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Anyone who lived in Chicago during 2012 can recall the year with two words: “hot” and “dry.” Besides parched lawns and overtaxed air conditioners, the drought that began last year also had a disastrous effect on basements and foundations.
Life in a big city like Chicago is great. There are interesting neighborhoods, excellent restaurants, extensive public transportation and lots of things to do – shopping, museums, forest preserves and sports for both participants and spectators.
Of course, being in a large city
DuraShield Basement Waterproofing, a Barrington company that did basement waterproofing and concrete work, has closed its doors. DuraShield was a competitor of ours for many years and had served its customers well since 1978.
Their affiliate, United Structural Systems, which did foundation repairs, has
We have learned that United Sealants & Waterproofing of Morton Grove has gone out of business. United Sealants specialized in drain tile and crack repair and had enjoyed a good reputation among its customers since 1978. We certainly considered them a worthy competitor and regret their misfortune.
Spring in Chicago – whenever it shows up and however short it may be – means a lot of things. Gardeners are out digging and weeding and planting. Joggers and cyclists are working off the rust of a long winter. Cubs fans are
People often talk about how they love the sound of rain falling on the roof or pattering on the leaves of trees. For homeowners, a more reassuring sound when it rains may be the “whirr, clunk” of their sump pump expelling water from
As long as homes have had basements, homeowners have been dealing with seepage. As soon as a builder digs a hole in the ground and builds a foundation in it, ground water goes to work, trying to find its way in. One of the
One of the great things about living in Wilmette is the town’s proximity to Lake Michigan. Along with offering the beautiful beach and harbor at Gillson Park, the lake provides a scenic backdrop for the entire community.
Living alongside one of
It’s been an unusual winter so far in Chicago – no hockey, no snow, not really that cold. Even so, Chicagoans are still observing typical winter practices, like staying in the house, complaining about the Bears and eating too much.
We have written frequently here about repairing cracks in basement walls, especially those non-structural cracks that lead to basement seepage. It’s a quick and cost-effective practice that permanently stops the infiltration of water.
Homeowners have lots of questions about the crack
Chicago’s North Shore, towns north of the city along Lake Michigan, is well-known among movie-goers for the many popular films, from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to “Home Alone,” that have been set in its leafy environs. To
For many people, owning the ideal home is a lifelong goal. Many Americans dream of a cabin in the woods, a sunlit beach house or a tri-level on a golf course. For Chicagoans, it could be a South side graystone, a two-flat in Wrigleyville
Structural foundation damage is one of the most serious problems that Chicago homeowners can face. It not only leads to water infiltration but, left unrepaired, can threaten the very structure and stability of the house itself. It’s nothing to take lightly.
We’re headed into a really busy time of year for everyone – preparing for holidays, wrapping up the year on our jobs, traveling or welcoming guests. But, before all that gets into full swing, there are a few things we should take care of around the
It’s November and no one in the Midwest is thinking much about landscaping or building a deck. Let’s face it – for the next few months any outdoor maintenance in this part of the country will involve a snow shovel.
I’m about to give away a big secret of the basement waterproofing industry: The man or woman who comes to your home representing a basement waterproofing contractor is an expert in diagnosing basement water problems but they're also a salesperson.
Speaking for my
It’s November and that means a lot of cool stuff – Thanksgiving, Bears football and the approaching holiday season. Unfortunately, it also means that another Chicago winter is on our doorstep.
Once the cold and snow and ice start, nobody wants to do anything
Structural foundation damage is one of the most serious problems a homeowner can face. It can result in inconveniences like sticking doors and unsightly cracks in drywall but, left undiagnosed and unrepaired, it can also cause the entire structure of your home to become unstable.
Here’s a simple fact: In order for there to be water inside your basement, there has to be water outside your basement. I know: Duh!
As obvious as that statement is, it seems like a lot of homeowners need to be reminded
Many Chicago homeowners, when faced with water seepage through their basement walls, think that smearing something on the inside of the wall is the best way to stop it. There is no shortage of products on the market for this purpose – “waterproofing” paint, hydraulic cement,
If you’re a typical homeowner in the Chicago area, your home has a basement and its walls are formed of poured concrete. Poured concrete foundations are very common in the city and suburbs, preferred by many homebuilders for their strength and ability to withstand pressure.
The first major hurricane of the season has been beating up on Florida and the Gulf Coast, particularly on our poor, battered neighbors in Louisiana. Hurricane Isaac, like most hurricanes and tropical storms, has weakened over the land but it will continue to have its effect on the
Thanks to the internet, the average consumer now has access to an overwhelming wealth of information about products, services and companies. One popular segment, review websites, offers consumers the opportunity to review any product or service anonymously, at the click of a button.
These review sites,
Our blog post published on July 13 warned homeowners in the Chicago area that the lengthy hot, dry spell the area is experiencing may be causing serious damage to their homes’ foundations.
When drought conditions persist like they are now across much of the country,
OK, it’s hot. In fact, the first six months of 2012 just set a record as the warmest January-to-June in the 48 contiguous states – and July has been hotter still.
And, it’s dry. Those same first six months of 2012 are
Chicago. City of the Big Shoulders. Hog Butcher for the World. Land of Leaky Basements.
OK, so there’s not much hog-butchering going on in town since the Stockyards shut down, but the other two descriptions are still valid.
As in many urban areas, homes in Chicago tend to be on narrow, deep lots with not much room in between. Living elbow-to-elbow like this requires a spirit of neighborliness but it also creates some unique basement seepage problems –- and some equally unique theories on the
As those of us who live here know, Chicago is a great city and many things set it apart. Since this blog is about maintaining a dry basement and a healthy home, I’m not here to talk about pizza or architecture or winning (or losing) sports
When I started “Basement Matters” a few months ago, I did so with one goal in mind – to educate homeowners, real estate agents, home inspectors and others involved with home improvement and repair about the right way to do basement waterproofing.