In the days following World War II, the United States began preparing militarily for a new threat posed by the Soviet Union and embarked upon what was later termed the “Cold War.” With the use of atomic bombs to defeat Japan, the U.S. and the world were introduced to the possibility of a new kind of warfare, conducted at a distance with powerful weapons carried by long-range bombers that required an entirely different kind of defense.
One of the earliest U.S. responses to the threat was the inauguration of the NIKE missile program, a defense network that placed 265 missile sites around the country, clustered around high-value target areas. In what was termed the “Chicago-Gary Defense Area,” 23 NIKE installations were built, with one located in Arlington Heights on what was known as “Arlington Field,” an airfield adjunct to the Glenview Naval Air Station, located near Central and Wilke Roads.
Sophisticated missile systems eventually rendered the NIKE program obsolete and little remains of the launch site except an abandoned building. The property eventually reverted to the village and today is the site of several parks and the Arlington Lakes Golf Club.
Wartime history notwithstanding, the Arlington Heights of today is a peaceful village of 73,000 residents and 31,000 homes, the vast majority of which were built during that Cold War period and the coincident “baby boom.” Owners of these homes, like owners of older homes everywhere are facing the maintenance and upkeep issues that come with age and many are facing the need to do basement waterproofing.
Just as in neighboring Des Plaines and Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights homes must be individually assessed to determine the best way to do basement waterproofing but there are 3 methods that are commonly used.
Interior Drain Tile – One of the most common causes of basement seepage is when hydrostatic pressure under the foundation forces water in through cracks in the floor or the cove joint. This can be permanently remedied by installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor. The drain tile relieves the pressure and carries the water to a sump pump for discharge. When installed properly, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Crack Repair – When non-structural cracks occur in a poured concrete foundation, water finds its way in. The best way to repair these cracks is to inject them with expanding polyurethane from inside the basement. The polyurethane fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil and remains flexible once it has cured to prevent the crack from re-opening due to minor foundation movement.
If the crack can’t be reached from inside it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug along the foundation at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which forms a pliable yet permanent barrier against water intrusion.
Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete foundations can admit water through porous patches or over the top of the wall; masonry foundations through mortar joints or porous masonry units such as concrete block or brick. This seepage can be prevented by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied with a trowel on the exterior of the wall to form an impermeable water barrier.
If a large amount of ground water is present, exterior drain tile and drainage board can be added to protect the membrane and better manage the water.
Regardless of the best method for a particular home, the Arlington Heights homeowner needs the services of a basement waterproofing contractor that knows the homes in his or her neighborhood. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been waterproofing basements around Chicagoland since 1957 and have already helped hundreds of Arlington Heights homeowners keep their basements dry and their homes healthy. Why not ask for our free advice?
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