Park Ridge is an affluent suburb of Chicago, tucked in between the city’s Northwest side and O’Hare International Airport. With a population of just under 38,000, Park Ridge enjoys a per capita income substantially higher than the Illinois average and a median value for homes that more than doubles the state figure.
There are nearly 15,000 homes in Park Ridge and three-quarters of them were built before 1970. In general, older homes require more maintenance and undergo more damage that leads to repairs than newer homes and homes in Park Ridge are no exception.
Almost every home in Park Ridge has a basement and these homes, both old and new, often suffer from seepage problems. These problems emanate from different sources, of course, but one of the most effective ways of eliminating seepage in a Park Ridge home is to install drain tile.
“Drain tile” isn’t actually tile but is constructed of plastic pipe. The name harks back to the day when subsoil drainage systems were first introduced and installers used pieces of terra cotta roofing tile, set one on top of another, to form the underground conduit for water.
Drain tile can be installed on the interior or exterior and works the same way in either case. Pipe with perforations is laid next to the foundation footings in a surrounding bed of washed gravel and connected to a sump basin. Water pressure underground is alleviated by the pipe and the water that enters the pipe is carried to a sump pump that discharges it from the house.
Choosing between interior and exterior drain tile is based on the source of water in the basement. If seepage is coming through the wall because of deteriorated mortar joints or porous masonry units or concrete, then exterior drain tile is recommended. If water is seeping into the basement through cracks in the floor or through the cove joint between wall and floor, interior drain tile is called for.
Installing exterior drain tile is often done when an exterior waterproofing membrane is being applied to seal the wall against water penetration but can also be done as a stand-alone project. Washed gravel is poured into the bottom of the excavation that has been dug for the membrane to be installed and perforated, rigid PVC pipe, which stands up well against soil exposure and exterior pressures, is laid in and connected to a sump basin. More washed gravel goes on top and the excavation is backfilled.
The exterior drain tile pipe alleviates the pressure of ground water and carries it to sump pump instead of allowing it to be forced through or over the foundation wall.
The process of installing interior drain tile begins with removing a strip of concrete around the perimeter of the basement floor and digging down to the bottom of the footings. Washed gravel is poured in to a depth of several inches and then flexible, corrugated, perforated pipe, wrapped in a sock of filtration fabric is laid on top. The pipe is connected at both ends to the sump pit, more washed gravel is added and the cement floor is replaced.
When hydrostatic pressure is created under the foundation by a rise in the water table, water that would ordinarily enter the basement through the cove joint or cracks in the floor goes into the pipe instead and is carried off to the sump pump for discharge.
No matter whether the recommendation is for interior or exterior drain tile, a Park Ridge homeowner with a wet basement will need the help of a basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have installed miles of drain tile on both sides of the foundation wall for thousands of the more than 300,000 satisfied customers we have served since 1957. So, why not ask for our free advice?
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