Western Springs is a small affluent suburb in western Cook County with a population of approximately 13,000.
There actually was a spring in Western Springs and water from the Alcyone Spring was bottled and shipped broadly until the spring dried up in 1890. Even without the spring, appealing farmlands drew residents to the area, many of them Quaker farmers, which explains the village’s ban on the sale of alcohol, which lasted until late in the 20th century.
Unlike many other Chicago suburbs, Western Springs saw its first growth spurt early in its history and by 1939 already had almost 1,500 homes, nearly a third of today’s 4,400. Population at the time was around 4,000.
Western Springs’ second residential building boom took place, along with the rest of the country’s, in the 1950’s with another 1,200 homes going up and the population reaching nearly 11,000.
With one-third of their homes averaging 75 years old and the rest in their 50’s, it’s no surprise that Western Springs homeowners are facing the kind of maintenance and repair problems that are common in older homes. In fact, many of them have found themselves in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Just like homes in nearby Hinsdale and Brookfield, homes in Western Springs are diagnosed for basement water problems on a case-by-case basis but there are 3 common types of problems and 3 corresponding remedies that are used most often.
Porous Wall Seepage – Poured concrete foundation walls most often seep water through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the wall; masonry walls commonly leak through porous masonry units like concrete block and brick and cracked or deteriorated mortar joints. These problems can be repaired permanently by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied with a trowel to create an impermeable barrier against water.
When ground water is very high around the foundation, the membrane can be augmented by exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board to protect the membrane and channel water downward.
Cove Joint Seepage – Water is often forced into the basement between wall and floor or through floor cracks by hydrostatic pressure created by ground water under the foundation. Installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed stone under the basement floor, will reduce this pressure and transport ground water to a sump pump for disposal. Interior drain tile requires no maintenance when properly installed.
Wall Crack Seepage – A non-structural crack in a basement wall is the most common cause of seepage in a poured concrete foundation. The best way to stop this seepage permanently is to inject the crack with expanding polyurethane from the interior of the basement. The polyurethane seals the crack all the way to the outside soil and stays flexible when it cures to prevent re-cracking caused by minor foundation movement.
If the crack cannot be accessed from the interior it can be repaired on the outside with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug down to the foundation footing at the site of the crack and filled with the granular clay to form a permanent barrier against seepage.
Regardless of the source of basement seepage or the appropriate repair method, a Western Springs homeowner that needs wet basement waterproofing will require the advice and services of an established basement waterproofing contractor that is familiar with homes in the community. At U.S. Waterproofing we’ve been providing wet basement waterproofing services since our founding in 1957 and have already helped hundreds of Western Springs homeowners with their basement water problems. Why not ask for our free advice?
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