Basement Waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing in South Africa

Apex Waterproofing receives a lot of enquiries regarding basement waterproofing or sub-ground waterproofing. Very few waterproofing companies specialize in basement waterproofing,. Their systems tend to fail or the contractor refuses to take on the challenge. However, we love basement waterproofing purely because we have mastered the basement waterproofing systems available. Thus, we offer guarantees for all basement projects we successfully complete. Additionally, we advice you which system is best suited for your current situation.

Basement Waterproofing Projects

What Causes Your Basement To Leak?

  • Incorrect design from building stage.
  • Excessively high water table and hydrostatic pressure.
  • Damaged waterproofing on external walls.
  • Root growth or structural movement.
  • Inadequate subsoil drainage.
  • Blocked or failed subsoil drainage.

Symptoms Of Your Basement Leaking

  • The most obvious symptom is water seepage through the wall floor joints. This is the open joint where your masonry meets the concrete.
  • Damp and muggy feeling inside the room.
  • Mould smell or growth.
  • Bubbling paint.
  • Efflorescence or salts visible on walls.
  • Lifting floor tiles (if any).

Basement Waterproofing Recommendations

If your basement leaks once or twice a year during a multi-day long down pour, you can tank the basement and waterproof it from the inside relatively easily. However, if it leaks through normal Gauteng flash storms, we advise installing external subsoil drainage or an internal sump pump as an artillery measure to deal with the water.

My Basement Is Leaking. What Now?

The cheapest option and first point of call is to look at drainage in the vicinity. This alone may alleviate the problem entirely, depending on the severity of the leak. However, if you have a sump pump or subsoil drainage, your best option is known as tanking. This is an application of waterproof, structural slurry capable of withstanding high levels of negative water pressure. Therefore, this is a highly effective system when installed correctly.

What Not To Do When Your Basement Leaks

  • Do not apply a paint on ‘damp proofing’ or ‘waterproofing’ paint to the internal walls.
  • Drilling holes in the wall to drain water out the room will only make it worse.
  • Don’t apply any system onto the painted walls or floors.
  • Selling your house is not necessary as this is completely salvageable.


We have successfully solved many basement waterproofing problems. If you have any other questions or concerns you would like to ask us, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our basement waterproofing specialists.

Example Of Rising Damp

Rising Damp Explained

What is Rising Damp?

Rising damp can be defined as moisture which rises up from the ground and travels upwards in the masonry of the building structure by means of capillary action. This moisture dries out on the wall surfaces and can present in various unsightly forms such as paint failure, discolouration and mould growth.

Capillaries are very narrow passages or tubes which occur in masonry. Capillary action is when moisture rises up in these tiny passages even against the force gravity.

The foundations of a standard dwelling are generally constructed of concrete laid onto compacted soil. Brick work, usually between 5 and 8 courses high is built on top of the concrete foundation. A DPC (Damp Proof Course) usually consisting of a heavy-duty plastic layer is loose laid onto this. The rest of the wall is built on top of this plastic DPC layer. The section of brickwork between the foundation and DPC is designed to be a “wet zone.” The DPC is designed to prevent water from rising up beyond this wet zone. However, when various factors develop and the DPC is comprised, then rising damp can take place.

Rising Damp Explained


What Are The Signs Of Rising Damp?

Rising damp can occur to interior and exterior walls and usually presents in the lower portion of the wall typically up to a height of 1m. It is rare for rising damp to be higher than 1,2m. However factors such as tile cladding or a waterproof plaster applied to lower section of walls without installation of a chemical DPC can cause this occurrence.

The use of a moisture meter is sometimes used by professionals to detect rising damp, but usually the signs are very obvious and is not a necessary tool. There is moisture in walls naturally so using a moisture meter is almost always guaranteed to pick up moisture.


