The British Structural Waterproofing Association



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Basement waterproofing, tanking, cavity drain and other waterproofing explained What is Structural Waterproofing?
Structural waterproofing techniques can be used to resolve a range of problems from waterproofing damp basements, underground vaults, cellars and tunnels to protecting car park decks, water treatment plants and swimming pools.
Structural waterproofing is a vitally important profession as significant parts of the UK's infrastructure are reliant on it.  Three major categories of use include:
1. Waterproofing to create a dry environment, such as
Domestic basements and cellars
Sub-terrain commercial premises, particularly in cities
Underground transport systems
Lift pits
2. Waterproofing for protection against deterioration, such as
Highway structures
Multi-storey car park decks
External balconies 
Roof terraces
3. Waterproofing for functionality, such as
Water towers
Water and sewage treatment works
Swimming pools
Wet rooms
Zoo seal aquaria
What types of structural waterproofing are there?    
Broadly speaking, there are five main categories:
Cementitious Tanking
Cavity Drainage
Sprayed Membranes
Bonded Sheet Membranes
Sprayed Concrete / Gunite.
Each of these will be more appropriate in different circumstances, and some situations will require a combination of methods.  It is important to engage a professional to specify the best system for each situation.    
Who can carry it out?    
Extreme care should be taken in appointing the right professionals to specify and undertake the work, as any problems arising can have serious consequences. Ninety nine percent accuracy in most skilled trades would be considered an excellent standard whereas in structural waterproofing it could constitute total failure!  In this vital area of construction, technical products are all too often specified by people without the requisite knowledge and experience, and applied by untrained labourers with little knowledge of the exact requirements, resulting in failure.    
Established in 1992, the British Structural Waterproofing Association is a trade association dedicated to raising levels of professionalism in structural waterproofing.  Its members, who have passed rigorous checks to be approved for membership, include international product manufacturers, independent consultants and trained, assessed specialist contractors.  To avoid dealing with inexperienced and untrained structural waterproofers, a BSWA member should be sought.  They can be identified by their use of the BSWA logo, and an up to date list can be found on this site.    
For more detailed information on waterproofing basements, refer to our basement waterproofing publications.    
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