheets on all the products can be obtained by calling 0845 400 6666
There are two ways to waterproof an existing, underground basement. The first, and the one dealt with in this project, is done by lining the basement with waterproof membranes which allow for decoration and everything else you would expect from a wall! A cavity is left between the original wall and the membrane down which any water can pass, into specially constructed drainage channels and sumps in the floor of the basement. The water is then silently pumped away. Simple, effective, completely safe and much less expensive than you think. Read the brochure extract below and click or ring through to Basement Living for detailed information and quotes.
Conversions using membranes
No two basements are the same and naturally there are a range of water-proofing solutions suitable for each environment. In general there are two main methods used-membranes or structural waterproofing (tanking). Here we take a look at how membranes work and how they are applied.
High density polyethylene membranes provide an air gap between the membranes and the wall, which allows any free water to run behind it. The membrane is mechanically fixed to the original sound wall surfaces, usually with treated battens or other framing systems, on to which plasterboard can be fixed. In some circumstances the battens can be omitted and plasterboard and membrane fixed using special plastics plugs, alternatively a wet plaster could be applied.
Wykamol have the largest range of membrane systems available. The range is flexible enough to cope with a wide variety of structures and water problems. The final choice of membrane is determined by two factors 1) the finish required and 2) the anticipated flow rate.
With the introduction of the latest British Standard 8102 (1990) "protection of structures against water from the ground", the use of cavity membranes has been generally accepted in the uk. Wykamol systems can easily deal with aggressive ground water conditions, where basements are liable to flooding, or indeed where simple dampness, contamination or salting problems are prevalent. Other more diverse applications include turf covered roofs, barn conversions, tunnel linings or even a barrier against radon gas.
As there is little or no preparation required for the membrane system it is very quick to install. When dry finishes are used the system is a "fast track" solution. Decoration does not need to be delayed and there is no drying process.
The Wykamol membrane system has been used successfully in many situations in the UK - from small domestic basements up to major waterproofing projects such as the London Underground stations. There is rarely a dampness or water ingress problem that falls outside the scope of the capabilities of the Wykamol system.
Why use cavity drain membranes?
Polyethylene cavity drain membranes are the ultimate solution to basement waterproofing. In an ideal situation, water pressure should be removed from the building by lowering the ground levels and diverting water away from the property. As we all know, an ideal situation rarely occurs in the real world. Normally it is impossible to achieve the above due to the fact that the basement is completely below ground.
Cavity membranes create an envelope within the building on the negative side of the water pressure allowing the natural drainage of the ground water to enter the structure and be collected behind the system. This is then dealt with efficiently and silently out of sight.
Traditional structural waterproofing systems allow for the removal of plaster and render to prepare the surfaces for the application of a treatment./ This type of waterproofing relies totally on an adequate bond between the treatment material and the wall surfaces. In many cases, cavity drain systems can be fixed directly to the existing surfaces using special water sealed fixing plugs, saving time, mess and money.
Traditional cement based systems are not effective vapour barriers either and condensation problems can easily arise, in fact, can be created by these systems. Cavity drain membranes are not only water impervious linings, they also provide an efficient vapour barrier , combined with added insulation, making severe, damaging condensation unlikely.
Pressure created by water retaining systems such as cement based tanking inflicts stresses on a structure which can cause additional problems. These types of systems will only have a limited life and can affect other rooms or adjoining properties.
Cavity drainage membranes are unaffected by being in contact with wet surfaces. They are also complete barriers against salt contamination. Aggressive sulphate, nitrate and chloride salts are completely isolated from the internal, finished surfaces. Internal finishes to walls and floors can have added insulation performance. Correctly installed and with maintained drainage, the cavity drain system should last the lifetime of the structure.
Cavity drain membranes are.............
- Quick to install
- Non destructive to the structure
- Insulative and sound absorbing
- Conducive to a dry, high quality environment
- The 21st century solution to basement conversion.