The municipal history of Skokie IL doesn’t go back as far as that of neighboring suburbs like Evanston and Morton Grove but it does extend back to the late 19th Century when the village was first incorporated as Niles Center. Residents voted in 1940 to change the name to Skokie, which had been used locally to identify the marshland on which much of the village had been built.
Skokie was pretty small at that time with fewer than 2000 homes and not many more than 5000 residents. Growth was slow during the years of World War II but, once the Fifties dawned, Skokie took off. An incredible 11,000 new homes were built in Skokie between 1950 and 1959, nearly half of today’s total of 23,700. While most Chicago suburbs took part in the postwar housing boom, the growth in Skokie was phenomenal and really put the village on the map.
Today, Skokie is a thriving, ethnically diverse community full of well-maintained homes of various vintages. Because more than half of the homes are at least 50 years old, many Skokie homeowners are faced with the maintenance problems that go along with old houses and many of them are searching for ways to repair a wet basement.
Although each Skokie home with a wet basement is treated individually there are 3 common ways to repair them.
Crack Repair – The most common type of foundation in Skokie, as it is in the entire Chicago area, is one of poured concrete; the most common source of water in such a foundation is through a non-structural crack in the basement wall. The best way to permanently repair a crack is to inject it with expanding polyurethane from the interior. The polyurethane fills the crack all the way to the outside and remains flexible when cured so minor foundation movement in the future does not cause the crack to re-open.
If the crack is inaccessible from the inside it can be repaired on the exterior using sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug next to the foundation at the site of the crack and is filled with the bentonite clay, which forms a pliable yet impermeable barrier against water intruding through the crack.
Interior Drain Tile – A major source of a wet basement is water that is forced by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation through cracks in the basement floor or through the cove joint. To repair this, the pressure must be alleviated, which is done by installing interior drain tile to ease the pressure and carry ground water off to a sump pump. Interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor requires no maintenance when installed properly.
Exterior Waterproofing – Masonry foundations can leak through deteriorated mortar joints or porous masonry; patches of porous concrete are not uncommon sources of water either. These leaks can be stopped by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled onto the outside foundation wall to form “positive side” seal against water.
If significant ground water is present, exterior drain tile can be added along with drainage board that channels the water downward.
Regardless of the appropriate type of repair, a Skokie homeowner who wants to repair a wet basement requires the advice and services of a basement waterproofing contractor that know the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing we have been repairing wet basements around Chicago for 56 years and we have already helped hundreds of Skokie homeowners repair theirs. Why not ask for our free advice?
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