Yorkshire Dampcourse home page :: Waterproofing Lift Pits

Waterproofing Lift Pits

This page is new to our site and is still under developement.

YDC acknowledges help from Cook Group Ltd for the supply of text and photos on this page.

Cook Group and YDC have a close association, having worked together on joint projects for the last 10 years or so.


Waterproofing Leaking Lift Pits and Elevator Pits

Cook Group specialise in waterproofing all types of pits, shafts, lift & escalator pits, even earth rod pits. It doesn't matter to us if they are constructed from concrete, brick, concrete blocks, 50 years old or 5 weeks old we have tried and tested, proven solutions for them all. We guarantee our works, most of our specifications have the option of insurance backed warranties too.

How do we do it?

The most common systems we use we use for existing pits are:-

  • Single component Polyurethane elastomer resins
  • Acrylic Hydro - Structure resins
  • Cement based render & waterproof grout technology

Our specifications usually involve a mixture of systems. This is dependant on the construction and extent of the problem.

Our waterproofing specifications form a permanent water resistant seal around the earth retaining side of the lift pit walls or within the actual construction of the lift pit.

These specialist repairs are carried out without any major disruption or dismantling of the lift mechanism. Ultimately this means less inconvenience, down time and cost to the client.

We are happy to work outside of normal working to lessen any inconvenience to you or your client, this could be working nights or weekends

Why do Lift pits leak?

There can be many reasons why water enters a pit. Usually the reasons are a mixture of the following:-

  • The existing waterproofing system has been incorrectly applied or damaged during construction
  • The pit is too old for any effective waterproofing system to have been originally installed
  • Adjacent construction has altered or redirected the local water table
  • A nearby water main has burst or drainage has blocked
  • The time of year (wet weather can increase the water table)
  • Even water running into the pit, (say from a cleaners mop & bucket) making it look like a ground water problem (trust us we've seen this regularly) 

How does the water get in?

Depending on the type of construction water can enter a lift pit though several ways

If the lift pit is constructed from concrete (i.e. poured concrete walls in shuttering) there will be a construction or 'kicker joint' as it is more commonly known. Water can enter through this weak point. If there are any other cracks or imperfections in the concrete walls or base, water will enter through these areas also.

Leaking kicker joint to a lift pit treated by the Cook Group 

This shows a classic example of a failed Kicker joint.

This particular lift pit has had the usual remedy installed, a  sump pump. See our separate section on sump pumps in lift pits HERE

 Another form of lift pit construction is a traditional brick or concrete block built pit where the wall acts as the earth retaining structure. Ground water will enter through any weak points in the brick or blockwork, particularly the wall / floor joint or pointing.

 Leaking lift pit treated by the Cook Group

 This is a classic example of a leaking brick built lift pit


 A very common method of construction on newer buildings is to have the lift pit formed from mass poured concrete (usually as part of the foundations etc ) and to have a concrete block or brick inner face built. If water enters through this kind of construction the actual point of water ingress is hidden, historically this has proven very difficult to seal, for Cook Group however we simply use a different product and style of injection. The end result is the same - A Dry Lift Pit!

 leaking lift pit, water in a lift pit, leaking construction joint


 This is a lift pit with a concrete block inner skin during construction


leaking lift pit, water in a lift pit, leaking construction joint

This is a completed lift pit of the same construction as the picture of the liftpit under construction shows, note the substantial water ingress and more importantly the failed attempt to stop the water ingress by painting a cement based slurry coat onto the blockwork. This cheap option may have reduced or even stopped the water ingress short term but has done nothing to treat the actual cause of the problem.

BS EN81 states that lift pits should be fully waterproof once the mechanisms are fitted!

So if you have a problem with your annual insurance assessment flagging up water in the lift pit, leaking Kicker Joints, construction joints, expansion joints or cracks in concrete that need sealing and repairing we have the latest technology that will solve them all.

To sum up, if you have ground water ingressing into a lift pit (or any below ground structure for that matter), Cook Group have a solution it's as simple as that!

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