Oak Park, IL is one of the best known suburbs of Chicago, primarily because of two famous former residents, one of whom definitely left his mark on the community.
Iconic American author Ernest Hemingway grew up in Oak Park before moving on to Havana, Key West and other venues in which his stories are set. Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived and practiced in Oak Park and built a number of homes in the village that still draw thousands of tourists each year.
For the non-famous, however, Oak Park is just home and more than 50,000 residents call it that. Oak Park families live in more than 24,000 homes in the village on the western edge of Chicago and homeowners there face the same maintenance and repair issues as homeowners all over the region.
In fact, homes in Oak Park may be experiencing more such problems because more than two-thirds of the homes there are at least 75 years old. Many older homes are prone to basement water problems and, although there are a number of solutions to these problems, one that works in many cases is to install drain tile.
Most of the causes of water infiltration in Oak Park homes have to do with water under pressure in the soil surrounding the home’s foundation. One of the most effective ways of alleviating this pressure and the seepage it causes is to install drain tile on either the interior or exterior of the foundation wall.
Indications that exterior drain tile is needed are usually some form of water seeping through the wall, either through bad mortar joints or porous concrete, or water coming in over the top of the foundation wall. Exterior drain tile is typically installed along with an exterior waterproofing membrane, an impervious coating applied to the outside of a foundation wall to keep water out.
Installation of exterior drain tile is fairly simple. When the 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, rigid, perforated PVC that can withstand soil movement, is installed on the gravel bed, wrapped in a “sock” of filtration fabric and connected to a sump basin. More gravel goes on top of the pipe and the excavation is backfilled.
When water enters the basement through cracks in the concrete floor or the cove joint between walls and floor, then interior drain tile is indicated. The water is being pushed through these openings and into the basement by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation and interior drain tile will alleviate 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 drain tile, which is not tile at all but corrugated, perforated plastic pipe, is laid on top of the gravel and connected at both ends to a sump basin; it is also typically covered in filtration fabric. The pipe is covered in more washed gravel and the concrete floor is replaced.
The drain tile system relieves hydrostatic pressure by giving the water an outlet and then transports it to a sump pump for discharge from the home. Interior drain tile should never require maintenance.
When 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.
If an Oak Park homeowner discovers seepage in his or her basement that may require drain tile, 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 basement wall. Why not ask for our free advice?
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