Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


11:40AM | 05/27/08
Member Since: 05/26/08
2 lifetime posts
Have a corner in the basement where seepage occurs during the spring and heavy rain. Landscaping / downspouts look good. An old draintile system exists w/sump pump. Would an exterior soil injection of Bentonite Clay (HydroClay) be a good idea. Can't find any good feedback about this. Only one company in the Twin Cities area appears to do this. have some concerns about additional horizontal pressure against the walls with this. Also, if applied, would it plug up the existing drain tile in the spot where applied thus backing up the drain tile furthur up the line. Any if applied in only one spot, would the water simply displace furhtur down the wall. The price is much cheaper than a brand new drain tile system. But no info from the BBB on the company (Great Lakes WaterProofing from St. Paul, MN) or in general from the web as to the pros/cons of having this done. Any feedback appreciated!!


01:27AM | 05/28/08
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts
Corner most often leaks due to crack(s) and/or other EXTERIOR openings as in these pictures

Homeowner just bought this house, nobody said crap to her about leak/efflorescence on wall etc, seller,home inspector etc.

The corner leaks along floor-wall joint due to exterior cracks and some other openings between top of wall and bricks.

Here is/was one Great Lakes Waterpf`g Co, went OOB

It`s your house, do what ya like. There are many Co`s who CLAIM they are experts and there is ALOT of FALSE CLAIMS,lies online,on Co`s websites. Some have been nailed for fraud, and sooner or later OTHERS will be as well.

See cracks here? Some at-near EXTERIOR corner. Then there are OTHER openings, some below and some ABOVE grade-level. Only way to repair/waterproof these cracks is w/exterior waterproofing. Only way to remove expanding-contracting soil and ROOTS that are against wall is outside. Termites,ants,spiders,centipedes,radon can easily enter through these types of exterior cracks


06:24AM | 05/28/08
Member Since: 05/26/08
2 lifetime posts
So it seems you are implying the bentonite soil injectors are not worth pursuing as an option. Any specific reasons? Sounds like exterior evacation and then waterproofing is what you're suggesting.


11:42AM | 05/28/08
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts
find,locate how/where water FIRST enters,this is what all should do.

i`m implying that over the last 30 years that most(not all) homeowners problem(s) are on the outside. Cracks,open mortar joints,openings around basement windows etc etc etc.

It`s what TIME has shown us.

Want to see more pictures of homeowners actual-problems?

Some folks have 'other' reasons as to why-how water winds up on the bsmt floor. Some include a blockage in lateral line between the street and house, many(not all)remedies for this was having an honest-exp`d plumber snake the storm trap clean out, cost usually $125-200.

Others have a blockage in tile that empties into their sump PIT. EITHER, need to snake that tile back under floor and/or, sometimes there are no openings-holes up higher in SIDE`s of PIT-wall, just under the bsmt floor. Need to drill-create holes in pit-wall to allow water to get into pit, otherwise the water can accumulate under the floor and back up,rise through floor crack(s) or along wall-floor joint.

Others may simply have some sort of leaky plumbing fixture. Still others may have a condensation problem, especially if they placed a sheeting right up against concrete basement wall(s). But like i say, and know, most (not all) HO`s problems/causes are on the outside.

Many only have 1 crack, say at-near a corner or have 1 wall that leaks along wall-floor joint due to exterior,they will only need to repair/waterproof the corner or, 1 wall. Part of problem is there are some companies who bs people into more work/footage than needed.

Find,locate the problem-source, then fix it.

In my honest opinion, Bent.injections do not correctly repair/fix/waterproof the exterior crack(s), or other openings into/through wall, like a block wall. Sometimes there are gaps-spaces where a service line enters through wall.

Bent-injections don`t plug/patch/repair the dumb cracks and other openings that allow water to enter. They also do NOT remove expanding-contracting SOIL, they don`t remove ROOTS or porch footings...all these cause many walls to crack,leak or possibly bow inward.

Gotta physically remove these problems/causes and physically repair/waterproof cracks etc.

Scroll down and see scams, see Bent injection bill and lousy contract-invoice with NO WARRANTY


10:05PM | 09/09/08
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
I think of when somebody puts plaster over cracks on interior walls and then paints over the wall. As everyone knows the problem doesn't go away and usually comes back immediately. The reason...buildings move. Ever have a car drive by with it's radio on loud? Ever wonder what excavating next to the foundation does with or without heavy equipment?

The reason this foundation is leaking in the first set of photos is because the original coating on the wall failed or lived out it's lifespan. Replacing it with the same thing is a gamble at best.

The second photo set shows the same situation, the asphalt covering the foundation is visible in the photos and has obviously failed and the mortar deteriorated.

One of the reasons interior drain tile systems became popular the last 20 years is that the conventional way of excavating the fill around the foundation, after years of "support" for the wall, increases the risk of more failure substantially. Foundation walls will crack when they lose support. Removing the dirt around your foundation and backfilling with gravel or more dirt stresses the wall, I'm sure in both these cases the ground wasn't properly tamped leaving large voids for water to collect, posing more risks.

