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Keep Your Foundation Strong

The foundation of your home not only supports the entire structure, it keeps water from seeping into the basement of the borne. Keeping the basement waterproofed and dry requires some care. It is not unusual for a house to experience basement wetness at some point in time. You can take measures that prevent moisture problems from developing. Proper drainage and grading carries surface water away from the foundation. This is essential during periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt. Surface water can be described as water from rainfall, sprinklers, hoses, etc.

Drainage

Keeping your gutters free of leaves and debris prevents water from pilling out and collecting around the foundation. Proper pitching of gutters towards their downspouts directs the flow.
Downspouts should be sound and unclogged, especially at elbow connections. Downspout outlets need to be intact and unclogged in order a carry water away from the house.

Grading

When your house was built, the yard was graded so that the ground would gently slope away from the house in all directions. Over time soil settles. This sometimes forms a low area which traps surface water. The collected water can then seep through the foundation Into the basement. If this happens, fill these depressions and replant to prevent erosion.

Concrete Walkways and Patios

can settle too and cause water to run toward the foundation of the house. Flower beds and perennial gardens round the house should also be checked. Basement doors and windows should be properly sealed and caulked to prevent water entrance. Never change the drainage pattern of your yard in such a way that water tends to run towards the house.

Learn More About Waterproofing

Ground Water

If surface water is being properly diverted away from your foundation and you still have basement wetness ground water may be the problem. If water seeps through the floor at the joint between the floor and basement wall or at a lower point of the wall itself, it is usually due to the presence of ground water. This may be caused by season high water tables or underground springs and seeps. If your home is in the flood plain of a nearby stream or creek, it may be affected during periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt. If the house was built in the path of a natural drainageway or on a site that is lower than the surrounding area, you could also be affected.

Normally, a footing drainpipe is laid along the base of the foundation when a house is built. A basement wetness problem caused by ground water may indicate the pipe is either damaged for clogged.

If ground water is not properly channeled or eliminated, the resulting hydrostatic pressure can literally force water into the basement of your home through cracks in the floor and foundation walls. This ground water problem needs to be corrected in order to prevent these cracks or openings from enlarging.

If your basement has visible water and you cannot locate the cause, call a waterproofing specialist to help you. This is a problem that should be given immediate attention. Maintaining your home’s foundation will help keep your basement dry and comfortable. A strong foundation not only supports the structure itself, it supports your investment.

Bentonite & Volclay Panels

Introduced in 1963, the Volclay Panel® was the first commercially available bentonite waterproofing system and maintains being one of the most environmentally sensitive waterproofing systems still today. Once installed and backfilled against, the corrugated kraft board biodegrades, and the bentonite hydrates and forms a seamless waterproofing membrane on the exterior of the structure.

Volclay Panels are special 4-ft by 4-ft corrugated kraft boards that contain 1.0-lb. of sodium bentonite per square foot in the flutes of the board. Since its introduction, more than one-half billion square feet have been successfully installed on thousands of projects worldwide.

Today, two different Volclay Panel types are available: Volclay Type 1 Panel and Volclay Type 1-C Panel. Both are typically used to waterproof cast-in-place concrete backfilled foundation walls. The Type 1-C Panel is the standard 4-ft by 4-ft panel that features a temporary, water-resistant coating on one-side. The special coating inhibits premature hydration of the sodium bentonite from inclement weather prior to backfilling. Once backfilled, the coated panel will hydrate normally, forming a monolithic waterproofing membrane.

Typically, Volclay Panels are installed by a single worker using a powder-actuated fastening tool directly onto the concrete foundation wall as soon as the forms are removed. And because they do not require any primers or adhesives, Volclay Panels can be installed in freezing temperatures or to damp surfaces.

Volclay Panels offer a reliable, low cost means of providing a waterproofing system that is both effective and environmentally sensitive.
Panel Size and Packaging: Both Volclay Type 1 and Type 1-C Panels are supplied in 4-ft. by 4-ft. (1.2 m x 1.2 m) panels each containing one pound per square foot of Volclay sodium bentonite. Each pallet contains 125 panels.

Bentonite & Bentogrout

Bentogrout is an innovative, cost-effective remedial waterproofing system that stops water inflitration in existing concrete and masonry block foundations. For over 20 years, Bentogrout has been used stop leaks in tunnels, subways, utility vaults, manholes, and many basements of residences and commercial office buildings. It is an extremely effective way to stop water infiltration in concrete walls, floors and ceilings, and can also be used with masonry block and irregular stone foundations.

