How to deal with damp in cellars

Question: Can airtightness products be used to deal with damp in cellars? We are currently converting our basement into a useable room and were wondering if an airtightness membrane like Intello Plus could be used against the damp concrete wall to help keep the interior dry.

Bill Butcher, Director, Green Building Store

Bill Butcher, Director, Green Building Store

Answer: Intello Plus is an ‘intelligent’ membrane which acts like a normal polythene vapour barrier in winter, stopping any water vapour moving through it and potentially damaging the fabric of the building.  The really clever bit though is in summer when Intello allows the building fabric to dry out with water vapour able to move through from the building fabric to the room.  This is not what is needed in a cellar, where a waterproof tanking solution is needed.  There are a variety of tanking solutions for cellars, from special renders to plastic ‘egg box’ type membranes.  The most suitable solution will depend on a number of factors, particularly on how damp the wall is and whether there is any water seepage through the wall.  It is probably best to consult a specialist as to the most appropriate tanking solution for your situation.

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