Elmhurst, IL, in Chicago’s near west suburbs, is today the home of 44,000 residents. Not many of them are well-known but, over the years Elmhurst has been home to a variety of notables, including poet Carl Sandburg, four-time presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs and, of course, the Keebler Elves.
Sandburg, former American poet laureate, spent 11 years in Elmhurst in the middle of his career and wrote his famed two-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln while living there.
Debs, a noted union activist and candidate for president of the Socialist Party in 1900, 1908, 1912 and 1920, was a native of Terre Haute, IN who spent the last few months of this life in a sanitarium in Elmhurst and died there in 1926.
The elves represented the Keebler Company, which maintained its headquarters in Elmhurst until the company was bought by Kellogg in 2001. Their address was, of course, One Hollow Tree Lane.
Homeowners in today’s Elmhurst, hollow trees notwithstanding, face the same maintenance issues with their homes as do homeowners in nearby Villa Park and Addison and often find themselves needing to seal their basements against water.
Following are three common ways to seal a basement in Elmhurst; the right solution for a particular home will depend on the home’s condition, type of foundation and source of water, among other variables.
Interior Drain Tile – One common occurrence in Elmhurst basements is when hydrostatic pressure under the foundation causes water to seep in through cracks in the basement floor and through the cove joint. This can be prevented by installing interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe buried under the basement floor in a bed of washed gravel. Situated next to the foundation footings, the drain tile relieves hydrostatic pressure and carries ground water to a sump basin where the pump evacuates it from the house. Properly installed, interior drain tile should not require maintenance.
Exterior Waterproofing – Water ends up in Elmhurst basements through various points of entry, including seeping through areas of porous concrete and masonry, through deteriorating mortar joints and over the top of the foundation. This seepage can be stopped by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled onto the outside of the foundation’s walls. It provides a permanent barrier against water and should not be confused with “damp-proofing,” a watery spray coating applied during construction.
In situations with a lot of ground water present, the membrane can be complemented with exterior drain tile and drainage board to channel water downward.
Crack Repair – A very common problem in houses with poured concrete foundations is water seeping through non-structural cracks in basement walls. This seepage can be permanently stopped by injecting the crack from inside with expanding polyurethane that will fill and seal the crack completely. The polyurethane remains flexible when cured to prevent re-cracking from minor foundation movement.
If the crack is not accessible from inside it can be repaired on the exterior by digging a small hole next to the foundation at the site of the crack and filling it with sodium bentonite clay. The clay will set up to form a pliable permanent barrier against ground water.
No matter what the source of water, an Elmhurst homeowner seeking to seal his or her basement needs the help of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor that knows the area’s homes. At U.S. Waterproofing we have helped hundreds of Elmhurst homeowners seal their basements since our founding in 1957. Why not ask for our free advice on your basement?
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