As you can see in the last few photos on the second set, filling in the trench with gravel will cause stress on the plastic wrap and the asphalt undercoating (notice the plastic stretching by the weight of the gravel) Over time the movement of the gravel is like sandpaper on the plastic and tar. Once water is added to the mix and the expansion, and contractions of the seasons, your looking at the same old situation.

Bentonite (Hydroclay) has been used for several decades for waterproofing. Most city dumps are lined with it to prevent liquids from leaching into the ground. Dams, tunnels, manholes are lined (on the exterior) with it. The DNR requires it when sealing a well....The's a naturally occurring water-resistant material that will cover the structure regardless if it's smooth or jagged. The National Institute of Building Science also specifies it as the only Green Method of Waterproofing.

In the case you do have a contractor show up that wants to put backfill into the street without a container, not mark off work areas (especially trenches)...listen to all his advice...You might want to check your local building codes, the homeowner could be responsible for any injuries related to a contractors negligence.


11:26AM | 09/13/08
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts
do NOT have clue. ANYONE 'MISREPRESENTING' the condition of a basement wall, of why the basement leaks, of the correct REMEDY should be SUED. Many of these posters are completely full of crap folks, they are INCOMPETENT fraudsters, believe what you like.


12:48PM | 09/16/08
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
I forgot....You are the expert. I didn't mean to point out glaring Red Flags.

What happened with this job?

The photo shows excavation on the outside of the foundation, the caved-in blocks also have a layer of that waterproofing tar you recommend above and I think I see some plastic in the dirt.


01:20AM | 09/17/08
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts
thats one of your boys, Everdry. They broke out basement-floor on the INSIDE too, THAT was the MISTAKE-INCOMPETENCE on this house/story.

and see complaints just within the last 36 months,lolol.

misreperesenting the CONDITION of a house, the condition of a basement, the condition of a basement wall,and WHY water actually enters is...FRAUD!


07:42PM | 09/22/08
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
I didn't see any of this in your photos...


01:16AM | 11/12/12
Member Since: 11/09/12
1 lifetime posts
This site is really cool! I found here alot of information that I was looking for. I am really happy to be a part of This site!


12:00AM | 02/20/13
I recommend for anyone in upstate NY. They waterproofed with bentonite injection and guarantee the work. They did 2 of my houses, my son, my sister and nephew's house and the walls are dry with no mess.Other waterproofers jackhammer the floors and drain water through the walls!


08:12AM | 03/08/13
I have been waterproofing basements for 21 yrs averaging 4-5 basements a week. We quarantee the walls and floor will be dry by using bentonite injection method. We have an A plus rating with the BBB and A rating with Angies list (both highest ratings). While most waterproofing companies put inside drains alone the water is still coming through the walls , so they are still wet, damp, and slowly destoying the bottom of the wall. Why do they push putting up 4 x 8 vinyl sheets on the wall? So you do not see it.If your roof was leaking would you put a gutter in your attic and run it through the soffits? No. This is no different except it is your foundation. In upstate NY for free estimate call 1-800-439-4951. Jack


11:30PM | 03/23/13
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
The few companies that do remedial bentonite injections realize the importance of customer confidence and usually have very high ratings with the BBB and Angie's List. Bentonite Waterproofing is a billion dollar industry, anything built on wetlands will use this material for waterproofing, and the only space left these days seems to be near or on wet or moist ground.
This waterproofing is done using a combination of a bentonite membrane and trowel-grade bentonite (usually mixed with butyl rubber). Manufacturers like CETCO and Carlisle sell millions of dollars of bentonite waterproofing a year worldwide. Some contractors may discount the value of exterior waterproofing without having a true grasp on hydrogeology.


07:29AM | 05/10/13
I live in rural Indiana and have investigated hydroclay for the basement of my 80 year old home. I only found one company (so far) that would service my area and they felt it necessary to apply some sort of strap to brace the front wall so it wouldn't cave in from the pressure of their bentonite when it expands. They said the cracks in the mortar would be filled from the outside injection. The cost to do 3 sides of my house (30x40 footprint--about 100 linear feet) is about $10,000. Is that on par with the experience of others? ($100 per linear foot of foundation)


04:22PM | 09/09/13
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
Carbon Fiber Strips work great to stabilize a moving wall and might have been a precaution for any wall movement during injections but more importantly the long-term health of the wall.

The injection process doesn't require a lot of pressure to get the clay in the ground, usually there's very moist or porous ground once you get through the harder surface and the idea is to fill these voids and let the hydroclay follow the water paths, filling cracks and holes along the way. The clay will absorb large amounts of ground water, swelling to fill the area but does not really "expand" and exert additional pressure.

It's probably expensive to send a crew to rural Indiana so your costs will be higher than most, I would make sure their insurance is up to date and you should be good to go.


02:44PM | 09/11/13
We had our home waterproofed from the exterior using the bentonite clay injection. Reporting really great results. IN fact, we just treated our new, smaller house. It was built in 1937 so of course, there is effervescing on the basement walls. There were torrential rains in Minneapolis this summer and there was no water leakage. I recommend the Minneapolis Great Lakes Waterproofing. They guarantee their work.

