Palos Heights is a small but growing southwest suburb of Chicago. With a population approaching 13,000 on less than 4 square miles, Palos Heights has grown substantially since it was first developed on former farmland in 1935.
There are more than 4200 homes in Palos Heights, about 10% of which date back to the original development plan of the 1930s and 40s. More than 2/3 of the homes in Palos Heights, however, are more than 35 years old and that means that most local homeowners are running into the maintenance and repair issues that come along with older homes.
One of the most common problems in these homes is a wet basement and a number of Palos Heights homeowners have sought help in keeping them dry. Many of them have followed good professional advice and installed drain tile in their homes to keep them dry, safe and comfortable.
Drain tile can be installed on the interior or exterior and in both cases will relieve pressure created by water in the ground by giving it somewhere else to go. Perforated pipe is installed next to the foundation footings in a bed of washed gravel and connected to a sump pump. The less compacted gravel bed and the void created by the pipe alleviate the pressure and the pipe carries the water to a sump pump that removes it from the house.
The choice of installing drain tile on the interior or exterior is based on how and where the water enters the basement. 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. If seepage is coming through the wall because of porous masonry units or concrete or cracked or deteriorated mortar joints, then exterior drain tile is recommended
Installing interior drain tile begins with removing a 12-inch wide piece of concrete around the perimeter of the basement floor and digging down to the bottom of the footings. Washed gravel is added to the trench at a depth of several inches and then flexible, corrugated, perforated pipe, wrapped in a sock of filtration fabric, is installed on top. The pipe is connected at one or both ends to the sump pit, covered in more washed gravel and the cement floor is replaced.
When the water table rises and creates hydrostatic pressure under the foundation, water that would otherwise enter the basement through the cove joint or cracks in the floor passes into the pipe instead and is carried to the sump pump for removal.
Exterior drain tile is frequently installed in company with an exterior waterproofing membrane that is applied to seal the wall against water penetration but exterior drain tile can also be installed on its own. As with interior drain tile, washed gravel is poured into the bottom of an excavation along the outside of the foundation wall and perforated, rigid PVC pipe is laid on top and connected to a sump basin. PVC is used on the exterior because it stands up well against soil exposure and exterior pressures. The installation is topped off with more washed gravel and the excavation is backfilled.
The exterior drain tile pipe alleviates ground water pressure and carries the water to a sump pump.
Whether the recommendation is for interior or exterior drain tile, a Palos Heights homeowner with water in his or her basement will need the help of a basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have installed miles of drain tile on either side 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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