The usual signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Paint failure characterised by blistering and bubbling of the paint film.
  • Brown or darker stains or “tide” marks to the wall surfaces which is blemishes due to moisture in the wall.
  • Wall surfaces feel cold and clammy.
  • White powdery deposits on the wall surfaces, technically termed salts or efflorescence.
  • Crumbling and failure of plaster.
  • Rotting or warped skirting boards.
  • Mould smell which could be occurring under skirtings or carpets and is often is triggered by damp in walls.
  • Peeling or discoloration of wallpaper.
  • Rooms feel unusually cold in the winter months.
  • Mould on wall surfaces which is usually black in colour, but can also be brown, red, green and yellow.


What Causes It?

There are many possible causes of rising damp and these include the following:

  • DPC non existent, degraded or failed or is incorrectly positioned.
  • Moisture bypasses DPC via plaster from wet zone area.
  • Wall below DPC has been plastered and painted, which traps moisture inside the wall.
  • Excessive exposure of walls to rain due to design of house with no eaves or roofs with no gutters.
  • Ground level higher on other side of wall which breaches DPC.
  • Wooden floors which been removed and replaced with concrete


What Are The Detrimental Effects Of Rising Damp?

There are numerous adverse effects of rising damp. These would typically include the following:

  • Unsightliness. Paint failure occurs very quickly when rising damp is present and negatively impacts on the aesthetics of the building structure.
  • Devaluation of property. Buyers seldom want to purchase buildings which are damp affected.
  • Moisture in walls reduces insulation properties and makes buildings much colder in the winter months.
  • Damp in walls can trigger mould growth which has bad odour and is detrimental to health.
  • Rising damp can cause damage to property, especially to interior walls, including rotting of skirtings and carpets and rusting of metal door frames and electrical plug sockets.

For more information on rising damp and the services we offer, you can contact us by filling in our online enquiry form HERE or give us a call, 078 456 3442.



Our Partnership With Aquagard

Aquagard. A brand name synonymous with quality waterproofing products since 1990. The Napier family has been involved with waterproofing manufacturing since 1973 and contracting in roofing and waterproofing since 1976. Now, if that doesn’t impress you then we don’t know what will. As an approved applicator in South Africa, we are proud to specify their products on our damp proofing projects and roof repair projects.

More About Aquagard

Aquagard’s product range has been formulated to offer durable solutions against damp, rust and other water ingress issues. They are one of the most affordable waterproofing product manufacturers that offer more value than you will get anywhere else.

Aquagard not only has a range of products which are tried and tested, but of course has the technical expertise to back up the products. This includes on site surveys to ascertain which products are most suitable for the job, writing of specifications and training.

We love working with Aquagard due to their fast response, affordable products and all round value for money services. We are PROUD to be Aquagard Approved Applicators.


Aquagard Applicator


Derbit Partnership

Our Partnership with Derbit SA

Derbit SA. Their aim is to be the reference provider of sustainable solutions that safeguard buildings from the elements of nature. A company that has changed the face of waterproofing in South Africa. A company that provides products of only the absolute highest quality. And we are fortunate enough to say we are PROUDLY a Derbit Approved Applicators.

Our Story With Derbit

It all began on a busy waterproofing day when Richie got a phone call from a lady, Carlize, from Derbit SA. She wanted to meet up to discuss their product range. Of course, we had heard of Derbit and Derbigum before, so Richie booked an appointment. Thereafter, our relationship only grew as we order their torch on waterproofing on a weekly basis.

Our waterproofing team (who have dealt with various torch on waterproofing systems over the years) brag to other waterproofing companies how incredible Derbit torch on waterproofing is. The mastic that oozes from the torch on upon heat fusion is something out of a fairy tale waterproofing movie! (Mastic is what helps to secure the torch on to the surface. Lots of sticky mastic = quality waterproofing)

Derbit Torch On Waterproofing

Since Apex Waterproofing’s mission is to offer quality waterproofing services with 5 star client relations, we only use the best of the best. Derbit is considered one of the more expensive waterproofing brand names but they offer incredible quality and durability. If your preferred waterproofing contractor quotes new torch on or torch on maintenance, ask what brand of torch will be used. This is a clear indication of what type of waterproofing service provider you are dealing with.

Derbit’s approved applicator system is by no means easy. It requires project assessments and client follow ups on several different past projects.

