Lake Forest has been described as one of the most architecturally significant communities in the Chicago suburbs. A list of architects who have designed homes in Lake Forest reads like a “Who’s Who of American Architecture,” including Frank Lloyd Wright, Howard Van Doren Shaw and David Adler, with landscape design by Frederic Law Olmsted thrown in for good measure.
In addition, Lake Forest is the very definition of an established community, with more than half of the homes in the city having been built before 1970. Most development in the last 30 years has been outside the eastern core of the original city, occurring on the west side near the Tri-State Tollway.
Even with the value and charm of the typical Lake Forest home, homeowners there, like homeowners in neighboring Glencoe and Winnetka, have to deal with the maintenance issues that occur as their homes age and many find themselves having to do wet basement waterproofing.
Like any home repair, wet basement waterproofing will be specific to the home but there are three ways in which it is commonly done.
Crack Repair – Poured concrete foundations are the norm in the Chicago area and Lake Forest is no exception. One of the most common sources of basement seepage in this type of foundation is through non-structural cracks that can be caused by settling or lateral pressure from over-saturated soil. The best way to repair these cracks is to inject them from the inside with expanding polyurethane, which will expand to fill and seal the cracks all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane will remain flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement will not cause the crack to re-open.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible it can be repaired from the exterior by digging a small hole down to the foundation footings at the site of the crack. The hole is then filled with sodium bentonite clay that will form a pliable, permanent barrier against further seepage.
Interior Drain Tile – Another common source of seepage in any type of foundation is between the wall and floor, known as the cove joint, and through cracks in the basement floor. This seepage is caused by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation. Interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe that is bedded in washed gravel under the basement floor, relieves this hydrostatic pressure and carries the water to a sump pump for removal from the house.
Exterior Waterproofing – Water can also seep into the basement through porous concrete or masonry, mortar joints or over the top of the foundation. It can be prevented by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane, to the outside of the foundation to form an impermeable barrier against water. The membrane is installed by troweling it onto the walls and should not be confused with “damp-proofing,” a thin coating sprayed on during construction.
When there is a large amount of ground water present, the membrane can be complemented by adding exterior drain tile and drainage board to channel water downward.
No matter what the appropriate approach, wet basement waterproofing in Lake Forest requires the skills of a basement waterproofing contractor that knows the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve helped hundreds of Lake Forest homeowners keep their basements dry since our founding in 1957and count them among our more than 300,000 satisfied customers. Why not ask for our free advice?
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