Lake Bluff IL is the northernmost point of the “North Shore,” Chicago’s string of upscale lakefront suburbs in Cook and Lake Counties. In some ways, the village lives in the shadow of Lake Forest, its larger and better-known neighbor to the south but Lake Bluff residents give up nothing in picturesque settings and comfortable lifestyle.
After the Chicago-to-Waukegan railroad opened in 1855, the latter half of the 19th Century saw Lake Bluff become a center for recreation and vacations with a newly formed Methodist Camp Meeting association and the construction of a luxury hotel. Along with lake beaches, these attractions drew visitors from Chicago and elsewhere.
The dawn of the 20th Century saw the transformation of Lake Bluff into a residential community, beginning with the construction of large, luxurious estates for members of some famous Chicago families, including Fields and Armours. Later, the construction of the Terrace subdivision and other residential development, including on the former Armour estate, brought Lake Bluff’s population to its current level of 5,700.
Of Lake Bluff’s 2,200 homes, more than half were built before 1960. These homeowners, like owners of older homes all over the Chicago area, are facing the maintenance and repair problems that are common to homes of this vintage and many of them are In need of wet basement waterproofing.
1. Interior Drain Tile – Hydrostatic pressure under a foundation will force water into the basement through cracks in the floor and the cove joint. Installing interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor, will alleviate this pressure and carry water to a sump pump for discharge. When properly installed, interior drain tile never needs maintenance.
2. Crack Repair – The most common source of water in a poured concrete basement is a non-structural crack in the basement wall. These cracks are best repaired on the interior by injecting them with expanding polyurethane that seals the crack permanently all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane also remains flexible when cured to prevent re-cracking from minor foundation movement.
If the crack is inaccessible from the interior, it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug down to the foundation footing at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which forms a pliable yet impenetrable barrier against water.
3. Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete foundations can also leak through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the foundation wall; masonry foundations often leak through deteriorated mortar joints or porous masonry units like brick and concrete block. This seepage can be stopped and/or prevented by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied to the exterior walls with a trowel to create a permanent water barrier.
If there is a lot of ground water present the membrane can be supplemented with exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board that protects the membrane and channels water downward.
Regardless of the best repair method, a Lake Bluff homeowner in need of wet basement waterproofing requires the advice and services of a basement waterproofing contractor that knows the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been repairing wet basements all over the Chicago area since 1957 and have already helped a number of Lake Bluff homeowners solve problems in their basements. Why not ask for our free advice?
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