In 1955 a young entrepreneur named Ray Kroc opened a restaurant in Des Plaines.
The menu was pretty limited – burgers, fries, shakes and sodas and there was nowhere to sit – dining was strictly take-out.
All the same, the restaurant was a big hit and the progenitor of an American fast-food icon. The eatery, located on Rand Road, was Kroc’s first in his new franchising venture that began when he tried to sell milkshake machines at a burger joint in California owned by the McDonald brothers.
Complete with the signature golden arches, Ray Kroc’s restaurant in Des Plaines was the very first franchised McDonald’s in the country. A rebuilt version stands in the same spot today but not a Big Mac is to be found – it’s the “McDonald’s #1 Store Museum,” open by appointment.
Of course, today’s Des Plaines residents have many choices of places to eat – and work and shop and worship. Des Plaines has grown considerably since McDonald’s first came to town, more than doubling its population to the current level of nearly 57,000. These residents live in nearly 23,000 homes, two-thirds of which were built prior to 1970.
Owners of these homes are experiencing the same maintenance and repair issues that plague owners of older homes everywhere and many of them have discovered basement foundation cracks in their homes.
Most foundations in Des Plaines are constructed of poured concrete; some are made of masonry. Either of these types of foundations can crack and the cracks can be either structural or non-structural.
Non-structural cracks are typically less than 1/8” wide and do not follow a pattern. Cracks in poured concrete will usually be vertical and may seep water. In a concrete block wall, the cracks will follow the mortar joints but may not be seem to be seeping because of the hollow construction of the block that holds water.
Structural cracks are generally wider and found in a definite pattern. In a poured concrete wall, there will usually be one vertical crack in the middle and two angled cracks across the upper corners. Invisible from the inside are vertical cracks in the corners where the damaged wall has separated from the adjoining walls.
In a concrete block wall, the cracks run through mortar joints in a stair-step pattern and typically lead to a bowed or bulging section in the center of the wall.
The presence of structural cracks indicates damage to the wall and instability of the foundation.
Non-structural cracks in poured concrete are repaired by injecting them with expanding polyurethane that seals the crack and remains flexible when cured to prevent re-cracking from minor foundation movement. Seepage from cracks in block walls can be managed with interior drain tile or sealed off from outside with an exterior waterproofing membrane.
In the case of structural cracks, the crack itself is not repaired but repair and stabilization is done to the wall that has moved or shifted to cause the crack. Walls with structural cracks have generally rotated inward and if they are left unrepaired will separate from the aboveground structure and no longer support it.
Depending on the amount of rotation, the damaged wall may be repaired with carbon fiber. If the wall has moved less than 2 inches, then carbon fiber strips can be epoxied to the wall to prevent any further movement and stabilize the foundation.
If the wall has moved more than 2 inches, low-profile channel steel, anchored at top and bottom, will be used to stop the wall’s inward movement.
A Des Plaines homeowner who discovers basement foundation cracks will need the advice and assistance of a qualified foundation repair contractor and/or basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, our foundation repair team uses engineering data and the latest methods and materials to do permanent, cost-effective repair and our basement waterproofing experts draw on our 57 years of experience keeping basements dry all over the Chicago area. Why not ask for our free advice?
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