What Are Bentonite Clay Injections?

waterproofing your basement

When you’re searching for means to protect your home, you may come across some unconventional waterproofing measures. Bentonite clay injections, for example, allow you to protect your home through natural means. That said, the injections themselves can have some significant side effects.

Bentonite Clay and Waterproofing

Bentonite clay is different from a number of other types of soils. While most soils will expand when exposed to water, bentonite clay effectively binds together to create an impassible obstacle when it comes into contact with water. As such, bentonite soil and mud injections can be used to protect your home from water damage and hydrostatic pressure, if you choose to integrate it with the soil you already have around your home.

The Downsides Waterproofing with Bentonite

Unconventional means of waterproofing your home can serve you well in the long run, as long as they work. As mentioned, bentonite clay will keep water out of your home. However, there are some downsides to relying on bentonite injections. These include but are not limited to:

  • Complex installation – If you live an area that doesn’t have a plethora of bentonite already in the soil, you’re going to need to work with certain contractors to integrate it around your yard. This process can involve extensive excavation. Alternatively, contractors can inject the ground around the perimeter of your home with bentonite mud in hopes it will settle appropriately. This process is lengthy and expensive, and it can disrupt your existing landscaping as well as any other waterproofing measures you may already have in place.
  • Coverage gaps – Given how expensive bentonite injections can be, you’d hope they’d provide your home with comprehensive coverage. This, unfortunately, is not the case. Bentonite, as mentioned, is a natural waterproofing measure. Its particles, no matter how thoroughly integrated with the soil around your home, will gap and can allow water to reach your foundation. As such, you may need to invest in other waterproofing measures in addition to these injections to truly protect your home.
  • Poor basement protection – It should also be noted that bentonite injections cannot prevent leaks inside your basement, if only due to the soil’s reach.

Bentonite Waterproofing and Droughts

Even with those downsides in mind, bentonite clay can serve homes in consistently moist areas well. Toledo, OH, for example, sees a fair amount of rain throughout the summer and an equivalent amount in lake effect snow during the winter. That consistent exposure to water will keep bentonite injections healthy, allowing them to continually protect your home.

However, if the weather dries out, your bentonite injections can turn against you. These injections react poorly to long bouts of dry weather, to the point where the particles you’ve injected around your foundation can shrink and leave significant gaps behind. Your foundation can readily sink and settle into those gaps, resulting in cracks and other damage.

As such, it may be smart to invest in an irrigation system if you want to use bentonite soil injections to protect your home from water damage. This way, you can continue to provide your soil with the moisture it needs to stay healthy, even if the weather starts to take a turn for the drier.

Other Ways to Waterproof Your Home

There are also other means through which you can protect your home from Ohio’s rainy weather. Some of your waterproofing options include:

  • Interior drains – Interior drains collect leaking water from the walls, floor, and wall-floor joint to keep it from damaging your basement.
  • Sump pumps – Water from the interior drainage system is directed to drain into a reliable sump pump, which pumps this water out of the basement and away from your foundation.
  • Dehumidifiers – Once you’ve tackled the leaking water, you need to address any lingering moisture. An energy-efficient dehumidifier will clean and filter the air in your home, control moisture and humidity, reduce odors, and help prevent mold growth.
  • Vapor barriers – Vapor barriers are often best used in crawl space encapsulations, but you can also place them on your basement walls to help with waterproofing. These dense, plastic-like sheets are woven tightly enough to keep water and most gases out of your home.
  • Waterproof crawl space insulation – If you want to double-up on home additives, you can invest in waterproof insulation in your crawl space. This insulation is treated to resist water, moisture, mold, and even termites while helping to temperature control your crawl space and home.

If you are interested in one or more of these reliable waterproofing solutions, reach out to the professional foundation and basement repair contractors working in the Toledo, OH, area. After a home inspection, these professionals can provide you with a free quote on waterproofing measures you may be interested in to protect your home.