Like many other southern and western Chicago suburbs, Villa Park was first brought to life by the railroad, in this case the electric Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad. The town established two railway stations for the CAE and was first built as two separate subdivisions, Villa Park and Ardmore. The town was incorporated in 1914 under the name Ardmore but was changed by popular vote several years later.
For decades, Villa Park was the U.S. home to Ovaltine, the Swiss malted chocolate drink powder that was highly popular in the U.S. in the early 20th century. The factory was built in 1915 near the Ardmore train station and operated until 1988 when a series of sales of the business eventually left the U.S. rights to the products in the hands of Nestle.
During its heyday, Ovaltine sponsored such popular radio shows as Little Orphan Annie and reached near-iconic status. Modern movie fans will recall the part played by Ovaltine and the comic strip orphan in the perennial holiday favorite, A Christmas Story.
Today, Villa Park has a population of 22,000 who reside in 8,000 homes, more than half of which were built before 1960. Homeowners there are experiencing the repair and maintenance problems that are common in older homes and many are in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Just as in neighboring Elmhurst and Glen Ellyn, homes in Villa Park are individually evaluated when they need wet basement waterproofing but there are several common repair methods that work in almost every situation.
Interior Drain Tile – Hydrostatic pressure under a foundation can force water into the basement through the cove joint between wall and floor or through cracks in the basement floor. This seepage can be stopped by installing interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe embedded in washed gravel under the basement floor. The drain tile alleviates the pressure and collects ground water to be carried to sump pump for disposal from the home. When it has been installed properly, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Exterior Waterproofing – It is common for a poured concrete foundation to seep water over top of the foundation wall or through patches of porous concrete. Masonry walls often seep through porous masonry like brick or stone or through cracked or deteriorated mortar joints. In either case, seepage can be stopped by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, which is a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied to the foundation wall with a trowel to form a water barrier.
When ground water is especially high, exterior drain tile carries it away and heavy-duty drainage board will cover the membrane and channel the water to the drain tile.
Crack Repair – Another common source of basement seepage is a non-structural crack in a poured concrete basement wall. The best way to repair these cracks permanently is to inject them with expanding polyurethane to fill and seal the crack all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane remains flexible when it cures to prevent the crack from re-opening from minor foundation movement.
If the crack is inaccessible from the inside it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is excavated along the foundation down to the footings and filled with the granular clay. The clay absorbs water from the soil and creates a pliable yet permanent water barrier on the “positive side.”
No matter what the problem or the remedy, a Villa Park homeowner in need of wet basement waterproofing help should contact a reliable basement waterproofing contractor. At U. S. Waterproofing we have been fixing basement seepage for homeowners all over the Chicago area since 1957, including many in Villa Park. Why not ask for our free advice?
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