Basement is an integral part of a high-rise building. Basements are more prone to water related problems and hence every structure needs quality basement waterproofing. Basement provides not only solid foundation to any building but also additional spaces which can be used in various ways. Earlier basement were mainly used for utility spaces such as boiler, water tanks, car parking but now it is being used even as living and office spaces. In private house, people are having Gyms, Home Theaters and Bars etc. in basements. Though some small builders or contractors do not go for basements construction due to technicalities required and some hassles in constructing basements. Water-prone problem is a fundamental problem in basement. With technology advancements and available solutions, basement problems can be solved easily. Basement waterproofing is one of the most basic cautions that we should take to make basements more secure and liveable.
Cause and effect of water in basements: Why we require Basement Waterproofing
Water leakage and flooding
In basement, concrete absorbs water from surrounding soil and water enters into internal walls by capillary action. Water can enter in basement through walls, floors or joints and can create various major problems. During heavy rainfall or if there is any leakage in underground drain system, most of the basements get water flooding. Water seepage leads to damage in concrete that result in corrosion and destruction of building structural.
Guniting is regarded as one effective solution for basement waterproofing problems though it just reduces porosity of concrete and does not provide any solution for damp basements.
How capillaries are formed in structures?
Let us discuss how capillaries are developed in concrete. Basic concrete material that we use in basement is prepared by mixing cement, sand, gravel and water. In concrete mixture, to easing mixing and workability, water is always used more than required. Once the concrete is fixed, excess water and moisture is evaporated. Hence final concrete contains tiny holes and capillaries which have been created by evaporating moisture. These capillaries and holes make the concrete porous and water can easily seep through concrete.
Besides capillaries actions, hydrostatic pressure also creates dampness in basement. In surrounding soil of basement, ground water moves with the influence of gravity or move laterally or upward by capillary action. Water moves in direction of most permeable soils and basement structure provides an environment for accumulation of ground water. This accumulated ground water exerts hydrostatic pressure against walls and floors of basement structure and let the water enters into structural. Hence basement waterproofing is very necessary to avoid this.
Underground hazardous liquids and gases
Besides water and moisture, lot of hazardous liquids and gases are present in surrounding soil of basement structure. All the expanding gases, move from high pressure atmosphere to low pressure atmosphere. Unfortunately, vapor pressure in soil is higher than inside structures and hence vapors of hazardous gases and liquids enter inside the basement through capillary action in concrete. In developed areas, ground water and soil are even more contaminated with more hazardous gases and liquids. Leaks in sewer, septic systems and underground fuel tanks further deteriorate the soil. Exposure to such toxic environment can cause several serious diseases in humans and should be avoided by taking proper preventions.
Fungi and bacteria born and grow up in moist places. Hazardous gases and bacteria developd due to dampness inside basements can make anyone ill. Exposure with such atmosphere should be avoided as it might lead to prolong diseases as well.
Structural movements of buildings create cracks in structure and damage the property in long run. These movements can be happened because of below grade construction materials or techniques, poor planning by builders or variations in moisture in surrounding soil.
Foundation of any building reuires especial cautions and care and should be protected well from these problems.