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Spotlight On: British Structural Waterproofing Association

Written by Roma Publications

Spotlight On: British Structural Waterproofing Association

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 waterproofing to create a dry environment, waterproofing for protection against deterioration and waterproofing for functionality.

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.

Extreme care should be taken in appointing the right professionals to specify and undertake the work, as any problems arising can have serious consequences. 99% 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.

There are five main categories of structural waterproofing; Cementious Tanking, Cavity Drainage, Sprayed Membranes, Bonded Sheet Membranes and Sprayed Concrete. 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 correct system.

The British Structural Waterproofing Association seeks to improve standards within the structural waterproofing industry, for example by means of promotion of qualifications and training for members involved in specifying and applying waterproofing systems, publications such as Waterproofing Existing Basements and the Basement Waterproofing Design and Site Guides as well as Promoting standards through the trade press and construction authorities and helping customers to find the most appropriate member for their requirements. The association conduct a thorough vetting of applicants to ensure provision of the necessary expertise in this specialist field.

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