“No Digging” Basement Waterproofing method
The Engineer Recommended Bentonite injection method requires No Digging, and prevents water penetration at the source – OUTSIDE. By blocking water BEFORE it hits the wall, it will increase the longevity of the foundation, and keep water from flooding your footing- the base your entire home is built on. This method requires homeowners to maintain their grading, gutters, and downspouts.
We use an exterior injection method with Bentonite clay to stop wet foundation walls and leaky wall cracks. Bentonite is recommended by engineers internationally when it comes to preventing water intrusion, but many don’t recognize the term because most people in the industry call it “MUD”. Bentonite was used to contain the BP Oil spill, it’s the material used when the Hoover Dam springs a leak, and it is the waterproof liner around every under-water tunnel system to date e.g. the tunnel from Michigan to Canada. Engineers love it because it doesn’t disintegrate or crystalize – so as a foundation shifts and settles, the clay shifts and settles with it. The government likes it because it’s completely natural so it won’t damage plants or animals.
How It Works: When building a man-made lake, construction workers will spread a thin layer of Bentonite clay at the bottom. The clay will absorb as much water as it can handle, then reject the rest – sealing the lake and preventing water from escaping into the ground. We use these same principals, only rather than holding water in a lake, we block water from touching the foundation. We do this by coating the exterior wall using a “No Digging” injection process.
By injecting material with low pressure grout pumps, we are able to displace loose soil around the foundation and replace it with Bentonite clay. This creates a water tight membrane barrier that prevents water from hitting the wall on the OUTSIDE of the building, rather than allowing water to compromise the concrete walls through penetration, then divert into an interior drain tile system. Although this process happens out of site, is still compromises the home’s structure. By preventing moisture from getting to the concrete, it will increase the longevity of the wall.
This engineer recommended application is used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
“I was so pleased to discover Great Lakes Waterproofing about a year ago. Over the years my husband and I did many things to waterproof our basement and old well house but nothing worked. He had dug up and tarred the outside, we had a company put some sort of an outside underground gutter, I had paved my driveway all the way to the house slanting it away, I had landscapers add fill dirt at the front to slope drainage away, I put gutters on the roof. STILL I had a river flowing down the side of my basement when there was any rain. My son discovered Great Lakes when researching companies so that he could sell his house last year. He was so pleased that I called them! I was amazed, because my son’s problem looked minor to me, but I thought it cost quite a bit. (But I would have considered it worth the price to be dry.) However, when I had them evaluate my house that looked to me like a major problem, they said it wasn’t bad at all and an easy fix – it cost much less than I expected and was neatly fixed in a day! They definitely knew what they were doing. I had a minor leak after (they told me that could happen) but they quickly fixed it and I have had a dry basement for the 2 rainy seasons since!” Sue H.
A hollow rod about an inch wide is connected to a hose that runs out to a mixer-pump system inside the Great Lakes Waterproofing truck. The rod or tube is placed vertically up against a wall.
From the truck, Volclay Bentonite is pumped with low-grade pressure through the rod in a fluid state against the structure’s exterior all the way down to the footing, where it sets up to a fairly solid, putty-like material after 45 minutes, expanding slightly to form a high-performance water barrier around the structure.
The high-bonding Volclay Bentonite gets into the structure’s cracks and fissures, forming a water-tight seal from the ground level down to the structure’s footing. The bentonite intermixes with the soil and expands up to a foot away from the building, preventing water from getting up against the structure in the first place.
Waterproofing on the outside stops the water before it gets in. Bentonite is an all natural product that should last the lifetime of your structure.
Hydro-Injection Bentonite Applications – Exterior Services
Volclay Bentonite is a highly cost-effective remedial waterproofing system that stops water infiltration in existing basement foundations.
For decades, Bentonite has been used year-’round to stop leaks in tunnels, subways, utility vaults, manholes and basements of residences and commercial office buildings. It is an extremely effective way to stop water penetration in concrete walls, masonry block and irregular stone foundations.
Plus, it prevents structural damage by keeping groundwater off and away from the walls in the first place with a water-tight barrier.
Volclay Bentonite is a high-solids grout consisting of bentonite and natural minerals formulated for sealing water leaks in existing below-grade structures.
During manufacturing, the mineral is force-dried at 650-degrees Fahrenheit to an 8 % bonded moisture content. The bonded hydration flexibility means that the Volclay Bentonite has a natural affinity for absorbing groundwater, and will not shrink, crack or dry out, regardless of season.
Once applied during a waterproofing job, the high-bonding Volclay Bentonite gets into the structure’s cracks and fissures, forming a water-tight seal from the ground level down to the structure’s footing. The bentonite mixes with the soil and expands up to a foot away from the building, preventing water from getting up against the structure in the first place. This not only prevents water penetration, but keeps groundwater off and away from the structure, helping to prevent mold, corrosion and long-term structural damage. The Volclay Bentonite never totally solidifies, but maintains a putty-like consistency over time, which prevents it from drying out, crystallizing or cracking. The Volclay Bentonite has the ability to expand or shift slightly when it gets wet. That is why it is highly regarded by engineers as an ideal means for waterproofing new and existing structures.
Volclay Bentonite is a pliable material that has the ability to self-seal if the structure or soils continue to settle, and therefore, its performance is not limited by subsequent hairline cracking.
It is generally pumped in about three-foot intervals, so as to disturb as little soil as possible, leaving the ground compact against the foundation. Because excavation is not required, installation is minimally invasive and will not disturb / damage the existing concrete structure. This technology allows clients to return to their daily routine immediately, without the headaches or hassles that destroying concrete floors and/or landscaping can cause. Since Volclay Bentonite consists primarily of sodium bentonite, it is environmentally safe, will not harm plants or animals, and will not degrade, thereby lasting the life of the structure. It’s performance is not affected by the freeze-thaw cycle and can be injected all year long.
By pumping the Volclay Bentonite down to the footing elevation, Great Lakes Waterproofing’s state-of-the-art process prevents deep groundwater from wicking up the walls. This can cause serious damage to the foundation of the structure, and often major interior damage as well. Exterior solutions using heavy equipment to dig outside can cause vibration cracks and other structural problems. Volclay Bentonite Injection requires no digging, and prevents water penetration at the source – outside. Interior Systems to address surface water cover the problem by diverting water out-of-sight, but structurally compromise the integrity of the foundation by keeping the footing (the foundation’s structure) in flooding conditions. This poses structural-integrity and mold issues.
The Bentonite Injection Method is specifically designed for issues with water entering the wall and cove joint. If water is entering through the floor itself, the only solution is a drain tile system