Palos Heights, IL is today a pretty typical suburb of Chicago with a diverse population, great schools and a thriving commercial center. Its growth, however, didn’t follow the usual pattern of suburbs surrounding the larger cities in the U.S.
The biggest difference is that Palos Heights didn’t really have a major building boom like the one that propelled the growth of many suburbs after World War II. In fact, Palos Heights was not incorporated until 1959 and had only about 1200 homes at that time. The town didn’t really take off until the 1970s when more than 1000 new homes were built.
Even with its relatively late start, Palos Heights today has more than 12,000 residents and 4500 homes, two-thirds of which were completed prior to 1980. Owners of these homes, like homeowners in nearby Orland Park and Oak Lawn, experience the normal maintenance problems that develop as their homes age and many are faced with sealing their basements.
Of course, the right method for sealing a basement will be tailored to a specific home and its problems but there are several common methods that, with some adaptation, can handle almost any situation.
Crack Repair – The most common type of foundation used in the Chicago area is poured concrete and the most frequently found source of seepage in such a foundation is a non-structural crack in the wall. The best way to repair such a crack is to inject it with expanding polyurethane from inside the basement. The polyurethane material expands to fill and seal the crack all the way to the outside soil and creates a permanent barrier against further seepage. The polyurethane remains flexible once it cures to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible, the crack can be repaired from the outside. A small hole is dug down to the foundation footings at the site of the crack and the hole is then filled with sodium bentonite clay. The clay sets up to create a pliable, impermeable barrier against further water intrusion.
Exterior Waterproofing – Water can enter a home in Palos Heights through patches of porous concrete or masonry, mortar joints or over the top of the foundation. This is prevented by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane consisting of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied with a trowel in a thick coat on the exterior foundation wall. This should not be confused with “damp-proofing,” a thin coat sprayed on during construction.
If there is a large amount of ground water present, the membrane can be augmented with exterior drain tile and by installing drainage board that will channel water downward.
Interior Drain Tile – Another major source of seepage is water forced through the cove joint or cracks in the basement floor by hydrostatic pressure. Interior drain tile, perforated pipe in a bed of washed gravel installed below the basement floor, will relieve this pressure and carry the ground water off to a sump pump where it can be discharged from the house. Installed properly, interior drain tile should require no maintenance.
No matter what the diagnosis and recommended repair, a Palos Heights homeowner who wants to seal his or her basement needs the services of a basement waterproofing contractor that can offer a full line of options. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have employed every means at our disposal to help hundreds of Palos Heights homeowners seal their basements since our founding in 1957. Why not ask for our free advice?
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