Lake Forest is one of the best known and most desirable communities in Chicago’s northern suburbs. From its quaint downtown to the many corporate headquarters on its western border, the city has long been a hub of life on the North Shore.
Homes in Lake Forest run the gamut from sprawling estates to upscale subdivisions to more modest houses closer to downtown. One thing the homeowners all have in common, though, is that when they experience basement water problems they are faced with the question: “How do I seal my basement in Lake Forest?
Every basement water problem is unique to the home and the site on which it is built, but there are three situations that commonly occur in Lake Forest homes. Here’s how they can be permanently repaired:
Inject Cracks in Poured Concrete Foundation Walls – Poured concrete foundation walls are under pressure from outside soil. When the clay soil found in Lake Forest becomes over-saturated, the soil expands and this lateral pressure increases. This often causes thin cracks in the foundation wall that don’t jeopardize its stability but can allow water to seep into the basement. These cracks can be permanently repaired by injecting them from the interior with expanding polyurethane. The material fills the crack all the way to the outside soil, sealing it from any further water infiltration. The polyurethane remains flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement doesn’t cause the crack to re-open.
Install Interior Drain Tile – A very common source of seepage in Lake Forest homes is through the cove joint, which is the spot where foundation walls meet the basement floor. Cove seepage is caused by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation which can be extreme in Lake Forest because of the high water table that results from the city’s proximity to Lake Michigan. Many homeowners try to seal the cove joint with caulk or hydraulic cement but this just doesn’t work.
A permanent remedy for cove seepage is relieving hydrostatic pressure by installing interior (or exterior) drain tile. Interior drain tile is a perforated, corrugated plastic pipe that is wrapped in a filtration sock and laid beneath the basement floor surrounded by a bed of washed stone next to the foundation footings. This pipe is then connected to a sump basin. Water that would otherwise be forced by underground pressure up through the cove joint onto the basement floor is instead carried off by the drain tile and ejected from the house by a sump pump.
Apply Exterior Waterproofing Membrane – Some of the older homes in Lake Forest, like any community with a long history, may have foundations of concrete block or other masonry such as stone, brick or even telephone tile. Just like poured concrete walls, these masonry walls can develop cracks from lateral pressure but the cracks generally occur in the joints between the blocks in the mortar that holds them together. These cracks cannot be repaired by urethane injection because it is impossible to ensure that they are completely filled.
A more effective permanent remedy is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the wall. This membrane is asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled on in a thick coat to form a “positive side” barrier against seepage. This can be covered with a heavy plastic drainage board to channel water down to exterior drain tile for even greater protection.
So, how do you seal your basement in Lake Forest? It depends on the source of the problem but a competent basement waterproofing contractor should have a number of remedies at his disposal. At U.S. Waterproofing we’ve been helping Lake Forest homeowners seal their basements for decades and we have the expertise and experience to keep your basement dry permanently. Why not ask for a free consultation?
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