Why You May Need Tanking to Protect the Foundations of Your Major Structure

Posted on: 25 January 2022

It goes without saying that a major commercial structure is only as strong as its foundation. So, if you are in charge of such a project and choosing your key contractors, you'll want to take every step to get that element right. In particular, you will need to protect the foundations of a sprawling project while work goes on with a particular eye on waterproofing. What are some of the key strategies that your chosen construction partner should adopt?

Pressing Down

The more substantial the building, the more load it will impose on its foundations. The foundations will need to interact with the soil and rock formation below and take the water table into account. So, if the ground tends to be naturally wet, this can present a major challenge to a project of this size. And even if the ground is inherently dry, those sudden storms or a prolonged weather front could quickly present a problem, should waterproofing measures be ineffective.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure can come into play where water is present in any subterranean environment. This pressure could force that water into any unprotected structural items, which could present a long-term threat to the building's stability.

Tanking Solutions

Belowground waterproofing is often known as "tanking," which involves adding a waterproof barrier to the slab and surrounding walls to prevent any water ingress in the future. These tanking solutions can be applied in several different ways, like a physical membrane placed on the outside of the underground structure, which will keep moisture and gas vapour away.

Drainage elements can be incorporated into the structure (such as a cavity wall), which will allow any water that does enter to be pumped out instead. Also, certain additives can be introduced when the concrete is poured, making it less permeable in the first place.

Other, specialised products can be brought in if the underground conditions are especially wet. These solutions will react when water is present and will create an even stronger bond as a highly effective barrier.

Additional Measures

It's also important to employ other drainage tactics to give the underground tanking a helping hand. For example, a guttering system must be capable of dealing with the worst storms and must direct the water to a more appropriate location where it can be dispersed (such as a French drain).

Engaging a Contractor

Discuss waterproof tanking with a local civil contractor. They'll ensure that the relevant processes and procedures are followed so you will never run into issues with your foundation.


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