renovate, renovation, painting-3293498.jpg

Damp proofing for old cellars and basements

Are you tired of dealing with damp and mold in your old cellar or basement? These issues are not only unsightly, but they can also be dangerous to your health. Damp can weaken the structure of your home and lead to respiratory problems. In this article, we will share with you effective strategies to damp proof old cellars and basements.

What Causes Damp in Old Cellars and Basements?

Before discussing strategies to prevent damp, it’s important to understand the causes of damp in old cellars and basements. Here are the common causes:

  1. Groundwater: Older homes were typically built with basements that were not designed to be watertight. This means that groundwater can easily seep through the walls and cause dampness.

  2. Surface Water: Water from rain and snow can enter through doors, windows, and other gaps around the foundation of your home.

  3. Leakage: Leaking pipes, faulty gutters, and loose roof shingles can also cause water to enter into your basement.

  4. Poor Ventilation: If your basement does not have adequate ventilation, moisture can accumulate, and cause damp and mold growth.

Strategies to Damp Proof Old Cellars and Basements

Now that you understand the causes of damp in old cellars and basements, let’s discuss some effective strategies to prevent it:

1. Install a Damp Proof Membrane

A damp proof membrane is a waterproof layer that is installed on the walls and floor of your basement or cellar. This prevents groundwater from seeping through and causing dampness. A professional Contractor can install a damp proof membrane for you, and it’s a highly effective strategy to prevent damp.

2. Use Waterproof Paint or Tanking Slurry

Waterproof paint is a special type of paint that is designed to prevent water from penetrating through the walls of your basement or cellar. This can be effective for preventing damp caused by surface water. Tanking slurry is a mix of cement and water that is applied to the walls of your basement to create a waterproof seal. Both waterproof paint and tanking slurry can be applied as a DIY project.

3. Improve Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial for preventing damp in your basement or cellar. Good ventilation allows moisture to escape, preventing it from accumulating and causing dampness. Consider installing a dehumidifier or a ventilation system to improve circulation in your basement. Keep the windows and doors open when possible to allow fresh air in.

4. Insulate Pipes

Insulating your pipes can prevent condensation from forming which can lead to dampness. This is especially important if you have hot water pipes in your basement. Insulating them can also save you money on your energy bills by reducing heat loss.

5. Repair Windows and Doors

If your windows and doors are old and drafty, they may be contributing to the dampness in your basement or cellar. Replace any damaged or rotten frames, reseal any gaps, and install new weather stripping to create an airtight seal. This will prevent water from entering through these gaps.


Why is damp in basements and cellars dangerous?

Dampness can weaken the structure of your home and lead to respiratory problems. Mold growth can also worsen allergies and asthma symptoms.

Can I prevent damp myself or should I hire a professional?

You can prevent damp yourself by using DIY solutions. However, for more serious damp problems, it’s recommended to hire a professional contractor to inspect your home and provide the best solutions.

How can I tell if my basement is damp?

Look for watermarks on the walls, condensation on the windows, mold growth, musty smells, and peeling paint or wallpaper. These are all signs of dampness.


Dealing with dampness in old cellars and basements can be frustrating, but it’s important to take action to prevent it. By following these strategies, you can effectively damp proof your basement or cellar. Remember to always wear protective gear and follow safety guidelines when attempting a DIY project. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with dealing with dampness, consider hiring a professional contractor for the best results.

Fix It Painting

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Need help?
Hi there,
Can I offer you a FREE no obligation quote?