Why Do I Need A Back-Up Sump System?

sump pump installation

I’ve been in thousands of homes in my waterproofing career and some have very expensive finished basements. I’ll always ask if a client has a battery back-up sump pump. I ask because a properly sized back-up system can be a very inexpensive insurance policy against a flooded basement. Many homeowners think insurance will cover the damage. It might. Have you checked? Often the details reveal a different story.

Even if you have coverage, imagine your beautiful basement flooded. Everything is ruined. Everything needs to be torn out and thrown away. Lost priceless family belongings. The smell is overpowering, not to mention the mold and the invasion of workers doing cleanup, remediation, and rebuilding the basement. Scheduling, noise, dust, inconvenience, time off work…all this because your sump pump failed.

Why Do I Need One?

Water never stops. Gravity never stops. The weakest point of any waterproofing system is the mechanical part. During a powerful storm is when you need your system the most. Ironically, that’s the exact time when your system is most vulnerable to power outages. Our Battery Back-up Sump Pump System kicks on automatically when the power fails and can function flawlessly for several days. Also, a Midwest Waterproofing Battery Back-up System will operate in the case of a primary pump failure and alert you to the issue. You are never without an operational pump.

Can I Install a Battery Back-Up Sump Pump Myself?

Invariably I hear the homeowner say, “I’ll just pick one up at Home Depot.” This is not a good idea. A cheap, undersized back-up sump pump can be rendered useless if not installed correctly, maintained regularly and tested often. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a full day or weekend, the tools, materials, and experience to install a battery back-up system?
  • Extra PVC (1-1/2″ or 2″ pipe), connectors, primer, glue, freeze stops and check valves laying around for added discharges?
  • How about your electrical skills? Can you install a dedicated outlet and a new circuit breaker?
  • Are you willing to pour acid into the battery, charge the system and check the water levels regularly?  
  • Do you know if your pit and pumps are sized correctly with the appropriate GPM’s and head pressure to handle the water in your system?
  • Do you know the building codes in your area and how to keep your discharge system from freezing and the water away from the house?  
  • How about the warranty? Will you be standing in line at Home Depot with your “Limited Warranty” pump during a storm trying to get a replacement while your basement fills with water?


A professionally sized and installed battery back-up sump system will keep your system functioning seamlessly for several days without power. Your Waterproofing Expert will use a formula to calculate the amount of water your system produces based on several factors. System length, Gallons Per Minute, Head Pressure, and more go into calculating an appropriate Battery Back-up Sump System.  We professionally install the entire system and it comes with an in-home repair or replacement warranty.

Our Battery Back-up Sump Pump Systems start at about $1000 and can exceed $5000.  We have the expertise to install a system for the average home or an elaborate system with dual pumps and pits, back-ups and connection to the sewer system.

Now is the time to contact Midwest Waterproofing to discuss a Battery Back-up System with your Waterproofing Expert. Click here to Book Online or call 815-245-6890

Crack Repair using Sodium Bentonite in Crystal Lake

crack repair sodium bentonite crystal lake

Part of the process for diagnosing seepage in a client’s home is walking the perimeter of the home with the homeowner noting the location of cracks in the foundation. Look very closely at the picture to the left. Notice the vertical crack directly above the work area? These can be difficult to spot but our Waterproofing Experts have a very keen eye.  Many times, these cracks correspond with the area of seepage in the basement. Your Midwest Waterproofing Expert may also run a hose to determine if the crack is the source of the seepage.

In some situations, such as with a block foundation, Sodium Bentonite is not an option. Your Waterproofing Expert will explain the reasons and offer alternatives.

If the crack is clearly visible like in the photo above and is free of obstructions, The Midwest Waterproofing Expert may recommend a process called a “post hole dig” repair using Sodium Bentonite as an alternative to an epoxy/urethane injection from the inside

Sodium Bentonite is an effective, low-cost methods of sealing foundation cracks from the exterior.  Also, it is environmentally friendly because it contains no toxins. Perfect for clients with pets and children

Crystal Lake and the surrounding area has a particularly good soil for using Sodium Bentonite called Crystal Lake silt loam.

How Do Sodium Bentonite Repairs Work?

To repair a foundation wall crack using sodium bentonite, the installer digs a small hole against the foundation using a post hole digger. He digs down to the bottom of the foundation to the footing, exposing the entire crack. The hole is then filled nearly to the top with Sodium Bentonite and is covered with soil and whatever landscaping was removed so there is virtually no sign of the repair.  The installer may use a small amount of membrane material or epoxy to seal the crack that is exposed above ground. 