Charles Weber Consulting

10:39PM | 09/12/13
Member Since: 09/12/13
1 lifetime posts
Pressure pumping with Bentonite has been illegal in WI since the late 70's when the WI Dept of agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection created the Basement Waterproofing Unfair Trade Practices. One of the companies, Meridan, closed shop but later resurfaced as Everydry.
Don't waste your time with any of these national companies and their gimmicks. Your best bet is to work with a local contractor who is familiar with your soil conditions and problems in your area.


11:08PM | 04/14/14
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
Hello Charles, thanks for your input, unfortunately your 100 % wrong about bentonite being illegal in WI. Looks like your website might be down for now but it seems when I went through it last time you were a big proponent of interior drain-tile systems, which is fine, they do have a place and need, but not all the time especially when you want waterproofing and not water management.
I would expect a consultant to understand and evaluate all the water mitigation systems and make an informed decision, not a blanket rejection. The fact is that bentonite is the world’s number one waterproofing material, no other product, both natural and man-made, can compare to its ability to self-heal over cracks and not become brittle or lose its plasticizers and fall apart.
It’s refreshing to see new people present ideas but when your down for just one post it looks like you’re pushing your company instead of comparing information.


03:14PM | 07/08/14
I had Bentonite injected around my whole house in 2011 and to this day my basement is still wet. They came out and put more in 3 times and I still have water. I have put up more gutters and sealed cracks in the basement walls, I even took some of my sidewalk out and put sod there and added soil around my basement. MY BASEMENT IS STILL WET


07:58PM | 07/14/14
I would like a full description of what Bentonite contains and what it actually is suppose to do. Does it fill cracks in walls and small holes? Is it suppose to fill in everything on the outside of your basement so no water will come in?


06:34PM | 02/09/16
I had a waterproofing company come out that I inherited when I purchased my home 3 years ago to inject my basement wall over 10 times with bentonite and there is still water coming in. Now my basement wall is bowing and they want to support it with carbon fiber strips. Plus a t drain system with a water sump pump. They want me to pay for the cost of the sump pump which will be approx $1500.00. The contract came with a life time guarantee warranty but now I'm having to pay for a sump pump because they cant stop the water from coming in and now my wall is bowing. Should I contact a lawyer?


02:44PM | 02/21/16
Is your waterproofing company Great Lakes Waterproofing?


12:48PM | 03/28/16
I had Great Lakes Waterproofing come out and they injected their bentonite clay about every 3 feet along 20 feet at the front of my house where water was leaking into my basement. They give you a wonderful lifetime guarantee, but after coming out the following year and dumping an entire truckload of the clay by the worst damp spot inside - and drilling two holes through my cement porch and refilling that with cement), my basement is as wet as ever. After talking with another contractor I discovered their clay only disburses about 3-4 inches so leaves huge gaps for water still to come in, and after a few times coming out they'll want to put in drain tile and a sump pump. I'm having a trencher come out this week and waterproof correctly - from the outside of the house!


01:11PM | 03/31/16
Member Since: 11/04/07
20 lifetime posts
BV010442 You might have a few issues going on, it sounds like your wall is failing structurally and the mortar is no longer able to bind the blocks together, probably caused by long term exposure to wet soil conditions (this usually takes several years or even decades). This may have opened up cracks that the bentonite is no longer able to bridge. While the bentonite may not seem to not be working, the moisture could also be due to several other issues including soil moisture saturation which leads to water ponding on the surface. Most exterior waterproofing products do not stop above-grade water, so holes or cracks above the surface will need to be addressed as well for worse-case scenarios. Products like hydraulic cement or even exterior rated caulks will help seal these openings.
In addition; egress windows and wood-framed basement windows are notorious for letting water in if the water gets high enough. Rotted wood around the frames or even openings between the trim and foundation can be an easy entrance for water, it becomes hard to detect where it comes in since it enters the blocks and flows between them before finding it’s way out to your floor. The last few years in the Midwest have seen record-breaking rain storms so providing a pathway away from the foundation is extremely important. Stabilizing the wall is a great idea, it’s actually fairly common with bowing walls to stop any additional movement.
I would work with your contractor to determine the water flow, this can be difficult when it’s not raining so photos of the foundation both inside and outside when it’s leaking can be extremely valuable.


09:54PM | 04/25/16
BV011051 Some of your claims seem a little extreme, dumping a truckload of bentonite would be cost prohibited and most likely would not solve the problem, this is not a common practice for remedial waterproofing. As far as the disbursement rate, the idea is for it to follow the water, filling voids and pockets and swelling when in contact with moisture. If your void is 3-4 inches, then yes it will only travel that far, if you have a six cubic foot void at the footing, then it will fill that area. Some words of caution for your excavator, make sure they trench to OSHA specifications for safety reasons, search for “trench cave-ins” for more information, most of these are waterproofers exposing the foundations. They are not using trench boxes and are killed by the walls collapsing.


02:43AM | 08/30/19
Member Since: 08/30/19
1 lifetime posts
I had also the same seepage problem but canada waterproofers solved the problem. anybody can use this service by

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