Hammond IN is the largest city in Lake County with a population of 76,000. Its development began with the meatpacking industry and the city was named after the owner of the city’s first packing plant.
Outside the immediate area, Hammond may be best known as the hometown of American humorist Jean Shepherd whose career spanned the 1950’s to 1990’s and included radio, TV, film, short stories, screenplays and acting. Shepherd often set his stories in Hammond, thinly disguised as “Homan, IN.”
Although Shepherd’s fame diminished with time, he has achieved a permanent niche in the hall of fame of American entertainment via “A Christmas Story,” the perennial holiday favorite movie in which Ralphie gets his BB gun and nearly shoots his eye out. Shepherd wrote the movie’s script, based on several of his short stories about growing up in Hammond, and lent his avuncular tone to the film as its narrator.
Life in Hammond today may not be as colorful as Shepherd painted it but it’s pretty good all the same. Hammond families live in 34,000 homes in the city, nearly one third of which predate World War II and more than 80% are at least 50 years old.
Homeowners in a community of older homes like Hammond are facing the maintenance and repair problems that come with aging houses and many of them need wet basement waterproofing.
Just as is done in neighboring Highland and Dyer, homes in Hammond are individually evaluated and diagnosed for wet basement waterproofing services but there are several commonly used approaches that remedy most problems.
Exterior Waterproofing – Masonry foundations, like the concrete block common in northwest Indiana, can seep water through bad mortar joints or porous masonry; poured concrete foundations admit water through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the foundation wall. Either of these foundations can be permanently sealed by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled onto the wall.
When ground water is high, the membrane can be augmented with exterior drain tile and covered with heavy-duty drainage board that protects it and channels water down to the drain tile.
Interior Drain Tile – Any basement can experience seepage through cracks in the basement floor or the cove joint when hydrostatic pressure below the foundation forces water in. The pressure can be relieved and seepage stopped by installing interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe that is embedded in washed stone under the basement floor. The drain tile collects water and carries it to a sump pump for disposal.
Crack Repair – The most common source of seepage in a poured concrete foundation is a non-structural crack in the basement wall caused by settlement or pressure from over-saturated soil. These cracks can be repaired permanently by injecting them with expanding polyurethane, which fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane remains flexible after curing to prevent re-cracking caused by minor foundation movement.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible, it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug at the site of the crack down to the foundation footings and filled with the granular clay, which absorbs water and becomes a pliable, permanent barrier against water.
No matter what the source of the problem or its recommended solution, a Hammond homeowner who needs wet basement waterproofing will require the advice and assistance of a qualified basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been helping homeowners in Chicagoland and northwest Indiana keep their basements dry since 1957, including many in Hammond. Why not ask for our free advice?
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