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What Is Tanking Walls?
Tanking walls refers to a method of waterproofing and damp proofing walls, primarily in below-ground level areas like basements or cellars. This process involves applying a waterproof coating or membrane to the interior or exterior surfaces of the walls, creating a “tank-like” barrier against moisture. Typically, this is crucial in areas where the water table is high or where lateral damp penetration can occur. The tanking material, which can be a cement-based slurry, a liquid membrane, or a sheet membrane, is applied to ensure a fully watertight seal. This technique is vital in preventing not only water ingress but also issues related to damp such as mould growth, structural damage, and heat loss. Appropriate for new constructions and existing buildings, tanking is an essential measure in maintaining a dry, healthy, and structurally sound environment.
Why You Need Tanking
Tanking is essential for several reasons, particularly in maintaining the structural integrity and internal environment of a building. Primarily, it protects against water ingress in areas prone to high moisture levels or where subterranean water can seep in, such as basements, cellars, and underground garages. Without adequate tanking, buildings are at risk of developing damp issues, leading to mould growth, which can have significant health implications and deteriorate indoor air quality. Structurally, water penetration can weaken walls, causing cracks, decay in timber, and corrosion in metal reinforcements. Tanking also plays a critical role in insulating properties, contributing to thermal efficiency by preventing damp and cold spots. In terms of property value, a well-maintained, damp-free property stands at a higher market value, making tanking a wise investment. Whether for renovation, new construction, or historical restoration, tanking ensures longevity, safety, and comfort in a building.
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How Do You Tank a Wall
How to Apply Tanking Slurry
Applying tanking slurry is a critical part of waterproofing walls. First, the wall surface must be adequately prepared. It should be structurally sound, free from loose particles, dirt, oil, and grease. Any existing paint or coatings need to be removed to ensure the slurry bonds effectively to the wall. Holes, gaps, and cracks must be filled and smoothed out. Prior to the application of the tanking slurry, the wall should be dampened with water to help the adhesion of the slurry. Mix the tanking slurry according to the manufacturer’s instructions until a smooth, lump-free consistency is achieved. Apply the slurry with a stiff brush, working it well into the surface. Start from the bottom and work upwards in a vertical motion to avoid missing any areas. A second coat is usually applied at right angles to the first, ensuring a thorough coverage. Allow adequate drying time between coats and before finishing the wall.
Types of Damp Proofing
Tanking Membrane for Walls
Tanking membranes for walls are an effective solution for waterproofing, especially in areas prone to dampness or water ingress. Unlike tanking slurry, which creates a rigid barrier, tanking membranes offer a more flexible approach, making them ideal for structures susceptible to slight movements or vibrations. These membranes are typically dimpled sheets that allow water to channel away from the wall surface. Installation begins with the preparation of the wall surface, ensuring it is clean and even. The membrane is then cut to size and securely fastened to the wall, often using special fixing plugs. This method creates an air gap between the wall and the membrane, allowing the wall to breathe and preventing moisture from coming into direct contact with the building fabric. This system is highly beneficial as it not only stops water penetration but also deals with any condensation issues. Tanking membranes can be used in combination with internal drainage systems for areas with high water tables, providing a robust solution for basement conversions or retrofits in older properties.
Tanking Walls Cost
The cost of tanking walls can vary widely, depending primarily on the size of the area, the method used, and the condition of the walls. Generally, a basic tanking job using slurry might cost from several hundred to a few thousand pounds. Factors affecting the price include the type of tanking material (slurry, membrane, or a combination of both), the extent of wall preparation required, and whether additional features like insulation need to be incorporated. Installation of a tanking membrane, for instance, might be more costly than applying a slurry due to the materials and labour involved. However, it’s a long-term investment in protecting a property against potential damages caused by damp and water ingress, which can be significantly more expensive to rectify later. It’s also worth noting that professional installation is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of the tanking and typically comes with a guarantee, adding value despite the initial expenditure. When considering tanking, obtaining multiple quotes and understanding the guarantees offered by different suppliers and installers can help in making an informed decision.
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