Hydro-Injection Bentonite Applications – Exterior Surfaces
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.
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, and worked down through the soil by hand down to the foundation’s footing (drilling is required if there is a cement slab or sidewalk up against the 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. 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 consisting 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 in the construction industry for its flexible properties.
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 mostly compact against the foundation. Because excavation is not required, installation is fast and easy. 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 along the walls, which can damage the foundation, drywall and carpeting or tile. Companies that use 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. Companies that use internal systems to address external water are essentially putting a band-aid on the problem, because much of the groundwater will still remain on the wall and in the wall, which poses structural-integrity and mold issues.