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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Handyman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2884
Experience:  i have extensive experience in the home improvement industry. my current job is at lowes home improvement.
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What is the best way to damp-proof a basement please? What

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What is the best way to damp-proof a basement please?
What are very rough costs for doing this per square metre?
(Property in question is a period (not listed though) property in the Midlands in the UK.)

Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience in the home improvement field. I'll be glad to assist you today.

The cost will vary quite a lot depending on what is going to be the correction to prevent dampness. It will likely involve digging up the foundation on the outside, down to the footing and sealing the wall from the outside and also installing a drainage system. This system could also include a sump pump if there is not any way to have water drain away using gravity. It is hard to certainly estimate what the cost would be but it could be as much as £8,000. It may be as little as £2,000.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for that.
Just to to clarify, we have no inkling of any damp yet.
Just looking at preventative maintenance.
We've heard of a thing called "tanking" of basements.
Is that the process you describe or....?
Tanking is sealing the interior walls to prevent dampness. I would not recommend this as a solution as it does not address drainage issues causing dampness and often does not result in a permanent solution. Dampness is caused by poor drainage around the foundation and when the water is allowed to stay it will eventually permeate through the wall and also damage the wall with time. Preventing water from entering a basement by sealing the interior wall seems like a logical solution and is a rational solution for very minor moisture issues but is very rarely the correct solution as it does not resolve the drainage issue causing the moisture.
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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Many thanks for an excellent, comprehensive answer.

You are very welcome