We are proud to support them and to be one of the few approved applicators in South Africa.


Rising Damp Process

How To Fix Damp Walls

How to fix damp walls South Africa? Damp proofing is a skilled trade and should not be considered a DIY practice. Damp is the unwanted presence of moisture within a structure, whether on the exterior or interior of the building. It can be caused by different aspects such as leaking plumbing pipes, rising damp, water ingress from roofs or window sills and condensation.

How To Fix Damp Walls In South Africa

Damp proofing works as a long-term prevention of unwanted moisture. Damp treatment is NOT as simple as scraping off loose and flaking paint and coating with a product from your nearest hardware.

There are various types of damp. If the damp is not found at the base of the wall and is situated above eye-level then it is not rising damp. The area around the damp would then need to be inspected to investigate the cause. It could be a leaking downpipe, roof leak, plumbing, balcony leak or even a small crack on the exterior of the wall.

How Do I Know If My Home Has Rising Damp Treatment?

When a home or building is in the construction phase, a damp proofing course should be installed at the base of the walls by a specialised waterproofing or damp proofing contractor. Damp proofing and waterproofing in new builds is only 1.5% of the entire building cost. It is not an unnecessary purchase that many building contractors make it out to be. If you want your home or office to last as long as what it should, do NOT skip out on proper waterproofing and damp proofing. If you notice damp at the base of your walls leading up to a height of 1.3m, then that means there is either no damp proofing course installed or there has been damage to the foundation where the damp proofing course has been installed.

Contact The Damp Proofing Specialists

We are a 4th generation waterproofing and damp proofing company in Johannesburg. Our generation of waterproofing and damp proofing businesses have come from Cape Town and Gauteng. Therefore, we have seen tried and tested waterproofing and damp proofing methods that have failed making our solutions unbeatable. We offer industry standard guarantees and our on-site inspections and quotations are free of charge. Let us show you what we are capable of by contacting us today.

Roof Leaks

Common Causes Of Roof Leaks

Roof leaks are every homeowners worst nightmare. No one wants to fork out thousands to get fix their roof. It is what we like to call a ‘guilt purchase’. If the roof leaks are not discovered and repaired quickly, it can cause immense damage to the building structure. Here is a list of roofing aspects we think you should consider with roof leaks:

Dirt And Debris Build-Up

If you have a lot of overhanging trees by your rooftop or you see a lot of debris on your roof, call a roof repair specialist to come and clean and inspect your roof. It is important to keep your roof clean to permit adequate waterflow. Even if you do not notice any roof leaks, we suggest you have your roof inspected anyway.

Gutters And Downpipes

This goes hand in hand with item 1 above. Blocked gutters or down pipes will cause a water backlog. Thus, water will find its way under your roof tiles or metal sheets, causing internal leaks. Ensure your gutters are clean and are in good condition.

Roof Age

Roofs deteriorate overtime, that is inevitable. The older it gets, the less effective it becomes with keeping water out. South Africa is very prone to experiencing all 4 seasons in one day. This causes your roofs temperature to fluctuate often resulting in your roofing material to become brittle and crack or loose effectiveness. If your roof has not been inspected in more than 3 years, we strongly recommend you get your roof inspected ASAP. Roof leaks can occur for months before you see the symptoms in your interior space. But by that time, it is too late and the damage to your roofing structure has already been done.

Roof Ridges

Roof ridges are the highest point of the roof and covers the opening where the 2 roof planes meet. The roof ridges are normally joined with repair mortar which has a tendency to crack overtime. The tiny cracks result in roof leaks.

Roof Ridges


These little devils are the source of many roof leaks. Chimneys need to have specific flashings properly installed and the counter-flashing that goes into the brick mortar needs to be perfect. If not, you will have roof leaks guaranteed. Small hairline cracks often occur which causes major water ingress, especially in our heavy Johannesburg storms.

Valleys And Flashings

Valleys are long metal sheets that run up and down the intersection where two roofs meet. Roof flashings are metal sheets that are installed where objects or extra builds protrude from the roof. It prevents water from entering joints and causing roof leaks. If these vital aspects have holes or are not joined correctly, it will cause major roof leaks and damage.

