Oak Lawn IL is a suburban town west of Chicago with a population of more than 57,000. Oak Lawn was a small, semi-rural village prior to World War II but was a classic case of postwar boom in the decades that followed.
Today’s Oak Lawn is still growing and has filled its nearly nine square miles with schools, parks and hospitals to accommodate the increasing population.
Housing, too, has grown in Oak Lawn as the population has increased from fewer than 1.000 homes before World War II to nearly 23,000 today. However, even in a newer suburb like Oak Lawn, more than half of the homes are at least 45 years old and that means an increase in repair and maintenance for those homeowners.
One of the common problems faced by homeowners in Oak Lawn is water in the basement and one of the best ways to stop it is by installing drain tile.
Every home is different in Oak Lawn and elsewhere but wet basements usually stem from one or more of only a few sources. When seepage is occurring through cracks in the basement floor, through the cove joint between wall and floor or seeping through porous concrete or bad mortar joints in the walls, the best remedy is usually to install drain tile.
Drain tile can be installed on either the inside or outside of the foundation. In either location its purpose is to relieve pressure created by water in the soil and carry that water off to a sump basin before it can seep into the basement.
Under the foundation, the water table rises and creates hydrostatic pressure beneath the floor. This pressure will force water into the basement through cracks in the floor or the cove joint.
Outside the foundation, over-saturated soil caused by heavy rain or snowmelt creates lateral pressure against the foundation walls and can push water through porous spots or even the smallest chink in the mortar joints in masonry walls.
Regardless of whether the drain tile is installed on the interior or exterior, it works by the same basic principle. Sections of perforated pipe are embedded in washed gravel alongside the foundation footings and then connected to a sump basin. When pressure in the soil increases, the water that creates it is forced into the pipe and carried off to a sump pump for discharge.
When seepage is coming into a basement through floor cracks or the cove joint, installing interior drain tile is recommended. A strip of concrete basement floor is removed around the perimeter and a shallow trench is dug down to the footings and partially filled with washed stone. Flexible, corrugated, perforated pipe is encased in a sock of filtration fabric and laid on top of the gravel and connected to the sump basin. The pipe is covered with more gravel and the concrete is replaced.
For wall seepage, exterior drain tile is recommended, along with an exterior waterproofing membrane. An excavation is made along the foundation wall to expose the footings and the exterior waterproofing membrane is applied. Washed stone is placed at the bottom of the excavation and rigid, perforated PVC pipe is laid on top. (PVC is used on the exterior because of its greater resistance to soil movement.)
The pipe is connected to the sump pump, more gravel is laid on top and the excavation is backfilled.
Regardless of whether interior or exterior drain tile is recommended, an Oak Lawn homeowner who needs drain tile to solve a seepage problem will require the advice and services of a basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have installed literally miles of drain tile on either side of the foundation for thousands of the 300,000 satisfied customers on our books since 1957. Why not ask for our free advice?
Want to know more about how drain tile can help keep your Oak Lawn basement dry? Please post your questions in the Comments box below.
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