How to Waterproof a Basement in South Africa

So the rains are well underway in Gauteng and Free State, with moderate fall in surrounding provinces. This has largely been good news following what was a very scary drought that occurred last year. Another good thing to report is that the Vaal dam is filling somewhat, so while water restrictions need to be respected, there is no immediate threat of being waterless this Christmas.

However, with so much rain comes to a few negatives. While the title of this blog sounds like it belongs in the UK rather than SA (because there aren’t that many basements in SA, and water isn’t usually a threat to those few houses with basements) people can still learn a thing or two, especially if some rooms within your home are partially subterranean.

Make sure that you consider the following tips for waterproofing during the rainy season in SA:

Slope Ground Away From Your Home

Whether it’s paving or lawn, make sure that the surface that lies against the walls of your home or business slopes away from the walls, especially if you have a basement or subterranean room. Keep this in mind if you’re laying paving yourself, or gardening close to your house.

Install a French Drain  

This is actually easier than it sounds. Next to the wall of your basement, just dig a trench about 30cm deep, but gradually sloping to a point away from your walls. Within the trench, that should extend right around the wall surrounding the basement, lay down PVC piping. Make sure that you pockmark the PVC with holes using an electric drill before laying it down. This will allow water to enter the pipe, and flow away from the walls of the basement. Fill the trench with course stones (that won’t be able to enter the pockmarked PVC), and top the trench off with regular soil and lawn. The French Drain will capture the most of the excess water, and prevent it from damaging your foundations.

Water Proofing Coat

Make sure that you coat your walls on the inside of the basement with waterproofer. A liquid like that of Drylok is pretty rare in South Africa, but the larger hardware retailers (like Builders’ Warehouse) should stock a waterproofer, instead of a simple water sealing paint. This waterproofer must be applied before the wall’s base coat as it bonds with the wall itself.

And there you have it; those are all the steps you’d need to effectively waterproof a basement for either a home or a business in South Africa. Luckily we don’t have to employ some of the more radical techniques as used in Europe or the US, but it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

If you need professional waterproofing services for roofing in South Africa, make sure that you contact Easy Flow Gutters today! We look forward to hearing from you.

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