Valleys and Flashings

Uneven or Unlevelled Surfaces

If you have a flat concrete roof that is not even or slopping slightly towards a downpipe, you will experience water ponding. Roofs are not designed to hold the weight of water so ponding will cause major roof damage if not corrected. Long periods of ponding can also create a build-up of silt. Silt is like tiny grains of sand and soil that start to break down the waterproofing on the flat roof. Thus, causing roof leaks.


This ‘Roof Leaks’ article has helped a lot of clients so we hope it will help you too. We are professionals in roof leak inspections and can assist you with any questions or queries you may have regarding your roof. There is a reason we have the reputation we do so don’t hesitate to call us today for a free roof inspection and quotation.

Damp Proofing Cost

How Much Does Damp Proofing Cost?

Damp proofing cost are based on a number of factors as damp proofing treatment can be very broad depending on what sort of damp it is.

Our Rising Damp Cost Factors Include:

  • Firstly, is it rising damp? If not, what sort of damp is it?
  • How many meters of damp need to be treated?
  • Are there any obstructions in the way of installing the damp treatment? (ie. windows, plugs, wall mounted items etc)
  • Is it a simple wall or are there permanent wall mounted objects that would need to be broken and removed and carted off site?
  • Is the damp accessible? We have had cases in the past where our team had to squeeze through a tiny gap under the bathroom basin cupboard in order to treat the rising damp on the wall.

With the above factors in mind, you can expect to pay the following for rising damp treatment:

  • Interior Rising Damp Less Than 10m – R730.00 per square meter.
  • Interior Rising Damp More Than 10m – R680.00 per square meter.
  • Exterior Rising Damp Less Than 10m – R600.00 per square meter.
  • Exterior Rising Damp More Than 10m – R520.00 per square meter.

What If It Is Not Rising Damp?

If the damp problems are not rising damp at all then a comprehensive investigation would need to be scheduled by our trained damp proofing team to determine what the cause the damp is. Damp can be caused by tiled roof leaks, flat roof leaks, leaking window sills, plumbing pipes, cracked exterior wall, leaking down pipes and more. For more information on damp, see our damp proofing page.

If you do have damp in your home and you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our damp proofing team. We will happily assist you with any queries you might have. We are a 4th generation waterproofing and damp proofing business so we have seen it all!

Waterproofing Options

3 Common Waterproofing Systems

Waterproofing systems are critical to have. A simple leakage in a building roof can often result into serious problems, not only causing damage to the building’s structure but can also be very expensive to fix.  Leaks can be mended with efficient waterproofing techniques done by a professional waterproofing company.

This ensures that water cannot penetrate through the roof of the building. The best and most cost-effective solution is prevention. Through durable sealing and applying of waterproof coatings, water intrusion can be prevented, eliminating water damage.

Consult with a roof waterproofing expert who will know the most effective waterproofing method to use for each application.

Sheet membranes and Liquid membranes are mostly used for implementing water protection for roofs. Let’s take a closer look at these three waterproofing systems.

Waterproofing Options:

Sheet Membrane Waterproofing (AKA Torch On Waterproofing)

Using high quality adhesive, sheet membranes may be cold applied or with the help of a torch. When done right, sheet membrane provides a durable and long-lasting waterproofing solution. Sheet membranes are good to apply to almost all horizontal areas that require waterproofing. They are usually high performance and non-hazardous.

Liquid Membrane Waterproofing

Liquid waterproofing membranes delivers an excellent waterproofing solution that is applicable to small or very detailed areas. It is ideal for wet areas, very easy to apply, resistant to UV rays and not harmful to the environment. A great advantage of using liquid membranes is that it creates a fully bonded, protective seal, this ensures that no water will enter beneath the membrane.

Epoxy Waterproofing

Epoxy is a type of resin adhesive membrane that dries hard, shiny, and smooth. Applying several coats of this can result in a water-proof or water-resistant surface. It is designed to be used as seamless waterproof membrane to protect concrete from water damage as well as resistant to bacteria and moisture due to its seamless nature. But epoxy waterproofing is rigid (not flexible) and may break when there are movements in the building elements due to thermal expansion and contractions.

