Is Tanking a Wall Expensive? And how to save money

When water is penetrating through a wall into a property, it can cause a significant amount of damage. Therefore, it is important to stop the passage of moisture at an early stage. This will help to avoid more serious internal damage.

One popular method for stopping penetrating damp is tanking your walls. This can be done in several different ways. It is sometimes used as a standalone treatment, and other times it is used in conjunction with other damp proofing techniques.

Tanking a wall can vary in price quite dramatically. The price will depend on the type of tanking that is carried out. For example, applying tanking slurry as a DIY project, could cost as little as £3 per square meter. However, a more sophisticated tanking system, with a membrane, drainage channels and sump pump, could cost as much as £80 per square meter.

is tanking expensive

The option you choose, and the price will depend on a few different factors.

  1. Can you reduce, or even stop the penetrating damp by fixing issues externally? If you can, a simple tanking slurry will probably suffice.
  2. Is the level of penetrating damp minor? Again, if this is the case a slurry will usually be fine.
  3. What level of finish do you require? Generally, a larger scale tanking system, will be part of creating a habitable space. For example, converting a damp basement into a usable room. On the other hand, if you are tanking something like a garage, this would be unnecessary. Also, it is still possible to achieve a high-quality finish with a slurry.

There is one main reason to opt for a more expensive system. This is when high levels of damp are present, and they cannot be stopped or significantly reduced externally.

Can you apply tanking slurry yourself?

Tanking slurry is quite easy to work with, it can be applied with a stiff masonry paint brush. All good products come with simple instructions, so providing you can read and follow them, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Tools you will need include:

  • A bucket – This will be used to mix your slurry.
  • A paddle mixer – If you don’t already own a drill, your best option is a power mixer. You can see a popular/affordable model by clicking here . If you do already own a drill, you can simply buy a paddle Click here to see a good option
  • You will also need a decent wide masonry brush Check here

For the slurry itself, we recommend KA tanking slurry. This is a product we have used on a personal project. The slurry was used to help waterproof an external building, which was converted into an office.

Is hiring someone to apply tanking slurry expensive?

Hiring a professional to apply your tanking slurry is a personal choice. However, it is a very easy job, so most people could probably do it themselves. However, if you are not comfortable, not able, or simply don’t want to do it, then you can certainly hire in a professional.

Generally, this won’t be that expensive. The tanking slurry itself is quite cheap, a single 25kg tub of KA tanking slurry, will cost about £25. This will give you roughly 8 square meters of coverage when applying two coats.

If you provide materials yourself, then you are simply paying for labour. A typical day rate for this kind of work will range between £100 – £150 per person. So, you should be able to get the job done to a professional standard, at a very reasonable price.

If you want to save even more money and find the best person for the job, then using a comparison site to hire is your best bet. The advantage is you can read reviews and hire a reputable company. Plus, you are more likely to get the lowest possible price. These sites are quite competitive, people bidding on your job will often need to compete on price.

To check the UK’s most popular damp comparison site and get local quotes Click Here

What if tanking slurry isn’t suitable?

As we already mentioned, there are cases when tanking slurry won’t be a suitable solution. A good example of this, is tanking a cellar that is taking on a lot of water. In this case, reducing the flow of moisture externally is very unlikely.

If a tanking slurry is used in this scenario, it is very likely that it will fail. When large amounts of water are penetrating, this will exert a significant amount of pressure. Over time this can cause your tanking to blow. Essentially, the pressure will push the tanking off the wall and the problem will resume.

In this scenario, you need to collect the water via a cavity membrane and a drainage channel. Following this, the water will be pumped out of the property into a drain via a sump pump. Once installed the system is beneath the surface and can’t be seen.

The membrane sits behind your finished walls and the drainage channel is installed around the perimeter of the room, like a gutter. It collects water that runs down from the membrane and will be covered by your flooring. This water is then drained towards the sump pump, which is installed below ground level.

Obviously, this is all very technical and much more complex than mixing and applying slurry. For this reason, you will need to hire a professional.

Again, to make sure you hire the best company, at the best possible price, you should use a comparison site. One of the best things about this, is you can read feedback. Many of these companies will already have reviews for this exact kind of work.

Also, you can see discounts as high as 50% due to the competitive nature of these sites.

Click here to get local tanking quotes now!


The Damp Buster is reader supported. When you buy after clicking a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.