Kankakee, IL is a small city of 27,000 located on the banks of the Kankakee River about 60 miles south of Chicago. Outside northern Illinois, the city is probably best known for its prominent mention in the hit song “City of New Orleans,” where writer Steve Goodman remembers “the train pulls out of Kankakee…” as he describes the legendary rail route.
Along with being a hub for regional rail transportation, Kankakee also serves as the seat of Kankakee County, home of Kankakee Community College and of a major system of parks and recreation facilities that occupies one-seventh of the city’s 14 square miles.
Most important, though, is the residential character of the city. Kankakee residents live in nearly 11,000 houses and, not surprising for a city founded in 1854, one-quarter of the homes were built before 1939 and half are more than 50 years old. With the charm of older homes, unfortunately come the maintenance and repair problems that are signs of age, with one such problem being water in the basement.
For Kankakee homeowners, though, there are a number of ways to fix that problem.
There are a number of ways that water can seep into a Kankakee basement and there are corresponding remedies for each but there are three repair approaches that cover the vast majority of Kankakee basement waterproofing problems: wall crack repair, drain tile and exterior waterproofing membranes.
1. Wall Crack Repair – One of the most common sources of water in the basement is a non-structural crack in a poured concrete basement wall. These cracks are formed by lateral pressure that develops in oversaturated soil around the foundation.
Repairing one of these cracks is a fairly quick and cost-effective procedure. The technician first cleans the crack of loose concrete and debris then installs plastic injection ports spaced along its length. He then applies a coat of fast-setting epoxy to seal the crack on the inside and cement the ports in place.
Once the epoxy has cured, each port is injected with expanding polyurethane which fills the crack completely and forms a barrier on the exterior of the wall, preventing water from entering the crack.
2. Drain Tile – Another extremely common source of water in the basement is cove seepage – water that is pushed through the tiny space between basement wall and floor by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation.
The fix for this water problem is to install drain tile – perforated plastic pipe embedded in a filter of washed gravel, either under the basement floor on the interior or even with footings on the outside of the foundation wall. In either place, the drain tile creates a space that alleviates pressure and gives the water that causes it a place to go.
The pipe is connected on one or both ends to a sump basin where a sump pump removes it from the home.
3. Exterior Waterproofing Membranes – Another common source of Kankakee basement waterproofing problems is seepage of water through basement walls. This happens most often with masonry walls like concrete block, brick and stone where mortar joints often crack or deteriorate but can also occur in poured concrete walls that may have porous spots due to faulty pouring.
The solution for this problem is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane, to seal and waterproof the exterior of the basement wall. The membrane is often covered with heavy-duty drainage board to protect it and channel water to the exterior drain tile that is usually installed at the same time.
There are, of course, other sources of basement seepage such as faulty sump pumps and detached or damaged window wells but the three above are by far the most common. When these problems plague a Kankakee homeowner, he or she needs the help of a full-service basement waterproofing contractor to return their home to a dry and healthy condition.
At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been solving basement water problems for homeowners all over northern Illinois, including Kankakee, since we were founded in 1957. More than 300,000 homeowners have relied on us during that time for basement waterproofing and foundation repair services, so why not ask for our free advice?
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