Des Plaines, IL is a northwestern suburb of Chicago, just north of O’Hare International Airport, with a population of approximately 59,000.
Des Plaines has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with home sales taking a huge leap in 2012 and remaining above average since then. Of the 23,000 homes in Des Plaines, however, fewer than 1,000 have been built in the last 10 years, typical for a fully developed, mature community.
In fact, fully two-thirds of the houses in Des Plaines are at least 40 years old and homeowners there have been dealing with the maintenance and repair issues that are common to older homes. One common problem in these homes has been water seepage into their basements and many have installed drain tile to alleviate the problem.
There are a number of reasons that basements in Des Plaines and elsewhere experience water infiltration and damage but most have to do with water under pressure in the soil surrounding or below the foundation of the home. The best remedy for eliminating this pressure and the accompanying seepage is to install drain tile on either the interior or exterior of the basement.
When water enters the basement through the cove joint between walls and floor or through cracks in the concrete floor, then interior drain tile is indicated. The water is being forced into the basement by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation and interior drain tile will relieve that pressure and remove the water.
Installing interior drain tile begins with removing a strip of the concrete floor around the perimeter and digging out soil below it down to the base of the footings. A bed of washed gravel is created at the bottom of the trench and leveled.
The “tile,” actually corrugated, perforated plastic pipe, is laid on top of the gravel and connected at both ends to a sump basin. The pipe is typically covered in a “sock” of filtration fabric. The pipe is covered in more washed gravel and the concrete floor is replaced.
The drain tile system alleviates hydrostatic pressure by giving the water somewhere to go and then carries it off to a sump pump for discharge from the home. Interior drain tile should never require maintenance.
Situations that require exterior drain tile are different, most often water seeping through the wall, either through bad mortar joints or porous concrete, or water coming in over the top of the foundation wall. Most often, exterior drain tile is used along with an exterior waterproofing membrane, which is an impervious coating applied to the outside of a foundation wall to keep water out.
Installation of exterior drain tile is similar to that of interior. If a membrane has been applied, there is already an excavation down to the footings and the bottom of this excavation is covered in washed gravel. The piping, this time rigid, perforated PVC to better withstand soil movement, is installed on the gravel bed, again in a filter sock, and connected to a sump basin. More gravel goes on top of the pipe and the excavation is backfilled.
Once either type of drain tile has been installed, water that had been entering the basement is diverted to a sump pump and the basement remains dry.
When a Des Plaines homeowner discovers seepage in his or her basement that may require drain tile to stop, he or she will need the advice and services of a qualified basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been keeping basements dry around Chicagoland since 1957 and our experts have installed literally miles of drain tile on either side of the foundation wall. Why not ask for our free advice?
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