Palos Hills is a bedroom suburb in southwest Cook County with population just under 17,000. It is one of three “Palos” communities in Palos Township, the others being Palos Park and Palos Heights. The name used so economically is derived from the Spanish port city of Palos de Frontera, which was the home port of Columbus’ expedition to the New World.
Originally called North Palos, the city known today as Palos Hills, although with a history dating back to early Native American residents, was not incorporated until 1958 in an effort to fend off street-by-street annexation by neighbors such as Hickory Hills. Palos Heights was a pretty small town at the time with fewer than 3700 residents and about 700 homes, all on large lots.
The need for growth spurred changes in zoning laws in the 1960’s and subdivisions began to crop up. In an incredible, condensed building boom, more than 3,300 homes were built in Palos Hills in the 1970’s --nearly half of the 7,500 that are there today.
With all these homes approaching the 50-year mark, homeowners in Palos Hills are facing the usual maintenance and repair problems that arise as homes age. In fact, many have found a need for wet basement waterproofing.
Just as in nearby Palos Heights and Orland Park, homes in Palos Hills are individually diagnosed when they need wet basement waterproofing. There are, however, several commonly used repair methods that will solve most basement water problems.
Interior Drain Tile -- A likely cause of water in a basement is seepage through the cove joint between floor and walls and through cracks in the basement floor caused by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation. This pressure can be alleviated and the seepage stopped by installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor that picks up ground water and conveys it to a sump pump. Properly installed, interior drain tile will be maintenance-free.
Crack Repair – The most common source of water in a poured concrete basement is a non-structural crack in the wall. The best way to repair these cracks is to inject them with expanding polyurethane, which fills and seals the crack all the way through the wall to the soil outside. After curing the polyurethane remains flexible to prevent the crack from re-opening due to minor foundation movement.
When the crack is inaccessible from the inside, such as in a finished basement, it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole next to the foundation at the site of the crack is filled with the granular clay, which sets up to form a permanent water barrier on the positive side of the wall.
Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete walls can admit water through patches of porous material or over the top of the wall; masonry foundations leak through bad mortar joints or porous masonry units like brick and concrete block. The best way to prevent this seepage is to install an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied to the exterior of the foundation wall with a trowel.
When ground water is extremely high, the membrane can be complemented with exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board that not only protects the membrane but also channels water down to the drain tile system.
No matter what the source of water and recommended repair a Palos Hills homeowner in need of wet basement waterproofing will require the assistance of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor that knows the town and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing we’ve been keeping basements dry all over Chicagoland since 1957 and we’ve already helped a number of Palos Hills families with their basement water problems. Why not ask for our free advice?
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