How to Seal a Basement in Des Plaines, IL 60016


How to Seal a Basement in Des Plaines, IL 60016

It’s a fair bet that most residents of Des Plaines, IL have never heard of the “Des Plaines Disturbance.”  Neither a struggling local rock band nor a minor league baseball team, the Des Plaines Disturbance is actually a subterranean geological feature that scientists believe was caused by a prehistoric meteor striking the earth.  The resulting significant fracturing of bedrock under the town was eventually filled in and smoothed out by glacial activity but the evidence is strong that the modern city of Des Plaines sits atop an ancient meteor crater.

Geological anomalies aside, Des Plaines is a stable yet growing suburb of Chicago that lies just north of O’Hare International Airport.  Like neighboring towns of Mount Prospect and Park Ridge, Des Plaines got its start as a Native American settlement and was first incorporated by European settlers in 1869.  A thriving town of nearly 60,000 today, Des Plaines followed a common pattern of growth among American suburbs, with nearly half of its 23,000 homes having been built in the building boom that followed World War II in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Des Plaines homeowners whose homes are aging are dealing with the normal maintenance issues and many have discovered that they need to seal their basements.

Sealing a Basement in Des Plaines

Like any home repair, the specific method of sealing a home’s basement will be determined by the source and extent of damage and the construction of the home.  However, the following are the most common ways to seal a basement in Des Plaines.

Interior Drain Tile – Interior drain tile is one of the most versatile ways to prevent basement seepage.  Consisting of perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel, interior drain tile is installed on the inside perimeter of the foundation footings under the basement floor.  The drain tile relieves the hydrostatic pressure under the foundation that would otherwise force water through the cove joint and cracks in the basement floor and carries ground water to a sump pump for disposal.

Properly installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.

Crack Repair – The most common type of foundation in the Chicago area, including Des Plaines, is poured concrete and the most frequent source of seepage in these foundations is a non-structural crack in the foundation wall.  These cracks can be permanently repaired by injecting them from the inside with expanding polyurethane, which fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil.  The polyurethane remains flexible after it cures to prevent minor foundation movement from causing the crack to re-open.

If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible from inside, the crack can be repaired from the outside by first digging a small hole down to the footings at the site of the crack.  The hole is then filled with sodium bentonite clay that sets up to form a pliable yet permanent barrier against water.

Exterior Waterproofing – Water can also enter a Des Plaines basement through porous concrete or masonry, deteriorating mortar joints or over the top of the foundation.  The best way to seal the basement against this type of seepage is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled onto the foundation.  This membrane should not be confused with “damp-proofing,” a thin spray coat applied during construction.

In extreme cases, the membrane can be augmented with exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board to channel water downward.

Regardless of the method used to seal the basement a Des Plaines homeowner needs the services and expertise of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor.  At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been sealing basements all over the Chicago area since 1957 and we have helped hundreds of Des Plaines homeowners keep their basements dry.  Why not ask for our free advice?


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