Skokie IL began life as a quiet village named Niles Center and didn’t begin to grow seriously until it was swept up in the postwar housing and baby boom in the 1950s.
One key event in the economic life of the village took place in 1956 on a plot of land next to the newly dedicated Edens Expressway – the opening of the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The first open shopping mall in the United States, the Shopping Center’s design and layout echoed the new feel of the suburbs instead of a more claustrophobic urban environment.
The new center was anchored by a branch of the then-mighty Marshall Field’s department store and drew shoppers from all over the city and suburbs. The center remained successful but was revitalized by a major renovation and expansion in the mid-1990’s that doubled its size and brought in new department stores, including Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s. Today, with Field’s replaced by Macy’s and a relabeling as “Westfield Old Orchard” to reflect current ownership, the center thrives and continues to bring an economic boost to Skokie and the region.
Skokie still remains a bedroom community at heart with 66,000 residents and more than 23,000 homes. Of course, the owners of these homes, like homeowners in neighboring Evanston and Wilmette, face normal maintenance and repair issues and many include basement waterproofing in their home care plans.
Of course, each home in Skokie is evaluated individually to determine how to approach basement waterproofing but here are 3 common methods that work for the majority of homeowners.
Crack Repair – The majority of homes in Skokie have poured concrete foundations and the most common source of water in these foundations is a non-structural crack in the wall. The best way to permanently repair these cracks is to inject them with expanding polyurethane, which fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside. The polyurethane remains flexible when cured to prevent the crack re-opening from minor foundation movement in the future.
If the crack can’t be accessed from inside it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug down to the footings at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which forms a pliable, permanent barrier against water intrusion.
Interior Drain Tile – Basements in Skokie often leak through cracks in the floor and between the wall and floor as hydrostatic pressure under the foundation forces water in. This pressure can be alleviated by installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried under the floor in a bed of washed gravel, which will carry ground water to a sump pump for disposal. Properly installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Exterior Waterproofing – Concrete foundations can experience seepage through porous patches and over top of the foundation wall; masonry foundations, like concrete block, through deteriorated mortar joints and porous masonry. This seepage can be stopped by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane applied with a trowel, that forms a permanent waterproof barrier on the outside of the foundation.
When a large amount of ground water is present, the membrane can be supplemented with exterior drain tile and drainage board.
No matter which approach to basement waterproofing is required, a Skokie homeowner will need the assistance of a professional contractor that can make permanent repairs cost-effectively. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have a 56-year history of doing the right work for the right price and have already helped out hundreds of Skokie homeowners. Why not ask for our free advice?
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