Arlington Heights, with a population in excess of 75,000, is the largest village in the United States. It covers nearly 17,000 square miles in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and has a notably irregular border that allows drivers to pass in and out of Arlington Heights several times while staying on the same road.
Along with nearly 32,000 homes and a wide range of commercial ventures, Arlington Heights offers some unique opportunities for those with special interests:
Like to sing? The Arlingtones Barbershop Chorus is there for the harmonious.
Dancing more your thing? Swing your partner with the Arlington Squares.
Prefer the yip of little dogs to the sound of music? The Chicagoland Shih Tzu Club may be for you.
Or maybe you just like living in Arlington Heights. Lots of people do and there’s a wide range of houses for them, large and small, old and new. Of course, the owners of those homes run into the usual repair and maintenance issues and many of them have spotted basement foundation cracks.
The most common type of foundation in Arlington Heights, with the exception of some of the oldest homes, is one made of poured concrete. Poured concrete foundations have greater wall strength than masonry foundations but are still subject to cracking caused by lateral pressure from oversaturated soil or by a dropped or sunken foundation.
Basement foundation cracks fall into two categories, structural and non-structural. A non-structural crack is usually very narrow, less than 1/8 inch, and does not occur in a discernible pattern, although the nature of mortar joints in masonry walls is such that any cracks will appear in a stairstep pattern.
Structural cracks are wider and almost always show up in a pattern. In a poured concrete wall, there will generally be a vertical crack in the center of the affected wall and two angled cracks, one across each upper corner. Hidden from view is another set of vertical cracks near the outside corners where the damaged wall has begun to separate from the adjoining ones.
In a masonry wall, the pattern will still be a stairstep but it will lead to a bowed or bulging area in the center.
The worst consequence of a non-structural crack is that it is likely to seep water into the basement. A structural crack, on the other hand, can be an indication of major damage and a destabilized house.
Repairing a non-structural crack in a poured concrete wall is best done by injecting the crack with expanding polyurethane to seal the crack and prevent it from re-opening. In a masonry wall, an exterior waterproofing membrane will seal the wall on the positive side or the seepage can be managed with interior drain tile and a vapor barrier covering the wall.
Structural cracks require a more involved repair. These cracks indicate that the foundation wall was bowed (in the case of masonry) or rotated inward (poured concrete) and the degree of damage determines the repair method. If the wall has moved less than 2 inches, it can be repaired and stabilized by attaching carbon fiber strips to the wall with industrial-strength epoxy. More movement requires that low-profile channel steel be used.
Carbon fiber is significantly less costly and visible than the steel method so Arlington Heights homeowners are well advised to have repairs done as soon as possible to take advantage of the cost savings and convenience.
No matter what the type or extent of damage an Arlington Heights homeowner who spots a basement foundation crack will need professional advice and assistance. At U.S. Waterproofing, our basement waterproofing team has been sealing cracks and applying exterior waterproofing membranes for 57 years and our foundation repair experts employ engineering data and the latest technology to repair structural cracks permanently and cost-effectively. Why not ask for our free advice when you spot a crack?
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