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Basement waterproofing or basement tanking has become very popular as more people decide to convert existing cellars or basements into habitable space. New build basements are also very popular as land becomes more expensive, the option to dig down and create space in the ground is a viable, realistic option for many people.

Structures that are below ground floor level are more susceptible to the possibility of water ingress. The type of basement waterproofing system or tanking system to use is, therefore, an important consideration as a variety of methods are available.


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  • I think the water problem in my basement might be caused by issues with my drains, does that matter?

    It may have consequence in that water penetration into a basement or cellar, which results from issues, associated with failed drainage or what may be considered ‘a domestic plumbing leak’, may be covered to varying degrees by your buildings insurance. In such a circumstance any existing but failed waterproofing system would usually only be replaced on a like for like basis, with anything greater needing to be argued for.

    We have certainly undertaken waterproofing projects in residential basements, where issues have occurred resulting in the destruction of internal finishes (see this case study), where the insurers paid for the strip out and reinstatement of fixtures, fittings and finishes, while the clients paid for the addition of the waterproofing system (this basement was converted by previous owners without including any waterproofing).

    Note that it is difficult to categorically identify the source of the water penetrating into a given basement space, and in the event of drains being questioned, you would need to employ a drainage specialist to undertake a survey

  • Can you manage all of the required work? Are your workers directly employed?

    Select Basements have great experience in structural waterproofing both in residential basement conversion and commercial projects working with Architects, Engineers, Contractors of all types on all sorts of properties. Where homeowners require a turn-key package for a residential conversion, we can typically arrange all aspects, including plumbing, electrics, underpinning and Building Control Applications.

  • Will my existing boiler and electrical consumer unit handle the additional living space and its requirements for power and heating?

    Where basements are converted to habitable space, there is a requirement to include heating (environmental controls) so that vapour introduced by occupation does not result in problems of condensation. Electrical sockets are obviously necessary in a finished space.

    If the existing boiler or electrical consumer units are not up to the task, this can be a reasonable expense and can vary greatly depending on the standard of fittings required. Therefore it is important that such aspects be investigated.

    Basements are generally thermally efficient because of the insulating effect of the retained ground. They may also provide cool living space during hot weather.

  • Can the basement be opened up to ground floor?

    Yes, such alterations would need to comply with the building regulations, primarily in respect of means of escape in the event of fire.

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