What Is Basement Tanking

Hoping to fulfil the full potential of your property? Basement tanking allows property owners to turn their basement or cellars into a dry space and make it habitable. This page will clearly communicate what basement tanking is and what the potential benefits are that property owners can reap. This page will also simplify the process of basement tanking, making it easily understandable, before then helping you to understand the key differences between basement tanking and waterproofing water management systems. If you’re thinking of a basement conversion or waterproofing your basement, you’re on the right page.

How Does Basement Tanking Work?

In the simplest terms, tanking involves applying a cement or bitumen slurry coat or membrane which is waterproof to the basement’s walls and floor. The tanking application will result in a waterproof coat on the existing wall surface which is reliant on the soundness of the substrate to cope with potential water pressure when applied to the inside face of the basement wall.

Where a waterproof slurry coat or membrane is applied directly to the structure this waterproofing system is known as a Type A system. This type of waterproofing system will create a barrier to prevent water penetration.

One of the crucial determining issues which must be considered before selecting the most appropriate tanking style is the condition of the existing basement walls and floors. If a waterproof membrane is going to be added to the wall’s surface then it is essential that the existing wall is in a stable enough condition to take this treatment.For tanking to be successful, it must be applied to walls and floors which are in a sound and stable condition and the flow of any free water is reduced prior to application. It is also critical that considerable attention is given to the weaker points within the space, such as the floor to wall joint. When utilising the services of a qualified team who install professional tanking systems, they will understand the importance of preparing the existing wall and floor surface to achieve a dry basement.

There are some instances where tanking directly onto the surface is not the appropriate solution to introduce to a property. This could be due to a poor wall surface which may not allow the waterproof coating to find a strong base or evidence of wall movement which may cause cracking. If a Type A system is not appropriate for your property due to the outlined reasons above, there are a variety of other waterproofing methods which could be more appropriate.

The Difference Between Basement Tanking Direct Coat System (Type A) and Basement Waterproofing Water Management Systems (Type C)

We are commonly asked about what the main difference is between Basement Waterproofing using a Type C water management system and Tanking with a Type A waterproof coat system. Basement tanking describes the process of applying a membrane or coating direct to the wall surface to hold back the water from entering the basement whereas basement waterproofing with a Type C system refers to managing water entering the basement using a cavity wall membrane and drainage system.

Basement Tanking coating to the Walls & Floors

Basement tanking tends to describe the application of a coating or membrane to either the internal or external side of a structure in order to stop water entering the habitable space of a property. Fundamentally making the basement watertight. This is regarded as ‘Type A’ waterproofing within the waterproofing industry.

Basement Waterproofing – Water Management System

Basement waterproofing is the umbrella term which is given to waterproofing types which can be utilised in order to manage any water entering and keeps your cellar or basement dry. This tends to involve the installation of a Cavity Drain System which is ‘Type C’ waterproofing in order to manage the water which has gaining access to the property and swiftly move it towards safe drainage or a pump.

Water Management System – The Safest Approach

Richardson & Starlings specialists generally recommend that a Cavity Drain System is used as part of the waterproofing approach for existing structures as it is flexible to deal with site condition changes.

When Richardson & Starling’s surveyors visit a property where the cellar or basements are affected by water penetration, they will provide the client advice with regards to how they can protect their cellar through the utilisation of the appropriate waterproofing system. Tanking waterproof coatings puts up a solid physical barrier to stop any water from entering the cellar, whereas a water management system will collect any excess water before directing it to a sump and pump or drainage system which will safely remove the water from your property. These internal waterproofing systems are generally hidden from sight behind walls and beneath finished floorboards making them a perfect solution for domestic basement conversion.

10 Year Guarantee For All Basement Tanking Works

After over eighty years of successful property surveys and repairs, Richardson & Starling have the experience to provide a ten-year guarantee on our full basement waterproofing system. This guarantee will be transferred free of charge to any new property owner in the event of your property being sold.


It is crucial for property owners to stop water entering your property as this will cause fabric deterioration. Waterproofing your basement will give you extra space and can increase the value of your property. If you are hoping to turn your basement into an additional room for example or you just want to stop the water getting into your cellar, then please contact your local branch and the Richardson & Starling team will be happy to help you.Not sure if you can tank your basement or cellar? Contact your local branch for advice or a property survey today!