Basement sealing or basement drainage?

In Flanders, many homes suffer from a damp cellar. Especially during fall, winter and spring, many people notice that the basement suddenly gets moisture problems.

This can have several causes but one thing is certain: we can get a damp basement completely dry again without much trouble. There are two different techniques for this. Basements are made dry with basement waterproofing or basement drainage. Depending on the situation, one of these two renovation techniques are appropriate.

In this article, we explain exactly what the differences are between basement drainage and basement waterproofing.

Method 1: a basement waterproofing

Basement waterproofing, also known as tanking, involves applying a type of waterproof plaster to the walls and floor in several layers. These layers then harden and together form a moisture-resistant layer. When choosing basement waterproofing, we always consider the pressure of the groundwater. If that pressure is too high, basement waterproofing is not the best moisture control method.

Thanks to basement waterproofing, you get a waterproof tub in the basement or crawl space that keeps out all the ground moisture. For old, poorly maintained basements, flexible basement waterproofing is usually chosen. This involves attaching a waterproof foil to the walls and floor, after which the walls and floor are re-occupied.

Method 2: a basement drain

Basement drainage involves waterproofing the basement by removing incoming moisture through a drainage system. A basement drainage is usually used in basements with high groundwater pressure. Where that pressure is very high, basement waterproofing cannot provide sufficient guarantees and a drainage system must be used. The advantage of a basement drainage is that the cost is slightly lower than for a basement waterproofing.

Basement drainage involves a drainage system combined with a silent pump. The incoming groundwater finds its way to a central collection point, from where it is pumped away. All drainage pipes and even the pump are completely concealed in the basement drainage so that you hardly notice anything of this installation. The basement can therefore also be used with a drainage system for any purpose for which a basement could serve: as storage space, hobby room or even living space.

Because of the higher humidity level in a drained basement, basement drainage is usually combined with basement ventilation. Installing basement ventilation is relatively easy and pays huge dividends in terms of air quality. With a ventilated space, you also avoid future mold problems. After all, mold only thrives in spaces where the humidity is high enough.

Do I choose basement waterproofing or basement drainage?

If you suffer from a damp basement, there are many parameters that can inform a choice of basement waterproofing or basement drainage. This is not a simple analysis and varies depending on the size of the basement, the exact pressure of the groundwater, the current moisture content of the walls and the construction of the home.

There is no question that if you have a damp basement, each of the above solutions is a good choice. A damp home, even if it is in the basement, quickly loses its value and may also suffer from rising ground moisture later on.

Aquaconsult offers free moisture analysis where an experienced moisture specialist performs a moisture diagnosis with specific equipment. This involves analyzing the basement from head to toe for any possible (hidden) moisture problem. If this interests you, request more information below. A moisture diagnosis is always performed by a licensed professional and is always without obligation.

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