There’s a lot of history in Park Ridge, IL. The town traces its early settlement to a Pottawattamie Indian encampment and later became a village centered on the brick industry, appropriately named Brickton.
There are also celebrities and public figures that grew up in Park Ridge, most notably movie star Harrison Ford and former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
There’s one figure though, that made Park Ridge his home for a time and combines history and celebrity in a sort of “but for” moment in the town’s history. American painter Grant Wood, creator of “American Gothic,” one of the country’s best known and most celebrated pieces of art, left his native Iowa for Park Ridge in the years before World War I. While studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, Wood worked as a silversmith in Park Ridge and opened a business there that ultimately failed. Who knows, had his silver business been successful, Wood might never have created the iconic painting or might have done so with his stern characters posed in front of a Park Ridge home.
Few if any grumpy farmers with pitchforks own homes in Park Ridge today but those folks that do are facing the same maintenance problems as homeowners in neighboring Niles and Des Plaines, including the need to seal their basements.
Although each home is different and requires a specific repair plan, there are three commonly used methods of sealing a basement in Park Ridge that will cover most situations.
Crack Repair – The most common type of foundation under Park Ridge homes is one of poured concrete and the most frequent source of seepage in such a foundation is a non-structural crack in a basement wall. The optimal way to repair a seeping crack is to inject it with expanding polyurethane that fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil. When cured, the polyurethane remains flexible to allow minor foundation movement to occur without re-opening the crack.
If the crack cannot be reached from inside, it can repaired on the exterior by digging a small hole along the foundation at the site of the crack and filing it with sodium bentonite clay. The clay sets up to form a pliable barrier that will keep water out of the crack – and the basement.
Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete foundations can also admit water through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the foundation; masonry foundations can also be porous and have deteriorating mortar joints. The best repair is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the foundation walls to create a permanent, positive-side barrier. The membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane, is applied to the foundation in a thick coat using a trowel and is far different from the watery spray known as “damp-proofing.”
Where ground water is extreme, the membrane can be augmented with exterior drain tile and drainage board to channel water downward.
Interior Drain Tile – When ground water enters the basement through the cove joint or cracks in the floor it is being forced in by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation. Interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor, relieves this pressure and carries the ground water to a sump pump to be removed from the basement. Properly installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Regardless of the recommended method, a Park Ridge homeowner that wants to seal his or her basement needs the services and expertise of an established basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been sealing basements in Park Ridge and nearby towns since our founding in 1957 and we have already helped hundreds of Park Ridge homeowners keep their basements dry. Why not ask for our free advice?
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