5 Reasons To Choose Bentonite Clay For Sealing Basements On New Construction

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When you're thinking about basement waterproofing before the house is even built, you can choose from all the various options without having to worry about the costs and mess of excavation to reach the buried concrete walls. If you're trying to decide which waterproofing method to have installed as your basement is built, don't forget about humble bentonite clay. This natural product offers a lot of benefits when it is installed from the very beginning of a structure's lifespan.

Self Repairing

First, the layer of bentonite clay works by absorbing water from the ground and swelling up to about 15 times the original particle size. This swelling effect allows the clay to seal together tightly and press into cracks and gaps in the foundation as they develop over the years. As long as there's a thick enough layer of the clay around the exterior of the basement walls, you don't have to worry about gaps or cracks forming that would let water in. This can be a major problem with synthetic membranes and coatings that break down over the years.

Safer Exposure

The same bentonite clay used for waterproofing basements is also a common ingredients in face masks and other beauty products, so it's relatively safe for the workers applying it, aside from the same dust inhalation risks all powdered construction products create. The minor powder inhalation risks are eliminated when pressed panels or pre-wetted mixtures are used. Aside from being safer for people, bentonite is also environmentally friendly. You won't need to worry about your waterproofing layer leaching anything into the soil that could damage your lawn or affect local waterways.

Application Variety

There are nearly a dozen different ways to apply bentonite to the exterior of a concrete wall, and most of them work better on new construction than they do on established structures. After considering the required thickness and time constraints for finishing the project, your waterproofing contractor pick one of the following methods:

  • Applying a thick layer of wet clay with a trowel
  • Screwing corrugated clay and paper panels onto the wall
  • Spraying on a thinner layer of hydrated clay
  • Installing geotextiles impregnated with bentonite to the excavated ground before the basement is poured, which is known as a blindside installation

Temperature Range

Finally, waterproofing contractors can install bentonite sealing mixtures at almost any time of the year because this clay seals at low temperatures, unlike most asphalt- and acrylic-based sealing products. There's no need to delay construction or skip the essential waterproofing step just because your basement is being poured in the fall or spring when it's not warm enough for other methods.

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2 June 2016

Learning More About Concrete Structures

Hello. My name is Don Watkins. Welcome to my website about concrete structures. Concrete is a highly versatile material used to create anything from driveways to tall buildings. Working with concrete requires a particular skill set and equipment knowledge. The concrete has a quick setting time, so professionals have to rapidly pour, form and smooth out the mixture before it sets. There are many ways to create the desired structure, so my site will explore each method used by concrete contractors. I invite you to come along on this journey to learn more about concrete structures. Please feel free to drop by anytime.