Basement Foundation Cracks are a Problem in Glenview IL 60025, 60026


Basement Foundation Cracks are a Problem in Glenview IL 60025, 60026

Glenview IL is an upscale suburb north of Chicago.  The village has a long history, with its oldest neighborhood dating back to 1894 and its incorporation having taken place in 1899.  Glenview residents have been dedicated to preserving their town’s history and two properties, both owned and operated by the Glenview Park District, bring that history to life for modern residents.

The Grove was once the estate of an early Glenview settler, Dr, John Kennicott, who first moved to the area in 1836.  Today, the Grove is a 135-acre nature preserve and a National Historic Landmark with an interpretive nature center and many original and recreated buildings.

Wagner Farm is an 18-acre remnant of a large farm originally settled in the 1850s by the Wagner family when they emigrated from Germany.  Much of the original farmland was developed for residential and commercial use but the existing piece operates as a working dairy farm and is a popular public attraction for residents and visitors.

Modern Glenview has a population of more than 46,000 who live in nearly 16,000 homes, more than half of which are at least 50 years old.  Just like homeowners anywhere, Glenview residents of these older homes (and newer ones as well) are dealing with maintenance and repair issues and many of them have discovered basement foundation cracks.

Basement Foundation Cracks in Glenview Homes

Two types of foundations are generally found in Glenview homes, poured concrete and masonry.  Either foundation is susceptible to cracking, but will develop cracks differently.  The effect, however, is often the same.

Non-structural cracks in a poured concrete foundation are generally narrow and can appear at random instead of in a clear pattern.  Wider cracks (more than 1/8”) that show up in a pattern are usually structural.  The pattern typically includes a vertical crack in the middle of the wall and two angled cracks across the upper corners.  Not seen from inside are two other vertical cracks where the damaged wall breaks away from the adjacent walls.

The narrow cracks will allow ground water to seep into the basement.  Wider cracks indicate structural damage caused by settlement or pressure from over-saturated soil that has caused the wall to move inward, often referred to as rotation.

In a concrete block or other masonry foundation, cracks develop in the mortar joints between masonry units.  Minor cracks can admit seepage into the basement and larger cracks, just like in a poured concrete foundation, indicate structural damage to the wall.  Cracks in mortar joints will appear mostly in a stair-step pattern but will usually have a wide horizontal crack when the wall has been destabilized.

Any of these cracks (or the damage they indicate) must be repaired.

If the wall has moved less than 2 inches inward the wall movement that caused the wider cracks can be repaired with carbon fiber strips epoxied to the wall to prevent further movement.  If the wall has experienced greater movement, low-profile steel channels anchored to the footing and bolted to floor joists at the top will be required to stabilize the wall and prevent further movement.

Seeping wall cracks can be permanently repaired by injecting them with expanding polyurethane, which expands to fill and seal the crack all the way to the outside soil and remains flexible when it cures to prevent the crack from re-opening due to minor foundation movement.

Regardless of the type and location of the crack, a Glenview homeowner that finds one in his or her basement will need the help of a foundation repair professional to fix it properly.  At U.S. Waterproofing, our structural foundation team uses engineering data to plan and implement permanent structural repairs and our basement waterproofing team employs the latest of materials and technology to keep basements dry.  We’ve been doing this for 57 years and for more than 300,000 homeowners so why not ask for our free advice when you see a crack in your basement?


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