What to do with semi-basement / cellar

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I live in a 1910 edwardian terraced property in Yorkshire with a cellar under the whole house. The cellar area at the back of the house is partially underground but also has a door and steps up into the garden. It currently house the boiler, washing machine and tumble dryer.

The cellar room at the back of the house is slightly damp - there is no water ingress, however the walls can be slightly damp to touch at the bottom in areas and if you leave a cardboard box down there for a few days it will go a bit soft. The boiler is down there but there are no radiators. The walls have been painted at some point however this is flaking off in parts and the underlying brickwork isn't in the best condition in places.

I would like to make this more of a servicable room so it could be used as an occasional office for working from home without spending a fortune on a full conversion. I am not sure what to do about the walls, reducing the damp as far as possible and whether to install a radiator:

1) Walls - is it an option to strip the paint off these and re paint with masonary paint? If so, how would I best strip the paint?
2) Radiator - would installing a radiator help alleviate the damp issues? It is currently very cold down there in the winter.

It's worth noting as well that there is ventilation in the form of a chimney breast which used to house an old range and a window which can be left cracked open, so no shortage of ventilation down there.
 

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You will get opinions on tanking, membranes and so on. But for me, if you want a habitable room, the British Standard BS 8102 on basement waterproofing is the only option worth considering. Internal tanking can only delay and move where water penetrates.

In brief:
Type A - external membrane. Only an option with new build
Type B - structurally integral, again only an option with new build
Type C - creation of a drained cavity, including sump pump. This can be retrofitted


Type C waterproofing is not cheap but it is the only way to retrofit a truly habitable space in a cellar.
 
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I would like to make this more of a servicable room so it could be used as an occasional office for working from home without spending a fortune on a full conversion. I am not sure what to do about the walls, reducing the damp as far as possible and whether to install a radiator:
There are only 2 viable choices with basements.
1 - pay a very substantial amount to convert it properly.
2 - close it up and never go there again.
 
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You may get away with a waterproof render system from the likes of Sika for example, depending on the level of waterproofing required (ie water pressure), (you'd need to speak with them or their suppliers to find out), though these renders systems require absolutely meticulous application if they are to be successful.

The rigid dimpled membrane systems (eg Newlath) are generally fairly simple to apply and very effective.

Speak with someone such as Permaguard.
 
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JBR

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There are only 2 viable choices with basements.
1 - pay a very substantial amount to convert it properly.
2 - close it up and never go there again.
3 - leave it as it is and accept the damp. The house won't fall down, and you can use the cellar for appropriate storage.
Wen ah wer a lad in Bradford, we had a damp cellar part of which was a coal cellar. My dad kept all sorts of things down there which would not be damaged by damp. Apart from being damp, it was also cool which could be an advantage.
 

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