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Why Basement Waterproofing Is Better Than Tanking & Damping


Contact Wet Basement Resolutions

Damp and mold are common household problems, and occur more frequently an intensely in basements, crawl rooms, and other underground structures. Water can seep down through the soil, up through the earth, and humidity and climate can cause wear and tear. Cracks in foundations and walls can lead to leaks and waterlogged basements.

There are man solutions available, both to repair an existing problem, and to stop the occurrence of damp. Basement waterproofing, damp-proofing, and tanking, are three popular solutions, and out of the three waterproofing definitely provides the most long lasting and enduring treatment.

Many people shy away from true waterproofing, mostly because of the initial costs. They opt for a cheaper alternative, and often live to regret it. In some cases, damp-proofing or tanking is adequate, but the methods are flawed when it comes to the long term benefits, and the solutions simply won’t do if your foundations are subject to hydrostatic pressure.

Let’s take a look at the three methods, so you can understand the differences between them.

What Is Waterproofing?

Basement waterproofing refers to the methods used to reduce or completely stop damp and mold from entering your basement, even when it is under hydrostatic pressure from water in soil.

There are many methods for waterproofing your basement, and the overall aim to tackle the root causes of the damp problems in your home, by installing systems, using waterproofing materials on the exterior and interior, and in some cases using water drainage.

Truly waterproofing your home means a solution has been put in place to minimize damp and protect your property in the long term.

Is Damp-proofing As Effective As Waterproofing?

What Is Damp Proofing?

It is important to understand that damp-proofing is different to waterproofing damp solutions. Many contractors, and builders of new homes, apply damp-proofing to the property, and explain it to you as if it is true waterproofing.

Most forms of damp-proofing involve adding a layer of protection to the inside of your basement, such as a damp-proof membrane, a surface coating, or a cavity wall with drainage and pumps to redirect water.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Damp-Proofing?

None of these methods guarantee that the foundations and walls will remain dry. The overall aim of damp-proofing is to stop water from entering the interior of your property. The interior of your basement might be fine, but the water can still penetrate the concrete or bricks, and in some cases can still cause damage.

Damp-proofing does not address other issues that can cause leaks in your basement. It does not, for example, deal with cracks in your walls and foundations, and other structural concerns in your property. Other waterproofing solutions may be required to create a fully waterproof and structural secure system.

Damp-proofing is defined by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) as being a material that resists water, as long as there is no hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is caused when water is contained within soil all around your home, and is a VERY common cause of damp and mold in your basement. As long as there is no hydrostatic pressure you might be fine with damp-proofing, but otherwise waterproofing is much more effective, and does prevent damp in the case of pressure.

What Is Tanking?

Tanking is a method of water control that usually involves the application of a waterproof coating to the inside walls of your basement. It provides a smooth finish, and protects your basement interior from damp and mold, as well as channeling water away from vulnerable points in the foundations, such as the joints and corners.

Tanking is a very inexpensive and hassle free way to waterproof your home, as it only requires a quick layer of quality waterproofing to the interior. Other methods are also available, such as the construction of a cavity wall; a new internal wall that effectively hides the damp of the other one.

Drainage and pump systems can also be added to channel the water back outside, and can be concealed in the cavity walls. This can be crucial if your foundations are not well built, as water will have no where to go, and will sit against the tanked up walls.

Basement tanking is not without its flaws. Not by a long shot. The water still permeates the walls and floor of your home. The tanking simply stops it from entering the interior. This can cause damage to the brickwork in the long term, and in effect only solves the damp on an aesthetic level.

Although tanking usually uses fully waterproof materials, it still does not tackle the root cause of the problem, and therefore does not provide the protection that real waterproofing solutions offer.


The drawbacks of damp-proofing and tanking, when compared to waterproofing methods, can be summarized as follows:

  • Only protects the inside of your basement from damp. Damp can still enter the walls.
  • Does not address other issues that can cause leaks, such as cracks in walls and foundations.
  • May not protect the structural integrity of the building in the long term.
  • Does not protect against damp and foundation problems caused by hydrostatic pressure, which is common in Ontario.
On the other hand, waterproofing solutions can provide:
  • Full interior and exterior protection against damp.
  • Repairs to foundations and cracks in walls and floors.
  • Protection for the structure of your building.
  • A long term solution that solves the actual problem.

If you require waterproofing for your basement, or any solution to permanently stop the damp and mold in your home, contact Wet Basement Resolutions today. We offer a free consultation and quotation for all work, with no obligation! For top quality basement waterproofing services, choose Wet Basement Resolutions.


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