What Is Important To Note

Roof waterproofing prevents damage to the roof and structure caused by water. Little attention is paid to the waterproofing as it ends up being hidden, when it fails it results in a very expensive repair.

In order to prolong the life span of a building structure and prevent damage, waterproofing methods must be properly applied by waterproofing specialists.


Credit: HPD Consult

Everything You Need To Know About Green Roofs

Simply put, green roofs are a system that is installed on an existing roof top covered by plants and other vegetation. Green roofs are becoming more and more common as society turns to being more environmentally mindful. Not to mention it is aesthetically pleasing. Although there are hundreds of benefits to having a green roof, the installation process is very involved. Even with a professional contractor. Whether the green roof is installed in a residential settlement or on a skyscraper in town, there are a few vital features to consider.

Green Roof Layers:

  • Waterproofing layer: Of course this is the most important process. You need an additional waterproof and root-resistant layer installed to keep the roof structure undamaged and safe. A green roofing system that ends up leaking into the interior of the building can be detrimental to the structure and the people inside.
  • Drainage & Filter layer: The excess water on the roof needs to escape somehow as standing water can cause a problem in the long term. Be sure that the roof outlets are always clear of dirt and debris. You can add pebbles at the entrance of the outlets to ensure no vegetation makes its way into the drainage system.
  • Soil Profile Layer: The perfect substrate for a green roof consists of low, lightweight nutrients. It should have a ratio of 30 percentage organic material and 70 percentage inorganic material. Soil that is too heavy, will contribute to the heavy load on the roof which you want to avoid as much as possible.


  • Vegetation Layer: Finally, the fun part. The type of plant you choose is dependent on whether you installed an extensive or intensive green roof. An extensive green roof plant choice(grasses, herbs, sedums) needs little to no maintenance with no irrigation system. An intensive green roof consists of vegetation(small trees and other deep rooting plant species) that needs professional maintenance and an irrigation system. You can tailor your choice to attract certain species of bird, bee or any other wildlife.

A Green Roof Note

A green roof naturally acts as an acoustic insulation, thermal insulation and fire retardation. Since the sun’s UV rays never get to reach your roof surface, the electricity used in your home decreases, saving you money!

We give the green roofing system two thumbs up! They have great benefits but if not installed correctly, this can be a very costly repair. Contact our team at Apex Waterproofing for any questions or queries. It pays to work with waterproofing and roofing professionals.

Benefits Of Roof Waterproofing

Is Your Leak Caused By Plumbing Or Waterproofing?

Firstly, you are not alone. We see this occurrence at least a few times a month, so it is a very common dilemma. Since both professions deal with water in different aspects, it can be difficult for clients to determine who to call first.

Ask The Following Questions:

  1. When does it leak (only when it rains, all the time, only when water is running through the taps, only when there is a lot of wind driven rain etc)?
  2. What is above the leak area (balcony, shower, roof)?
  3. Is there water supply or drainage pipes in the vicinity? It is common to find damaged drainage pipes/down pipes that are built into the wall.
  4. Are there aircon units in the vicinity? It is also common to find aircon condensation on ceilings, especially in a commercial setting.

Depending on the answers to the above-mentioned questions, the following steps will then need to be taken by a waterproofing professional:

  • Flood testing the area from the lowest point to the highest point (balcony, roof, bathtub etc).
  • If no leak is reproduced, at this stage we would recommend a plumber who would carry out one of 2 things; a pipe pressure test OR chopping to expose any underlying issues.

In our experience, this is the most thorough and cost-effective way to ascertain where your water ingress problem is situated. If it is not the waterproofing and is in fact plumbing, a waterproofing professional might still need to be hired in certain scenarios as the plumber would chop up any waterproofing that may have already been installed to get to the problem pipe (ie. Shower leaks, balcony leaks etc).

Our team not only offer free on-site inspections but we also compile detailed reports of what the cause is and what our tailor-made solution is to repair it. Contact us today and let us be of service to you.