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Safeguard does stellar job for Star Café


The vintage charms of a vaulted basement are once again being appreciated by the patrons of a popular watering hole and cafe after damp-proofing systems from Safeguard Europe tackled severe penetrating damp.

Known as a Soho institution and frequently featured as a film set, the Star Café has a double life: operating as a traditional Italian eatery during the day but transforming into the louche London Gin Club in the evenings. Its basement had provided an intimate venue for meetings and private functions but severe penetrating damp, made worse by nearby tunnelling work on the Underground, had ruined the painted brickwork décor and solid wood floor. 

The challenge for basement waterproofing experts London Remedial was to deal with the penetrating damp while retaining the vintage appearance of the brickwork and ceiling height. “Structural movement and the vaults being situated beneath a road subject to heavy traffic made the cavity drain membrane system an obvious choice because of its flexibility and longevity,” said John Butcher of London Remedial.

London Remedial applied Oldroyd Xv clear 8mm membrane to all walls and soffits and then applied Oldroyd Xv20 to the floors, together with Aquadrain drainage channels to manage any incoming water which was then safely removed by a Sentry twin sump and pump system with alarm. The basement is well supplied with power points, which came through the membrane but were sealed using Oldroyd Overseal Tape.

Safeguard2To mimic the original appearance, the contractors drylined the Oldroyd membrane using timber battens and plasterboard and then laid and pointed brick slips on the lower portion of the wall, finishing the rest of the archway with plaster. This combination of plaster and brick slips enabled the room to keep much of its character while catering to the sophisticated requirements of its cosmopolitan clientele.

Oldroyd Xv, Oldroyd Aquadrain, and the Safeguard Sentry Pump and Sump System are complementary products that together form a system that manages penetrating damp and provides for dry, usable basements.

Oldroyd Xv is a studded cavity drainage membrane that separates plaster and decorative finish from the damp walls, enabling water to run down the wall and into the Aquadrain, a perimeter drainage channel that protects the vulnerable junction between wall and floor. The Aquadrain then collects any water that enters through either the floor or the walls and directs it towards the Sentry Pump and Sump System, which will pump the water back outside. The Safeguard Sentry range of pumps has been specifically designed with pump specialist Edincare to deal with both flooding and with drainage in basements.

Oldroyd Xv20, used on the floor in this case, has 20mm diameter studs that provide a greater drainage and flow capacity than standard cavity drain membranes so is suitable for civil engineering applications as well as waterproofing large commercial basements. Typical applications also include tunnel waterproofing, radon and ground gas protection and land slip stabilisation. The membrane contains a minimum of 49% recycled content.

Full information on all these products – together with details on CPD courses on waterproofing new and existing basements – can be found on www.cellars.co.uk, the industry-leading resource created by Safeguard Europe. This easily navigable site examines the issues involved and solutions required in conversions and new build, the different generic waterproofing systems available together with their benefits and drawbacks.

The site provides full details of the design and detail required for each form of basement construction, together with CAD drawings that can be downloaded in PDF, DWG or TCW format.


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