When it comes to basement waterproofing, there are three main types of basement waterproofing systems available for your property, ranging from traditional methods like tanking to more modern internal water management systems.


Basement tanking is a traditional form of basement waterproofing. It involves putting a waterproof render such as a waterproof cement or slurry on the internal walls to form a ‘tank’ that stops the water from entering. The render gives a smooth, seamless wall surface which looks good and provides moisture control.

Being a traditional form of basement waterproofing, there are issues with this basement waterproofing system particularly if the area you live in is susceptible to ground movement or vibrations. That said, it can be an ideal solution for certain spaces.


Basement waterproofing from the outside is another concept that has been around for a long time. Exterior basement waterproofing systems are often installed to protect foundations of properties during construction.

In recent years, the most common form of exterior waterproofing is the use of either an external membrane or cementitious render on the external foundations in conjunction with a traditional French drain that runs along the outside of the property, below ground. This helps manage excessive levels of ground water that can cause hydrostatic pressure to build up against underground foundations.

While this solution can be successful in construction projects, it is not ideal as a retrofit solution as it does involve serious excavation. Retro-fit French drains are also susceptible to clogging from surrounding slit and soil.


Basement waterproofing from the inside is the most modern method of basement waterproofing. Originally pioneered in the USA, these clever “water management” systems are now used worldwide. Rather than allowing ground water pressure to build up against a cementitious barrier or an external membrane, water ingress is instead allowed to enter the property and then channelled back out using a combination of internal membranes and innovative basement drainage systems. A sump pump will then remove any water safely and efficiently. This method ensures that basements, cellars or any other space below ground level can remain dry without any external excavation. These systems also remove the risk of ground water pressure building up to a point that a physical barrier would crack.

Moreover, there is one last major bonus… these systems tend to be far more cost effective and easier to install.


The waterproofing grade ratings relate to how effective the waterproofing system needs to be. In some instances, such as industrial environments, some water ingress will be tolerated. Whereas in other environments, such as domestic basement conversions, no dampness whatsoever can be tolerated.

  • Grade 1 – Some water seepage and damp is tolerable depending on the intended use. Car parks etc.
  • Grade 2 – No water penetration is acceptable. Damp areas are tolerable depending on the end use. boiler rooms, workshops etc.
  • Grade 3 – No dampness or water penetration is acceptable – Ventilated residential and commercial areas such as homes, offices, shops etc.

Wise Basement Systems will be able to recommend the appropriate grade of waterproofing for your project and relate that grade to the “type” of waterproofing that will be applied.


The different waterproofing “types” relate to the actual make-up of the waterproofing system used. These range from simple water barriers to integrated solutions and retrofit internal waterproofing systems.


Type-A Waterproofing is defined by The British Standards Institute as ‘barrier protection’. This means a material, such as waterproof cement, is applied that will offer a barrier to water ingress from outside. When applied to basements and cellars this type of waterproofing will often be referred to as basement tanking.


Type-B Waterproofing grade is defined as the structure itself being an integral water resistant shell. This means that any structural waterproofing in a Type B systems is integrated into the structure at the time of construction. Invariably this means a build of reinforced concrete supplemented with a method of controlling water ingress


Type-C Waterproofing is defined by the structure itself providing the initial resistance against water ingress but also incorporates a drained cavity. The structure will permanently rely on the cavity drainage system to collect groundwater ingress through the structure and direct it to drains or a sump pump for removal.


Understanding the problems that underground structures face when it comes to waterproofing can be complicated. At Wise Basement Systems, we live and breathe basement waterproofing. It is our passion and area of expertise.

To speak to a structural waterproofing expert about your basement or cellar, call wise Basement Systems today or contact an expert online using our contact form below.

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