Elgin, IL is today a growing city on the banks of the Fox River with a population in excess of 100,000. Founded as a stagecoach stop on the Chicago to Galena route and named after a Scottish hymn, Elgin grew famous as the home of two very different but equally iconic American products.
During an extensive period between the Civil War and the late 1960’s, Elgin watches were known and worn all over the planet. Originally established in Chicago, the National Watch Company shortly moved to the city that would become its namesake and established what became the world’s largest center of watch manufacturing. The Elgin watch was known as a solid American product, neither cheap nor fancy, and is still prized for its collectability and dependability.
Around the same time as the watchmakers set up shop, Gail Borden established a factory in Elgin to produce the product he had invented – condensed milk. The Borden Company went on to become a major American brand and gave the marketing world the mascots Elsie the Cow and Elmer the Bull, namesake of Elmer’s Glue. Elgin’s municipal library is named after Borden.
Modern Elgin boasts of 33,000 homes and is a major commuter center in the growing Fox Valley. Like homeowners all over the Chicago area, Elgin homeowners face regular maintenance and repairs on their homes and many are in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Crack Repair – One of the most common sources of basement seepage in a poured concrete foundation is through non-structural cracks that can be caused by settling or lateral pressure from over-saturated soil. The best way to repair these cracks is to inject them from the inside with expanding polyurethane, which will expand to fill and seal the cracks all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane stays flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement will not cause the crack to re-open.
If the crack is inaccessible it can be repaired from the exterior by digging a small hole down to the foundation footings at the site of the crack. The hole is filled with sodium bentonite clay that will form a pliable, permanent barrier against further seepage.
Interior Drain Tile – Another common source of seepage in any type of foundation is through the cove joint, and through cracks in the basement floor, caused by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation. Interior drain tile, perforated pipe embedded in washed gravel under the basement floor, relieves this hydrostatic pressure and carries the water to a sump pump for removal from the house.
Exterior Waterproofing – Water can also seep into the basement through porous concrete or masonry, mortar joints or over the top of the foundation. It can be stopped by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane, to the outside of the foundation to form an impermeable barrier against water. The membrane is installed by troweling it onto the walls and should not be confused with “damp-proofing,” a thin coating sprayed on during construction.
When there is a large amount of ground water present, the membrane can be complemented by adding exterior drain tile and drainage board to channel water downward.
No matter which way it is to be done, wet basement waterproofing in Elgin requires the skills of a basement waterproofing contractor that knows the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve helped more than 300,000 Chicagoland homeowners keep their basements dry since our founding in 1957, many of them like this Elgin resident. Why not ask for our free advice?
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