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Old 10-06-2010, 09:46 AM
 
126 posts, read 204,607 times
Reputation: 51

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Hi everyone,
I'm having a hard time trying to find a company in the Cleveland area that uses sodium bentonite for basement waterproofing. Most companies have no idea what it is and the only one I've found (Great Lakes Waterproofing) isn't very good at getting back to me. They're located around Illinois/Wisconsin and can't drive out to give an estimate, but they'll come to do work.

I've had some people recommend this method to me and say that I don't need the full excavation done to fix my problem. Sodium bentonite is a type of clay that absorbs water and is injected into the ground outside to fill in the cracks. It's more popular out West because that's where they mine the material.

If anyone knows of a company that will do this, please let me know! I would really, really appreciate it! Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:47 AM
 
Location: A voice of truth, shouted down by fools.
1,086 posts, read 1,411,540 times
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I think you're kind of wasting your time, I mean with the sodium bentonite.

I had my basement near Cincinnati waterproofed by a local company that used a bentonite clay mixture that they pumped around the foundation. Their claim was that this was the primary barrier against water and the floor drains that they installed inside the basement walls were just a "backup". Well, over the years, the "backup" floor drains are active when we have over 1" of rain outside, and as far as I can tell the bentonite did absolutely nothing (at least I didn't pay extra for it.)

The truth is that water pressure is an inexorable force that penetrates all concretes and treatments, given enough pressure. Thinking you're going to get relief by a treatment of a magic material is a falsehood.

What you really need to do is to get competitive bids from waterproofing companies, check their BBB records, and use consumer rating services to find the ones that appear to provide the best results. I recommend signing up for a year of "Angies List" to find reviews of these companies. It will cost about $40 but a waterproofing job will cost thousands so consider it a small insurance policy. And the reviews will give you really good inside information on the vendors.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:01 PM
 
3,357 posts, read 3,026,714 times
Reputation: 2794
Excavate, footer drains, ironite, tar, and then Visqueen on the outside foundation walls. This is the tried and true method in these parts. It's costly, but it's also effective. The key is to relieve the hydraulic pressure from the base of the walls. A footer drain (best) or an interior french drain is the only way to do this. Applying ironite, tar, and then Visqueen to the outside of the walls will slow any moisture wicking effect to a crawl. Keep the bentonite for your pond beds. It doesn't work at all as a wall sealant.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:15 AM
 
126 posts, read 204,607 times
Reputation: 51
Thanks for the replies.

Cleveland_Collector, do you have experience with bentonite? I was just wondering why you said it doesn't work.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:10 AM
 
3,357 posts, read 3,026,714 times
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Yes. I knew someone from the south who swore by it and used it on his foundation. 5 years later, he was installing footer drains at great expense.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to basement moisture. It all comes down to hydraulic pressure at the base of the foundation. If it exists, water will find its way into your basement. And, in our climate, you can bet that it will. Bentonite clay will not hold up. The only real way to rid yourself of the problem is to drain the water away.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: north royalton
709 posts, read 961,485 times
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ok since Im looking for a house and we are on this subject, what should I look for in a house with a basement??? What should I be concerned with??? The reason I ask is because with two boys, I must have a basement, lol....
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:20 PM
 
3,357 posts, read 3,026,714 times
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When you go to look at houses, ask about the drainage. Modern homes should all have good footer systems. If they can't tell you about it, be suspicious. Then, look for the telltale signs of excess moisture in the basement: mold, musty odors, crystalline deposits on the wall base, cracked block walls (a telltale sign of excess hydraulic pressure) and, of course, water in the form of seepage and damp walls. If you can, go looking within a day or two after a hard rain. It will show you if there are any big problems waiting for you.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:27 PM
 
Location: north royalton
709 posts, read 961,485 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleveland_Collector View Post
When you go to look at houses, ask about the drainage. Modern homes should all have good footer systems. If they can't tell you about it, be suspicious. Then, look for the telltale signs of excess moisture in the basement: mold, musty odors, crystalline deposits on the wall base, cracked block walls (a telltale sign of excess hydraulic pressure) and, of course, water in the form of seepage and damp walls. If you can, go looking within a day or two after a hard rain. It will show you if there are any big problems waiting for you.
thank you soo much for that...My brother is gonna be the one looking at the house we pick out because he's really good at that stuff....but I will be sure to add this...He probably already knows, but it dosn't hurt to double check....I don't want someones problem, lol...
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:34 AM
 
126 posts, read 204,607 times
Reputation: 51
Watch out for a freshly painted basement with that waterproofing paint on the walls!

I learned my lesson. One week after I moved in, those fresh, white walls were yellow because of all the water backed up behind the paint.

Well, it looks like nobody does sodium bentonite around here anyway, so I'll have to be paying for a complete excavation. Ouch.

Thanks again for the advice. I certainly hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:30 PM
 
3,357 posts, read 3,026,714 times
Reputation: 2794
Even if they did bentonite sealing, you would be wasting your money anyway. Footer drains and proper wall sealing will solve 90% of all basement water issues in these parts.

I don't know your circumstances, but it may be possible for you to go after the previous owner if you can prove that they failed to disclose the water issue and/or covered it up. They are supposed to tell you about these problems, if they exist. If it has been less than a year since you moved in, I would consult an attorney about it.
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