Mount Prospect typifies the northwestern suburbs of Chicago – a bedroom community where most residents are commuters, with solid schools and local government and a majority of homes built in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. There are 23,000 homes in Mount Prospect and the representative one is a three-bedroom detached house with a full basement.
If you own one of those 23,000 homes, chances are you’ve had some problems with water in your basement. Homes built when most of Mount Prospect was developed usually sit on poured concrete foundations that are surrounded by the expansive clay soil so common in northeastern Illinois; this type of construction often suffers from basement seepage.
If your foundation is the typical Mount Prospect poured concrete, there are several common ways in which basement seepage can occur. Water can enter your basement through non-structural cracks in the basement walls, which can be easily and permanently repaired by injecting the cracks with expanding polyurethane. More problematic, however, are the seepage problems caused by hydrostatic pressure.
There is water in the ground everywhere, in some places close to the surface, in others buried deep. The highest level to which this ground water rises in a particular area is known as the “water table” and, although it is relatively consistent, periods of heavy rain can cause it to rise. Your foundation was designed to lie above the normal water table but a higher level than usual creates hydrostatic pressure on the lower part of the foundation and causes water to seep in through cracks in the floor and through the cove joint, where the basement floor meets the foundation walls.
Unlike wall cracks, neither floor cracks nor the cove joint can be sealed effectively so a way is needed to relive the hydrostatic pressure by giving the high water table an escape route. This is typically accomplished by installing interior drain tile.
Drain tile is a system of perforated piping, installed next to the footings of a foundation that carries off excess groundwater to a sump pump and prevents it from entering the basement space. Many homes are built with drain tile on the exterior, which can prevent seepage from water outside the foundation but does not relieve hydrostatic pressure below the floor.
Interior drain tile, on the other hand, allows rising water to be carried off before it enters the basement via cracks in the floor or the cove joint.
To install interior drain tile, a basement waterproofing contractor begins by breaking through the concrete basement floor and digging a foot-wide trench around the perimeter of the basement down to the foundation footings. The trench is partly filled with washed gravel and then the perforated, corrugated polyethylene pipe is installed, wrapped in a “sock” of filtration fabric. More gravel fills the trench and the concrete floor is replaced.
Both ends of the pipe connect to a sump basin where a sump pump ejects the water from the house and discharges it outside or into a storm sewer.
Interior drain tile is sometimes referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of basement waterproofing because it has all the tools necessary to solve a number of problems. Of course, there’s no one remedy for everything and there’s no guarantee that interior drain tile is the right solution to your basement water problems. In order to determine the correct approach, you need the services of a basement waterproofing expert who can recommend the right permanent and cost-effective repair for your basement.
At U.S. Waterproofing we’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners in Mount Prospect since our founding in 1957 and many of them are enjoying dry and safe basements since we installed interior drain tile for them, so why not find out if we can solve your basement water problem?
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