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What Are Bentonite Clay Injections?

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Colorado residents are likely familiar with the work bentonite can do when protecting your home from water damage. Are bentonite injections worth the investment if you’re looking for additional home waterproofing measures?

An Introduction to Bentonite Waterproofing

Bentonite clay and soil thrive when regularly exposed to water. The particles that make up this type of soil swell when they come into contact with water more so than other soil types will. In doing so, this soil forms a barrier between a home’s foundation and water runoff, effectively serving as a natural waterproofing measure.

Given this soil’s effective waterproofing, some contractors have recommended that homeowners invest in bentonite clay injections around their yards. Bentonite can either be integrated into your soil in its solid form or via mud injections. Once it’s in place, it can begin to bond with its neighbors to keep water out of your home.

The Downsides of Bentonite Waterproofing

All that said, bentonite injections aren’t always a waterproofing measure worth investing in. As many folks living throughout Colorado can attest, bentonite soil is a fantastic waterproofing measure as long as it’s raining. When bentonite soil dries out, it can prove to be a hazard around your home.

Not only that, but the soil is lacking in its ability to properly protect your home from the worst of a year’s rain. Some of the downsides that come along with bentonite waterproofing include:

  • Complex installation – If you live in an area without a lot of bentonite soil, you’re going to integrate it into your existing landscaping. You can do this by having specialized contractors inject bentonite mud around your home. However, you may also have to have contractors dig up your existing landscaping and foundation to mix bentonite soil into your land. This process can be lengthy and expensive, depending on the size of your home and where you live.
  • Coverage gaps – Not only that, but because bentonite is a natural resource, it will not protect your home as deliberately as more specialized waterproofing measures. There can be gaps in bentonite’s coverage of your home, meaning that even after the cost of installation, your home may be vulnerable to damage.
  • Poor basement protection – Finally, bentonite soil can protect your foundation, but it won’t be as easy for it to protect your basement. This is more due to the reach of the soil than its inability, but that still puts your home at risk for damage.

Bentonite Waterproofing in Colorado

As mentioned, bentonite soil is relatively common in Colorado. As such, homes in the Grand Junction, CO, area likely won’t benefit from bentonite injections.

Furthermore, the bentonite in the soil around Grand Junction, CO, can put your home at risk, especially given the drought that residents have been facing in 2020. Bentonite may work well as a waterproofing measure when it rains consistently, but that’s because the soil’s structure relies on the presence of water. In the midst of a drought, bentonite soil particles shrink. This means that your home is more likely to experience physical upheaval than ever. A drought in Colorado, if your home is built on bentonite soil, can cause your foundation to crack, shift or even begin to settle.

Does this mean bentonite is always going to put your home in danger? No, but it does mean you should audit your soil to determine what your home’s been built on and how best you can interact with it. It also means you will need to take steps to protect your home from damage when faced with a severe lack of rain.

Other Ways to Waterproof Your Home

Luckily, there are other ways for you to both waterproof your home and protect it from damage in the midst of a drought. The most effective waterproofing measures you can employ include:

  • Interior drainage
  • Sump pumps
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Vapor barriers
  • Waterproof crawl space insulation

Bentonite injections are an unconventional waterproofing measure. These injections can be beneficial, but they can also cause unnecessary damage to your home if you live in an area that sees yearly droughts.

Residents of Grand Junction, CO, will likely want to avoid investing in bentonite injections to waterproof their homes. If you want to start exploring your other options, however, you can reach out to a professional foundation and basement contractor working in the area for a home inspection and a free quote on installation or repair services.

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