A cellar can be a versatile room, giving you extra storage space or an extra bedroom or living room. However, cellars frequently have problems with damp, especially if they’re situated on a flood plain, as are so many houses in West London. Cellar damp is a common problem in London homes, but with basement tanking carried out by a specialist company you can be free to enjoy your cellar again.
We’ve been installing basement tanking solutions in houses throughout Central, West and South London for over 20 years. Here’s a snapshot of the kind of issues our specialist teams solve every day.
Natural Problems with Cellars
By their very nature, cellars and basements are more prone to damp than most other parts of the house, since they’re below ground. They’re in an enclosed area, and moisture from the earth outside can easily get in. Hydrostatic pressure can cause the moisture from the earth to be pushed into the walls of the cellar when the ground outside gets too wet, such as during heavy rain or flooding. This steady ingress of moisture can then lead to cellar damp and condensation. Many cellars won’t have windows, or if they’ll be smaller than those in upstairs rooms, so the moisture cannot be ventilated out of the room as easily, and this can make the problem worse.
Other Contributing Problems
As well as the natural tendency for cellars to be far damper than other areas of the house, there can be further issues that can make the problem even worse. If the cellar was poorly constructed, this can make a serious damp problem even more likely. If there are cracks in any of the walls or foundations, these will probably also be admitting water into your basement. Having ineffective damp-proofing measures is also a contributory factor: if your home’s original damp proof course has failed, this can compound the spread of damp.
What’s the Solution?
If you’ve noticed any signs of damp in your cellar, you should consult a damp specialist. A suitably qualified and experienced surveyor will identify the cause of the problem and recommend an appropriate course of action. Given the complex nature of basement damp, it’s an extremely bad idea to try and cure it yourself.
Often, the best solution for cellar damp is cellar tanking. Your chosen damp specialist will apply a waterproof coating inside the cellar walls to stop moisture from entering through the walls. This barrier stops ground water being forced into the room, and your basement will be blissfully free of damp.
However, depending on the extent of the damp and the nature of your property, you may require a more extensive solution such as a pump-operated drainage system. As always, we recommend that you talk to a specialist company to find out what kind of cellar tanking is right for you. But it’s certainly a step worth taking: we love to witness the joy of householders who gain a cosy extra room and lose the worry and stress of having a damp home.
If your London home suffers from cellar damp, call London Damp Company on 0207 127 688. Our basement tanking specialist will conduct a free survey to assess the problem in your cellar and find the best way of treating it. Whatever your damp problem, we have an effective solution.