Volclay Bentogrout is a high-solids grout consisting of a proprietary blend of bentonite and natural minerals formulated for sealing water leaks in existing below-grade structures. Bentogrout is pumped in a fluid state against the exterior of the structure where it sets up to a solid material, forming a high performance water barrier around the structure. No excavation or trenching is required. And since Bentogrout primarily consists of sodium bentonite, it is environmentally safe and will not degrade, thereby lasting the life of the structure.

Unlike many remedial waterproofing products that are applied as a surface treatment to the interior of the concrete wall, Bentogrout is applied to the exterior of the foundation wall where it stops the water before it can penetrate the structure and further corrode the reinforcing steel. The thick, low permeable Bentogrout membrane covers the exterior surface of the structure, filling voids in the adjacent soil and sealing small cracks in the concrete. Also, Bentogrout 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 concrete cracking.

Because excavation is not required, installation is fast and easy. Simply mix Bentogrout with water and pump it against the exterior of the building. There it expands slightly and solidifies to form a waterproofing membrane. It can be pumped from above grade outside the structure without excavating or from the interior of the structure through drilled holes in the concrete.

Applications include concrete and masonry foundation walls, under slabs, and utility vaults, manholes, and tunnels. Bentogrout can also be used to provide a water barrier between two existing, adjacent property line buildings by filling the gap or void space between them. With metal sheet piling retention wall construction, Bentogrout can be injected down along the piling knuckles to seal off water infiltration. Bentogrout is ideal for close property line conditions that can not be excavated.
Bentogrout is a cost-effective way to stop water leaks in existing concrete, masonry block, and irregular stone foundations. And since Bentogrout consists primarily of sodium bentonite, it is environmentally safe and will not degrade, thereby lasting the life of the structure.

Cracks & Poor Runoff

The solution for cracks and poor runoff is the Hydro-Clay System.

With our patented Pressure Pumping Process, we have eliminated the need for digging. There is no damage to sidewalks, driveways and landscaping plantings.

During the process, Bentonite Clay is injected Into the soil around the basement at 3-4 foot intervals. The Bentonite coats the walls from footing to grade.

This system is effective against water entering cracks and tie rods in poured walls, and more.

Hydro-Clay System

70% of all basements will develop leakage of some kind during their lifetime! The age of the structure does not matter. Over half of the leaks are in homes under three years old.
As the Bentonite absorbs groundwater, it swells up to 15 times its volume and thickens. creating an impenetrable gelatin membrane, which protects against further water penetration.

There are many causes of basement leakage

  • Cracks to walls and floors due to structural changes such as settling.
  • Insufficient runoff due to improper landscaping and high clay content.
  • High water table.
Mold & Moisture

You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the backside of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the topside of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation)

Skeptical?
Bentonite is made from volcanic ash—so IT’S OLDER THAN DIRT!

They used it to help contain the BP OIL SPILL, install it in LANDFILLS to KEEP TOXINS CONTAINED and they use it in MAN-MADE LAKES to keep the water in!

If you want to STOP WATER from hitting your wall in the first place, rather than diverting it once it enters (Like with a drain tile or French drain system), give us a call. We will send someone out to do a FREE CONSULTATION and run through a 12 pt. checklist to determine what your problem is, and what unique basement sealing method is right for YOU.
Issues resolved from Bentonite injection include a LIFE TIME TRANSFERABLE WARRANTY (as long as your deed exists, so does our warranty! Just do us a favor and keep your gutters clean…:)

Satisfied customers since 1978

Very quick turn-around on work. Helpful people. Finally, I’m excited to be a home-owner!
Jon B.
I researched this company and discovered it invented the outside-injection process in the 1970s for sealing basements without having to dig up the ground/foundation. They understand the concept that, if the water is coming from the outside, you need to treat it from the outside to keep the water off the wall! Other companies only have the inside systems that don't address the source (external) of the water. Great Lakes has a variety of options, and the volclay-bentonite they provided for my house permanently stopped the water and mold!
James G.
We purchased our house from someone who had hired them initially. So we are a license transfer of warranty. We had them come out to our house twice to service some water issues and they very prompt, courteous and did an excellent job. It’s been around three years now and all is dry.
Mark K.
“It was very good. They were prompt, came exactly when they were supposed to, did what they were supposed to do, and the crew was pleasant. It was the type of experience that you’d want if someone was doing work in your home. The job took a couple of days and it has worked just fine.”
Dawn S.
Very good customer service and communication about the project at hand. I would highly recommend Great Lakes Waterproofing.
Barbara B.

A job well-done is priority #1.

Great Lakes Waterproofing is one of the largest and most dependable basement waterproofing companies serving the Chicago and Michigan area.

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