Geneva IL has a variety of ethnic influences in its history. It shares its name with a city in Switzerland, celebrates “Swedish Days” to honor its most significant immigrant population and has a Dutch windmill as its most visible historic landmark. The windmill was originally built elsewhere by a German craftsman and moved to Geneva and reassembled by a Danish millwright.
Geneva’s first non-native settlers, the Herrington family, arrived from Pennsylvania but a majority of the early residents came from New England and they have left their mark on the city’s architecture. As Geneva developed, it became a milling and manufacturing center, producing cheese, flour and other foods; later industrial machinery and railroad supplies flowed from the city.
Today, Geneva serves as the seat of Kane County and is a thriving city of nearly 22,000 residents, its population growth attributed not only to the city’s natural appeal but to the spread of residential development west from Chicago. This recent development is reflected in the fact that more than half of its 7,000 homes have been built since 1980.
Even though most of Geneva’s homes are newer, homeowners there still face the usual problems with maintenance and repairs. Many of them, in fact, are in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Just like homes in nearby Elgin and St. Charles, each home in Geneva that needs wet basement waterproofing is diagnosed and repaired as its individual situation requires. There are, however, several common methods that solve the majority of wet basement problems.
Interior Drain Tile – Water in the ground under a foundation creates hydrostatic pressure that can force seepage into the basement through cracks in the floor or through the cove joint. This seepage can be prevented by installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in washed gravel under the basement floor, which alleviates the pressure and carries ground water off to a sump pump for discharge from the basement. Properly installed, interior drain tile never requires maintenance.
Crack Repair – Poured concrete foundations are the most common in Geneva and the most likely source of seepage in these foundations is a non-structural crack in the basement wall. These cracks can be permanently repaired by injecting them from the interior with expanding polyurethane. The polyurethane fills and seals the crack all the way through and remains flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement doesn’t reopen the crack.
If the crack can’t be reached from inside, it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug down to the footings at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which forms a pliable, permanent exterior barrier against water infiltration.
Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete foundations can admit water over top of the foundation wall or though sections of porous concrete; masonry walls through deteriorated mortar joints or porous masonry units like concrete block or brick. This seepage can be repaired permanently by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane applied to exterior wall in a thick coat with a trowel. This forms a permanent water barrier.
When a large amount of ground water is present, the membrane should be accompanied by exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board to protect the membrane and channel water downward.
Regardless of the recommended method of repair, a Geneva homeowner that needs wet basement waterproofing will require the advice and assistance of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been keeping basements dry all over Chicagoland, including Geneva and here’s what one of your neighbors had to say about us. Please ask for our free advice.
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