When exploring your waterproofing options, you may come across a number of unconventional measures worth employing. Bentonite clay injections, for example, aren’t commonly suggested among foundation and basement repair professionals, but they can work to keep your home dry.
When is the right time to invest in these injections, and when should you consider the other options you have at your disposal?
What Is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is plentiful in Colorado. This type of soil is unique in its reaction to moisture and in the ways it can protect your home from excessive water damage.
Most soil, for example, will gather water when it starts to rain and swell in size. Bentonite clay, however, molds together when exposed to water to create a nigh-impermeable barrier between your home and the outdoors. As such, it’s able to keep that water from getting to your foundation and generating unwanted hydrostatic pressure.
It’s bentonite clay’s nature, in this regard, that makes it an appealing alternative waterproofing measure.
Many residents living outside of Colorado choose to invest in bentonite clay injections to naturally protect their homes. Certain contractors can integrate this clay into other types of soil by mixing its solid form or by injecting bentonite mud around a home’s foundation.
The Downsides of Bentonite Waterproofing
Now, bentonite clay does serve as a viable waterproofing measure – as long as the weather cooperates. After all, the soil relies heavily on the presence of moisture in the area to support your home. Without that moisture, the soil particles can shrink in size, causing a lack of stability all around your home.
That’s not the only downside to the use of bentonite clay as a waterproofing measure. Its other downsides include:
- Complex installation – Integrating bentonite clay into your soil can be a complex process, even if you do opt for injections instead of a solid integration. This process often requires contractors to uproot your existing landscaping and to dig deep alongside and beneath the foundation of your home. Not only can this installation take a considerable amount of time, but it can be costly to endure.
- Coverage gaps – After that lengthy and costly installation, you’d expect bentonite soil to protect your entire foundation. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Bentonite, after all, is natural – there are going to be gaps between its particles, no matter how much of it you choose to invest in. Those gaps allow water to reach your foundation and generate hydrostatic pressure.
- Poor basement protection – Finally, bentonite clay cannot protect every water-vulnerable part of your home. Bentonite clay injections will not prevent basement leaks, internally or externally, simply due to a lack of reach. While you can choose to pair these injections with other waterproofing measures, the aforementioned cost of the injections themselves can make further financial commitments seem daunting.
Bentonite Waterproofing in Colorado Springs, CO
Bentonite injections can work in favor of those families living in areas where the soil is scarce. However, if you live in Colorado Springs, CO, you likely already live on top of a bentonite-heavy landscape. As such, bentonite injections aren’t always the best waterproofing measures for you to take advantage of.
In fact, the bentonite in the Colorado area can make your life more complicated, especially when you’re faced with the state’s summer droughts. As mentioned, bentonite clay does not respond well to a lack of water. Without a consistent source of water, bentonite clay particles will start to shrink. As they do, they’ll leave behind gaps that your foundation can settle into. With that kind of movement comes an increased likelihood for foundation cracks, uneven floors, and more significant damage.
Other Ways to Waterproof Your Home
What can you do to protect your home from foundation, basement, or crawl space damage?
While you can rely on bentonite to keep your home dry in normal weather, you should talk to one of the foundation and basement repair contractors in your area about what other waterproofing measures you have available to you. The most common and effective you can invest in include:
- Interior drainage
- Sump pumps
- Vapor barriers
- Waterproof crawl space insulation
Are you concerned about the state of your home during the 2020 drought? Reach out to a professional with Complete Basement Systems today for a home inspection and a free quote on any repairs you may need. You can also discuss which waterproofing measures can help you protect your home from water damage once the weather breaks.