Northfield IL is a small, quiet northern suburb known for its natural setting and large residential lots.
The village’s first European settler arrived in the mid-19th century -- a blacksmith named John Happ who established his business and residence there. The Happ place was soon surrounded by farms as immigrant farmers were drawn to the rich soil, availability of land and access to smithing services. Happ is memorialized by Happ Road, a street that runs parallel to the Edens Expressway on the eastern side of the village.
Northfield grew slowly – there were only 274 homes and a population numbering only in the hundreds in the village at the start of World War II – but joined in the suburban boom that followed the war by constructing more than 1,000 homes in the next three decades. Today, there are 2,300 homes in Northfield that house a population of more than 5,400.
Of course, Northfield is not all residential. The village is also home to the headquarters of snack foods giant Kraft Foods, which maintains an office campus on the western edge of the village.
Northfield homeowners, whether their home was built in 1930 or 2010, encounter the same repair and maintenance issues as homeowners throughout the Chicago suburbs and many have found themselves in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Just like homes in neighboring Northbrook and Winnetka, homes in Northfield that need wet basement waterproofing are individually diagnosed but there are 3 common situations – and 3 common solutions -- that most often occur.
Porous Wall Seepage – Masonry walls often seep through porous masonry units like concrete block and brick as well as through deteriorated mortar joints. Poured concrete walls can seep through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the foundation wall. Seepage through foundation walls can be prevented by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane, applied with a trowel to create a permanent barrier against water infiltration.
When ground water around the foundation is extreme, augment the membrane with exterior drain tile and heavy duty drainage board that protects the membrane and channels water down to the drain tile.
Cove Joint Seepage – Ground water below the foundation creates hydrostatic pressure that forces water into the basement through the cove joint between wall and floor or through floor cracks. Installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed stone under the basement floor, eases this pressure and transports ground water to a sump pump to discharge it from the home. When properly installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Wall Crack Seepage – Poured concrete foundations are common in the Chicago area and the most frequently found cause of seepage in such a foundation is a non-structural crack in a basement wall. Injecting the crack with expanding polyurethane from inside the basement is the most effective means of stopping this type of seepage. The polyurethane material fills the crack to the outside soil and stays flexible when cured to prevent re-opening from minor foundation movement.
When the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible from the interior it can be repaired on the outside with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which creates a permanent barrier against water infiltration.
No matter what the source of the seepage or the recommended method of stopping it, a Northfield homeowner in need of wet basement waterproofing will require the advice and assistance of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing we have been keeping basements dry around Chicagoland since our founding in 1957. If you like what some of your Northfield neighbors had to say about us, why not ask for our free advice?
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