The village of Brookfield IL is best known these days as the home of the “Brookfield Zoo,” properly called the Chicago Zoological Society. The land on which the zoo sits today was donated by a daughter of legendary tycoon John D. Rockefeller but neither he nor she ranks as the most influential person in the village’s past.
Samuel E. Gross, one of the first major real estate developers in the Chicago area, bought land and built a railroad station in what is now Brookfield, establishing the town of Grossdale in 1889. Gross, a promotional wizard, offered free rail excursions from Chicago and met prospective home buyers at the train station with a marching band and treated them to a picnic while making his sales pitch for land and home construction.
Gross went on to establish the West Grossdale and Hollywood subdivisions before his luck ran out in the early 20th century. In 1905, tired of Gross’ dominance, residents voted to change the town’s name to Brookfield. The train station, now home to the Brookfield Historical Society, and many of Gross’ original homes still stand in Brookfield today.
With the broad range of age among Brookfield’s homes, it’s no surprise that many of them suffer from maintenance problems, including the need for wet basement waterproofing.
Just as in nearby LaGrange and Riverside, homes in Brookfield are individually diagnosed by a professional but there are 3 methods of wet basement waterproofing that usually do the job.
1. Crack Repair – The most common source of seepage in a poured concrete basement is through non-structural cracks in the foundation walls. The best way to seal these cracks is to inject them with expanding polyurethane, filling them all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane stays flexible when cured to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.
If the crack is inaccessible it can be repaired from the exterior by digging a small hole next to the foundation at the site of the crack and filling it with sodium bentonite clay. The clay forms a pliable yet permanent barrier against water from the “positive side.”
2. Interior Drain Tile – Water often seeps into basements through the cove joint or cracks in the basement floor, forced through these openings by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation. Interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed stone under the basement floor, relieves this pressure and carries ground water to a sump pump to be discharged from the house. When installed properly, interior drain tile doesn’t require maintenance.
3. Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete foundations can leak over the top of the foundation wall or through patches of porous concrete; masonry foundation walls can seep water through cracked or deteriorating mortar joints or porous stone or brick. The best way to stop these leaks is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the foundation walls. The membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane applied in a thick coat with a trowel, creates a permanent barrier against further seepage.
If a large amount of ground water is present, the membrane can be augmented by installing exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board to channel water downward.
Regardless of the best method of repair, a homeowner in Brookfield who needs wet basement waterproofing requires the services of a professional basement waterproofing contractor who knows the town and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been waterproofing wet basements all over Chicagoland since 1957 and have already helped hundreds of Brookfield homeowners. Why not ask for our free advice?
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