Lombard IL is a pleasant DuPage County suburb with a population of more than 43,000.
Like many of Chicago’s western and northern suburbs, Lombard started out as Potawatomi territory and was first settled by European Americans in the 1830s. Also like many Chicago suburbs, Lombard began to grow when a railroad came through town and provided access to Chicago for residents, farmers and merchants.
Unlike its neighbors, though, there are two interesting stories about events in Lombard, one historical, the other the origin of an icon of popular culture.
In 1891, three decades before the 19th Amendment, a Lombard woman named Ellen Martin brought a group of women to the polls on Election Day and insisted they be allowed to vote. Election judges were horrified and they kicked the can to a county judge who, shockingly, agreed with Martin. She became the first woman in Illinois history to vote.
In the early 1920s a young man named Harold Gray who lived on Lombard’s Main Street, began working on a comic strip. Gray, who worked for the Chicago Tribune, finally convinced the publisher that his strip had merit and it had a test run in the New York Daily News before appearing in the Tribune and then being syndicated before joining the American cultural landscape. The comic strip? “Little Orphan Annie.”
Even with all that interesting history, Lombard residents still must deal with the mundane and many of the village’s 17,000 homeowners cope with the same maintenance and repair problems that plague homeowners everywhere, including water problems that need wet basement waterproofing.
Like homes in nearby Wheaton and Downers Grove, each house in Lombard that needs wet basement waterproofing is individually evaluated but there are several common problems with corresponding solutions that are most often found.
Cove Joint Seepage – Hydrostatic pressure is created by ground water below the foundation and pushes water into the basement between wall and floor or through floor cracks. Installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed stone under the basement floor, alleviates this pressure and carries ground water to a sump pump to remove it from the home. Properly installed, interior drain tile is maintenance-free.
Wall Crack Seepage – The most common cause of seepage in poured concrete foundations is a non-structural crack in a basement wall. The most effective way to stop this seepage is to Inject the crack with expanding polyurethane from inside the basement. The polyurethane seals the crack all the way to the outside and remains flexible when it cures to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.
If the crack is inaccessible from inside it can be repaired outside with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug at the site of the crack and filled with the granular clay to create a permanent water barrier.
Porous Wall Seepage – Poured concrete foundation walls can admit water through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the wall; masonry walls seep through porous masonry units like concrete block and brick and through deteriorated mortar joints. This seepage can be cured by putting on an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane, applied with a trowel to form a permanent water barrier.
If ground water is high around the foundation, the membrane can be complemented with exterior drain tile and drainage board that covers the membrane and channels water downward.
No matter what the seepage problem or the recommended solution, a Lombard homeowner who needs wet basement waterproofing will require the help of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor that knows the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been helping homeowners around Chicago keep their basements dry since 1957, including many in Lombard. Why not ask for our free advice?
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