Statistics can often be confusing and are sometimes manipulated to support a particular point of view but, when straightforward, they can be really interesting. Take these demographic statistics about the 2500 residents of Kenilworth, the smallest village on Chicago’s North Shore:
If you live in Kenilworth, you’re probably married. Nearly three-quarters of the population over the age of 15 have tied the knot.
You’re also probably reasonably well off financially. Median annual income for Kenilworth residents is more than $225,000 and the average house in the village will set you back nearly $900,000.
You’re also probably pretty well-educated if you call Kenilworth home. Compared to the Illinois average, twice as many Kenilworth residents have Bachelor’s degrees, nearly 4 times the average has earned Master’s degrees and 6 times the average has professional degrees.
Most of these people live in older homes in Kenilworth because nearly three-quarters of the village’s 800 homes were built before 1939, an interesting statistic in itself. So, if you combine smart homeowners with homes that are 70 years old or more, that should tell you that many of them know they have to seal their basements to prevent water damage.
1. Exterior Waterproofing – Masonry foundation walls, found in many older Kenilworth homes, can seep water through cracked or deteriorating mortar joints or porous stone or brick; poured concrete foundations can leak over the top of the foundation wall or through patches of porous concrete. The best method to seal a basement against 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.
2. Crack Repair – The most common source of water 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 and fill them all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane material remains flexible when cured to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise 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.”
3. Interior Drain Tile – Water frequently seeps into Kenilworth 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 it is installed properly, interior drain tile doesn’t require maintenance.
Whether it’s done by one of these methods or in some other fashion, sealing a basement in Kenilworth requires the advice and assistance of a professional basement waterproofing contractor that knows the community and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been sealing basements all over the Chicago area since 1957 and we have already helped hundreds of Kenilworth homeowners keep their basements dry. Please ask for our free advice.
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