The dry sodium bentonite absorbs water from the  ground which causes it to expand dramatically.  This causes the expanding Bentonite to ooze into the crack from top to bottom causing a seal that is warrantied for a lifetime. If the soil is extremely dry, the installer may add a little water to start the process. 

Because sodium bentonite is applied from the exterior of the foundation, it is an ideal choice when the crack is not accessible from the inside because the basement has been finished or there are other obstructions such as utilities.

Sodium Bentonite cannot be used on cracks in corners or when there is a permanent obstruction such as a cement porch,  blocking access to the crack. However, if a patio, sidewalk or driveway covers the ground next to the foundation, we can cut out the paving material and replace it afterward. We can also dismantle decks or porches to gain access then rebuild it afterwards. 

If you are experiencing seepage call Midwest Waterproofing at 815-245-6890 or click here to Book Online

Large vs. Small Waterproofing Companies

large vs small waterproofing companies

Large vs. Small Waterproofing Companies

A consumer has several choices when it comes to waterproofing contractors. Some are huge corporations with hundreds of employees and lots of resources and expenses. Others are franchises that utilize a standard set of policies, procedures and products that that purchase from national company. Between those extremes are the companies that are built on knowledge, experience and independence.


A very large waterproofing company has the advantage of marketing and advertising on a huge scale. Their phones ring off the hook during and after rains. The downside to that is it may take weeks before a representative can get to your home for a consultation and the cost of that advertising is also priced into their proposal. If you do choose them, you may have to wait months for installation. 

Large waterproofing companies have a lot expensive of resources. Being so large they are very slow to change and their solutions are usually one-size-fits-all. You are just one of thousands of customers. And keep in mind who is paying for all those signs along the expressway. Some companies offer only one solution, the most expensive of course, for virtually every issue. It keeps their profits high but customer satisfaction low.


Franchisees are required to use certain products and certain procedures. This tells us they know little about construction. Midwest Waterproofing only uses the best materials from trusted suppliers whose products we have been using for decades. Not every waterproofing situation is the same. We tailor your solution to your problem by leveraging our 30+ years of construction experience. Franchisees tailor their solution to your problem. They make it fit. We customize it.


A smaller company offers custom solutions, are very nimble and flexible and extremely attentive to their clients. Smaller companies like Midwest Waterproofing do the same work, with the same materials from the same suppliers and offer the same warranties but for a reasonable cost. Simply put, you aren’t paying for those cute commercials and billboards but are getting the very same materials and much better customer service. And, you probably will talk to the owner at your first consultation.

Click here Book Online to make an appointment and meet with the President to discuss your waterproofing issue. Or call 815-245-6890

Downspout Extentions


Why Should I Extend My Downspouts?

Most homeowners don’t even think about where the water from there roof goes. As long as the water makes it into the gutter and into the downspout, that’s all that the resident sees. However, this is only the start of the journey and where the real issues with water begin.

An average roof contains 2000 square feet of “catchment area”. A one-inch rain deluges you roof with over 1,200 gallons of water.  If you have 4 downspouts, each will deliver 300 gallons of water right next to your foundation if your downspouts are not extended. This creates a series of problems from erosion which can lead to foundation sinking, to standing water which is susceptible to freezing and heaving the foundation. Every foundation issue I have encountered was from water not directed away from the foundation. Foundation issues are a serious matter and cost serious money.

When a foundation is excavated, a larger hole than the actual size of the foundation is dug to accommodate workers, materials and machines. This “over-dig” is usually 4-5 feet larger that the foundation. When the soil is disturbed, it cannot be replaced with the same compaction as mother nature did over millions of years. Thus you are left with a vulnerable porous area surrounding your home.



The solution is down spout extensions

The existing downspout is cut just below grade level and a Debris Filter is installed to allow any material to be diverted from the system keeping it clog-free.  A 6” PVC runs underground at least 10” from the home to a “bubbler pot” which is set in a bed of gravel. This allows water to permeate into the soil and a top pops up to allow any excess water to flow onto the soil. Remember, this is occurring 10 feet away, far from the vulnerable over-dig area.






Click here to Book Online to make an appointment for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Waterproofing Experts. Or call 815-245-6890