Palatine, IL can trace its official history back to 1866 when a village was first incorporated but its real beginnings were 30 years earlier when the first European settler, George Ela, built a log cabin in the wooded area then known as Deer Grove. Before that, only two Native American trails, now Rand and Algonquin roads, brought people through the area and it was largely untouched woods and prairie.
Palatine, like its neighboring towns of Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows, grew slowly until just after World War II when American suburbia boomed. During the 1960’s Palatine’s population more than doubled and the most recent census counted more than 68,000 residents in 28,000+ households. As expected in a town with its history, homes in Palatine range in age from the historic George Clayson House, built in 1873, to new construction. When homes in such a broad spectrum of ages develop wet basements, there are a number of different sources and remedies, so there’s more than one way to repair a wet basement in Palatine.
There are several factors that can cause or worsen a wet basement in Palatine:
Clay Soil – Like the rest of the Chicago area, the soil in Palatine has a very high percentage of clay. Clay soil is expansive, that is, it does not drain well and absorbs water from rain and snowmelt, which makes it swell and exert pressure against the foundation. This pressure can cause cracks and movement and the saturated clay retains water against the foundation that finds its way inside.
Foundation Materials – Given the 140-year age span of homes in Palatine, there are a number of different foundations found in the area, from modern poured concrete to various forms of masonry, including concrete block, stone and brick. Each of these foundations has its own weaknesses – cracks in concrete, porosity in concrete block and cracked and deteriorated mortar joints in any masonry – that lead to wet basements.
Each wet basement must be diagnosed individually but there are three common types of repairs that cover most problems:
Drain Tile – Drain tile, a sub-surface drain installed next to the foundation footings, is one of the most versatile wet basement repairs. Interior drain tile runs around the inside perimeter of the footings and relieves hydrostatic pressure under the foundation that causes seepage through the cove joint and cracks in the floor. Exterior drain tile goes on the outside perimeter and alleviates lateral pressure that can cause seepage through mortar joints, block walls and wall openings for pipes and HVAC.
Crack Repair – Seeping cracks in poured concrete walls can be permanently repaired in one of two ways. The preferred method is to inject the crack from the interior with expanding urethane. The material fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil and remains flexible so that minor foundation movement doesn’t cause the crack to re-open. If the interior wall is inaccessible, the crack can be repaired by filling a small excavation on the outside wall at the site of the crack with sodium bentonite clay. The sodium bentonite draws water from the soil and hardens to form an impenetrable barrier against further water seepage.
Exterior Waterproofing Membrane – An exterior waterproofing membrane is a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied with a trowel to the outside of a foundation wall. When the coating cures it forms a permanent seal against water infiltration and will perform even better when covered with drainage board that channels water down to exterior drain tile. The waterproofing membrane works particularly well on masonry walls but is effective on any type of foundation.
Regardless of the nature of the problem, the one thing a Palatine homeowner needs to repair his or her wet basement is the sound advice and skilled assistance of a professional basement waterproofing contractor that knows the territory. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have helped hundreds of homeowners in Palatine solve their wet basement problems and we offer a full range of permanent solutions. Why not ask for our free advice?
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