Pub Cellar Waterproofing

By | January 5, 2010


Cellar waterproofing

Is your cellar a paddling pool, do you need flippers to change the barrels? Despair not, help is at hand and it doesn’t cost too much to keep you dry!

Most cellars are built below ground level and often have problems with water ingress. This can be caused intermittently by regional flooding or the presence of rising ground water levels. Whatever the cause of your particular problem, there is a real need for an effective, efficient and long lasting waterproofing system to provide reliable protection. Such systems are readily available but the selection of the most appropriate to suit specific circumstances should be identified by a specialist in this field.  

There are two main ways to waterproof below ground cellars, either by

A)                The application of a cement or lime based specialist waterproofing product (quite often referred to as tanking) to the inner face of the wall. This works well in conditions of low hydrostatic pressure but is not recommended for areas prone to regular flooding and high water table levels.  


B)                In high water pressure situations by the installation of a cavity membrane and drainage system water ingress is managed and controlled by a combination of an internal barrier installed in association with a capable drainage system. 

In both cases, by the creation of an effective waterproof box, damp unhealthy conditions are avoided within the cellar. Whatever the circumstances, structural waterproofing can incorporate improved insulation as part of the installation. Humidity is controlled and the risk of corrosion to installed equipment and even the electrical installation is avoided. Whatever the system used there are a variety of floor and wall finishes that can be installed from granolithic floors to hygienic wall boards. Therefore, installing an appropriate structural waterproofing system provides that the cellar environment is more efficiently managed and financial savings achieved by reduced maintenance and repair.

With the introduction of a waterproofing system below ground, care must be taken in the fixings to the wall or floor of new equipment. There are methods for fixing into a waterproof system that will not jeopardize its future integrity and a specialist structural waterproofing contractor will be able to advise so that the work will not have been in vain!

In cases where the hydrostatic (water) pressure is light, or the cellar is partially above ground, cavity membrane systems can be installed in a vented mode, where an air gap is left at the top and bottom of the wall to allow the air to move and any water ingress to evaporate. In this method, a drainage channel is incorporated at the bottom of the wall to carry off any excess water collected. However, in a food environment, a sealed mode must always be adopted!

 Drainage provision within waterproofed cellars will often rely on the installation of a sealed pump and sump arrangement. Double pumps with non return valves are generally fitted with either automatic or manual switches. In this way the risk of drainage backflow is avoided in cases where external flooding is experienced. 

 As you can see from this brief overview, the installation of a suitable structural waterproofing system in a cellar needs to take many factors into consideration. It should be appreciated that when it comes to below ground level water levels, conditions can change from property to property. In order to achieve cost savings and provide the required level of protection the advice is to employ the services of an experienced specialist to ensure that the most appropriate system for your property is installed.

 Here’s to a dry cellar in the future or at least one that is free of surface water!

Submitted by

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.