Dry-Structure

Here in Central Indiana, we typically see the most rainfall of the year during June and July — and this year has been no different.

This past spring was a really wet one for the area, with National Weather Service data saying the region received nearly 19 inches of rain between March 20 and June 21. That’s nearly six inches more than the season’s average and not far from the all-time high of just more than 23 inches recorded way back in 1880.

This rain doesn’t only affect farmers and their crops or parents with young children cooped up inside. Excess water and moisture can cause serious damage if a structure isn’t properly protected from the elements.

Below-ground levels might be “out of sight, out of mind,” but a lack or low quality of waterproofing can lead to serious problems that compromise your foundation’s lifespan and performance.

When it comes to keeping a structure dry and standing strong, Robert Haines Co. has a wide variety of waterproofing solutions at our disposal — each designed for specific applications to perform best in certain settings. Some of our most common, effective, and  innovative waterproofing methods include:

Bentonite clay
Natural clay from the ground is extracted and dried before we apply it to an outward-facing wall. Upon being compressed, it’s activated and becomes a layer of clay almost a quarter of an inch thick around the basement, tunnel or other structure.

Xypex
Xypex is one of the crystalline solutions we’ve been using to waterproof concrete for years. It’s a naturally forming substance found in concrete that you’ve probably seen on an older brick wall — it’s the white, kind of fuzzy stains on a brick wall that might look kind of bad. Somebody figured out how to take that substance, concentrate it and mix in a little cement. Because it’s naturally occurring, this crystalline will actually grow back into the concrete and fill any gaps in porous areas. We’ve installed it in water treatment facilities and containment pits to keep water or other chemicals from getting out.

Hot rubber
This is a method we’ve applied with a number of projects involving new concrete and limestone work, including a 500-square-foot section outside the Indiana Statehouse when it experienced some basement leaking. Hot rubber is a versatile and long-lasting waterproofing we’re able to pour, squeegee and brush across a desired area after blocks of material are heated to 350 degrees in our melting and application equipment.

Coreflex
Coreflex is a specialty thermoplastic waterproofing we recently installed on a series of underground electrical and plumbing tunnels at Purdue University’s new STEM lab building. It’s a very high-end waterproofing that’s expensive and requires an engineer on site to oversee the heat welding of the thermoplastic membrane that also includes a bentonite backing.

Polyurethane
If an older structure or basement springs a leak, we can use a curtain grouting method to apply a polyurethane grout waterproofing solution. We’ll drill holes through the foundation into the soil and inject the polyurethane grout in there. It’s basically the same chemistry behind Gorilla Glue, as the polyurethane reacts with moisture and expands into a foam that will stop water from coming in. Fun fact: this was the waterproofing method applied at the White House.

Ultimately, all of our waterproofing solutions are just different methods and applications for achieving the same thing — keeping your structure dry and standing strong. Most decisions are made long before we join a project, determined by blueprints, safety plans or what we call a spec book. It’s the size of an old phone book and tells you what to use and how to use it. It’s basically a guide and instruction book for what you’re doing on each job.

Whatever waterproofing materials, methods, applications and techniques your structure’s situation calls for, our experts at Robert Haines Co. are experienced in them all and prepared to respond quickly to keep rain and floodwaters from permeating your foundation and damaging your largest assets.

Reach out to our service department today if your building needs the help of our waterproofing experts. We’ve been keeping Central Indiana structures safe and dry for more than 80 years and look forward to getting your building back to 100 percent.