The Historical LeClaire Hotel in downtown Moline, IL was built in 1922, hosting many celebrities and presidents over six decades the building was open. After closing in the mid-1980’s, the building sat empty for ten years, leaving the property unmaintained to slowly crumble away. It was deemed a National Historical Landmark on February 4th, 1994; and after being purchased in the late 1990’s, renovations began to turn the building into apartment. The building’s basement went through a few structural changes including new supporting walls were installed to provide a safer and stronger foundation. Old rooms were boarded up with concrete blocks. At the time, the wet areas in basement were left unfixed, not posing threat, or so it was thought.

Years later the small areas to in large portions of standing water. Excessive moisture was causing mold and mildew to grow, leaving pungent smells throughout the basement, creeping its way up through the stair wells and elevator shafts. Old wooden doors to rooms were rotting away, and boarded areas had begun to crumble. Not only was this posing a threat to those who live in the building, but threatening the existence of the historical building itself. MidAmerica Basement Systems was contacted to resolve the water issues, helping preserve the Historical LeClaire Hotel. Soon, it was discovered that the building had an iron ocher issue. Iron ocher poses threat because it clogs the system and causing large and costly back-ups, and once present, it is always present.


Design specialist, Mac, was put to the test with the much needed waterproofing solution. He offered a waterproofing system that included 404 feet of WaterGuard Iron Ocher System, 142 feet of Trench Drain, 521 feet of two-foot CleanSpace Liner strips, and five (5) SuperSumps. When foreman, Justin and crew began working on the project, they ran into an issue with the concrete floor foundation. Most large buildings have a poured concrete of eight-inches thick and strengthened with rebar to accommodate for the weight of the building. For the Historical LeClaire Hotel building, this was not the case.  A six-inch layer of concrete was laid on top of another four-inch floor. Due to the multiple layers of flooring, an air jack hammer was required to break the concrete instead of the typical jack hammer used to break out the sections for the drainage systems. Some areas were also difficult to air hammer due to five inches of standing water. Once the concrete was broken out, the waterproofing systems process could continue.

Due to the large, and never-ending, issue of iron ocher, all types of waterproofing systems are threatened, with all end results: clogged systems. The only effective solution is the installation of a WaterGuard Iron Ocher System (IOS) that is then attached to a sump system. What makes WaterGuard IOS more effective than other drainage systems is the option to access the tiles at any given point. The WaterGuard IOS system is similar to the commonly installed WaterGuard Drainage System, but it allows for the lid of the tiles to be removed. Once the lid is removed, the system can be flushed out, preventing iron ocher from building and collecting. Having a WaterGuard IOS requires high maintenance of all variations depending on how much iron ocher build-up takes place. In some cases, the drainage system needs to be flushed out once a month. In order to flush out the system, a constant temperature of 140-degrees Fahrenheit must be applied to water. Another option is peroxide, which breaks down the sludge and slime.

Two-foot strips of CleanSpace Liner were installed along portions of the basement to address the leaking foundation, and was applied to a large raised section of the floor. CleanSpace Linear acts as a moisture barrier and helps redirect water to the WaterGuard IOS and Trench Drains. It is very important in helping protect against excessive moisture amounts because moisture causes mold and mildew growth. As for the raised concrete section, CleanSpace was placed on top of the area to help redirect the water to the drain tiles. With all necessary areas covered in CleanSpace, crewmen can now lay the WaterGuard IOS and Trench Drain systems that directly reach all five (5) SuperSumps. Each SuperSump uses and airtight lid, WaterWatch alarm, and a M137 Zoeller pump. Commonly found in a SuperSump is a M53 Zoeller pump, which use 1/3rd horsepower, pumping 2,220 gallons per hour. A M137 Zeoller pump model uses ½ horsepower, pumping 3,900 gallons per hour. With all pumps working together, 19,500 gallons of water can be pumped out of the basement per hour.

The Historical LeClaire Hotel now has a waterproofing system that keeps the basement dry, increasing the longevity of the building’s life. No more standing water means the wooden and metal doors, and concrete block walls will no longer rot, corrode, or crumble away. Even though the iron ocher is still and will continue to be present, the WaterGuard IOS system allows access to maintain and keep the build-ups under control.

Project Summary

Helping Preserve Historical Landmark: Historical LeClaire Hotel in Moline, IL

Waterproofing Products: WaterGuard IOS, Trench Drains, CleanSpace Liner & SuperSumps

Design Specialist: David McDaniel

Project Foreman: Justin Bailey

The Historical LeClaire Hotel today. *Photo taken August, 18th, 2017
Standing water is causing mold, rotting, and crumbling in the building. (Bottom left corner) Iron ocher begins to show its presence.
The perimeter of the basement is removed with an air jack hammer to allow for WaterGuard IOS and Trench Drains to be installed.
Water and moisture damage is present on the walls and doors. WaterGuard IOS is installed along the walls. Trench Drains are installed in front of doorways.
The raised concrete floor has CleanSpace installed on top of it to redirect the water to the Trench Drains that line the perimeter of the slab.
Close-up of Trench Drain installed in a door way. Due to the slits, it will allow for easy system flushing to prevent iron ocher build-ups.
Close-up of WaterGuard IOS and CleanSpace Liner. CleanSpace helps redirect water to the WaterGuard IOS and help keep moisture out of the air.
CleanSpace, Trench Drains, WaterGuard and a SuperSump help keep the basement dry of the Historical LeClaire Hotel.