August 22, 2009

Basement Waterproofing – A Guide to Terminology

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If you’re contemplating renovating your basement, have been given a quote or are in the middle of the process you’re almost certain to come across terminology that you’re not familiar with – especially if you’re not an expert.

In this blog post, we’ll do our best to explain to you what the most common words and phrases mean.

Cavity Drainage

A method of basement waterproofing where sheets of plastic membrane are used to line the walls and floor of the basement. Any water that enters the gap between the outside and the membrane (called the drained cavity) is diverted to a sump pump and away from the dry basement.

Damp Proof Course or DPC

A layer of impervious material that prevents moisture rising from the ground into the walls of a building.

Damp Proof Membrane or DPM

A layer of impervious material that prevents moisture rising through a concrete floor.


A white powdery deposit caused by soluble salts migrating to the surface of a wall or ceiling.

Exterior Foundation Drain

A drain that’s located on the exterior foundation wall of the basement is considered the most effective means of basement waterproofing as it allows water to flow away from the basement without the necessity for pumps or electricity.


A waterproof sheet or skin.

Sump Pump

A pump that removes water from the basement area.


Waterproofing products that bond to the walls of the basement and physically hold back groundwater.

Construction Chemicals stock lots of different products suitable for basement waterproofing projects in their online store. Take a look for the items you need or ask questions in our DIY forum.

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