Waterproofing Concrete… in Basements

Waterproofing challenges for concrete structures below grade.

A basement may contain habitable space, although more commonly the basement area of a multi-storey structure is set aside for parking and utility rooms. This is in contrast to the foundation of the building and differs in some respects from a structural service pit such as a lift well. The substructure will be in contact with the surrounding earth. There will be penetrations for ventilation and other services.


The great challenge is waterproofing.

Not only is it crucial to keep the usable space dry, it is also imperative to maintain the integrity of the structure itself.

Waterproofing structures below grade is a very broad subject. To focus on the concrete itself, the construction methods vary to some degree, and there are a variety of approaches to its protection from moisture. Initial membranous treatments or tanking may deteriorate with age, or become damaged as a result of inadequate flexibility. For optimum results, controlling concrete’s porosity will provide long-term protection for the structure.


Ideally, concrete’s porosity should be permanently sealed …

… against moisture movement within the matrix. This provides a barrier against seepage which is not dependent on membranes or tanking.

For a thorough concrete waterproofing solution, MARKHAM offers the BASE-TECT SYSTEM which will give long-term peace of mind. Hydrogel waterproofing admixture is incorporated in the concrete mix, which permanently seals the porosity through the entire thickness of the concrete. This is valid whether the concrete is of precast or shotcrete construction.

Then after placement, as curing commences, further treatment of catalytic hydrogel is spray-applied to the surface. This provides high-quality curing and penetrating surface hardening. The combination of these treatments gives a long-term high-quality waterproofing result.

To complete the comprehensive approach, we offer delayed-expansion waterstops for slab joints and penetrations.


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If you are currently working on or planning a construction project which includes a basement area, the friendly team at MARKHAM can help you design a full guaranteed BASE-TECT waterproofing package!

Banner photo by Raynaldy Dachlan on Unsplash

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