Oak Lawn, a gateway to Chicago’s southwest suburbs, is one of the larger towns in the area and has been growing steadily since its incorporation in 1909. With more than 56,000 residents, the village is known for its parks and newly redeveloped downtown (and as the home of the world's largest cigar store Indian.)
Oak Lawn has a wide range of housing, with more than half of the village’s homes being built before 1970. Homes in Oak Lawn run the gamut from modest to mansion -- more than 700 homes in the village have an estimated value of more than $1 million. Regardless of their shape, size or price, homes there share one characteristic: the potential for wet basements and homeowners in the village ask the same question: How do I repair my wet basement in Oak Lawn?”
Of all the methods available to professional basement waterproofing contractors, there is no “one size fits all” remedy for Oak Lawn homeowners or anyone else. The right way to repair a wet basement is determined by the construction of the home’s foundation, the source of the water seepage and whether the basement is finished or unfinished. Here are the three most common repair methods:
Crack Repair – The most common source of a wet basement in homes with poured concrete foundations, like most in Oak Lawn, is a non-structural crack in the basement wall. These cracks occur when over-saturated soil exerts lateral pressure against the foundation walls. The best way to repair these cracks is to inject them with expanding polyurethane from the interior, which fills and seals the crack permanently all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane remains flexible to allow slight foundation movement without re-opening the crack.
In the case of a finished basement or other obstacles to interior repair, these cracks can also be repaired from the outside. The basement waterproofing contractor digs a small hole next to the foundation at the site of the crack and fills it, all the way to the footings, with sodium bentonite clay. This draws water from the soil and hardens into an impermeable barrier against further seepage.
Exterior Waterproofing Membrane – Another form of exterior repair, particularly effective on concrete block or other masonry foundations, is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the foundation walls. Masonry walls can seep water through cracked or deteriorating mortar joints or through porous concrete block. The exterior waterproofing membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane, is troweled onto the foundation walls in a heavy coat to form an effective, permanent moisture barrier that stops water before it can enter the foundation wall. This is not to be confused with “damp-proofing,” which applies only a thin, sprayed-on coating, usually at time of construction.
Drain Tile – One of the most versatile and effective basement waterproofing tools, drain tile captures ground water and carries it away to a sump pump before it can seep into the basement. Interior drain tile, a flexible, perforated corrugated pipe, is buried in a bed of washed stone next to the foundation footings around the inside perimeter. This relieves hydrostatic pressure and prevents seepage through floor cracks and the cove joint. Exterior drain tile, perforated PVC pipe installed the same way on the outside of the footings, relieves lateral pressure and drains off ground water outside the foundation before it can seep in. Either provides significant improvement; having both creates an ideal situation for preventing a wet basement.
No matter what form of repair an Oak Lawn wet basement needs, one thing is for certain – the homeowner needs a basement waterproofing contractor that knows Oak Lawn and who can offer a wide range of services and solutions, not just the one they know best. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in Oak Lawn repair their wet basements and keep them dry permanently. Why not ask for a free consultation on your wet basement?
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