The Déjà Vu Basement Conversion that Lost the Sale / £25k Property Value.

Firstly, apologies for the overly dramatic title but hopefully this will provide a useful example of the implications that a basement conversion can have on a property, where the work and guarantees which stand behind it are questionable.

In 2009 I took a call from a homeowner with a townhouse property in Manchester, they had just converted their basement / cellar to a habitable space, employing a local cellar conversion specialist to undertake the work.
Continue reading The Déjà Vu Basement Conversion that Lost the Sale / £25k Property Value.

Soakaways and Basements, not Always a Good Combination.

Soakaways are a means by which surface water (roof/rainwater) can be discharged into the ground.  These have a range of benefits, in that they deal with surface water where there is no access to mains drains, they place a lesser demand on those systems if they are present, and they can provide a saving on your utility bills versus discharge into a mains system. They are commonly employed within new-build developments and we often see them.

The design of soakaways is a science in itself and should be undertaken by a suitably qualified Civil Engineer. It is not the design of soakaways that I want to comment upon, but their use in association with basement waterproofing systems, and implications upon the waterproofing where soakaways do not function as intended. Continue reading Soakaways and Basements, not Always a Good Combination.

Waterproofing Codes of Practice and Combined Systems

This is an article written by David Bucknall, Technical Director at Newton Waterproofing Systems.  I’m a fan of Newton’s, in part because of the product range and also because most of the staff have a background in contracting (in waterproofing) and so they understand what it is like at the sharp end, implementing works and then promising clients protection for a decade.

This a link to Newton’s post, which also includes a link to the article.

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Defects, Defects and Defects (BS8102).

As intimated in this post, British Standard 8102 Code of practice for the protection of below ground structures against water from the ground, is the primary design guide which we and others rely upon in our work designing and installed structural waterproofing systems. As an ‘approved code of practice’ it has an elevated legal status versus other design guides and hence its importance.

One of the key considerations listed is that of defects and remedial measures. In essence designers should assume the risk that any given waterproofing system might not be installed defect free, with risk of defects being associated either with workmanship or the products installed. Continue reading Defects, Defects and Defects (BS8102).

Basements and External Tanking Repair.

So the subject of external tanking repair came up at work today in relation to a property we are advising on, and I thought that it would make for an interesting post.

Over the years I’ve dealt with many waterproofing systems where the original system fails, then someone attempts a repair which then also fails and then we are called in at the point that they definitely need to fix it. Continue reading Basements and External Tanking Repair.

Assessing Sites with a View to Assessing Risk.

Part of the process of waterproofing design laid out within BS8102 Code of practice for the protection of below ground structures against water from the ground, relates to assessing the nature of a given site, and then using this information to influence your design.

In essence the ‘nature of the site’, can be interpreted as ‘how wet is it, and how wet is it likely to be’?

This is important because the greatest driver of risk, is essentially how much water there is, or potentially will be in the ground, to pressure upon the basement structure and waterproofing system(s). Continue reading Assessing Sites with a View to Assessing Risk.