Basements are some of the spaces in our houses that have proven to be difficult to manage when it comes to dampness and levels of moisture content. In some, there is actually a probability that water may fill about two inches of floor space. It is with this in mind that innovative companies have come up with membranes with an aim to make these spaces more hospitable. Waterproofing membranes have been around for some time now. With time, the designs and redesigns have improved, as has the ease of installation, plus the costs have also come down.
Types of Waterproofing Membranes
Waterproofing membranes are mainly used to prevent moisture from seeping through into the basement, while at the same time making the room warmer to make it more comfortable. It was normal before the 1990s for there to be a requirement to leave space between the membrane and the wall lining to prevent condensation on the membrane. Since the 1990s, the advice has generally changed to no ventilation between the membrane and wall. While condensation still happened, this was touted to have reduced the level of condensation.
Insulating a membrane involves having insulation in front of a membrane, allowing the insulation to keep the membrane and moisture behind it cooler, and reducing the transfer of cold conditions into the room.
This kind of membrane is the one method of waterproofing that also aims to increase the heat of the room. If the room is warmer and the wall and outside conditions are cooler, then insulating the membrane makes the room warmer and the wall and space between the wall and the membrane cooler.
This still runs the risk of higher amount of condensation, due to the moisture condensing on the cold wall surface. Although, currently dehumidifiers come in handy and are available inexpensively in hardware stores, the condensation problem may still manifest itself. An insulated membrane is the complete opposite of insulating a membrane.
An insulated membrane does not come as an afterthought, it is integrated in the building of the wall.
The insulation is behind the membrane, allowing for the option of the room to be warm and the wall cold, the moisture in between the wall and the membrane will be kept warm and thus does not run the risk of condensation.
This is a better option as opposed to having the insulation in front of the membrane. These membranes should be used in conjunction with other types of waterproofing equipment, such as sump tank and sump pump that can be instrumental in ridding the area of water content. When installed correctly, the membranes and an automated sump system work hand in hand to ensure that nearly all of the moisture content is drained out of the system. Alternatively, electric dehumidifiers can be used to remove the humidity in the basement, so should be installed strategically.
This is a piece of waterproofing that has come of age and that is encouraged in the building codes of some localities for efficient waterproof basements.
Don’t let your basement be uninhabitable; use waterproofing membranes.