Crystal Lake IL is an old town with an interesting history, having been home to wealthy mansion-builders and members of famous circus families as well as some of the earliest European settlers in the Chicago area.
One early business with a lasting legacy was the American Terra Cotta Tile and Ceramic Company, founded in 1891 in what is now Crystal Lake. Started by Chicago lawyer William Gates, the company produced architectural ceramics such as chimney tops, drain tile and urns that were being used in construction in Chicago and elsewhere.
The company’s real claim to fame, however, started as a side business making art pottery influenced in shape and color by the Prairie School of architecture, led by the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright. Teco Pottery, as the business was known, produced organic and natural styled art pottery pieces that were the perfect complementary décor for the simple utilitarian Prairie style.
Teco pottery was only produced by the Crystal Lake facility for about 20 years but the works remain highly collectible and valuable today. The name has been revived and pottery based on the original designs is being produced today by the Prairie Design Group headquartered near Chicago.
Of course, with Crystal Lake’s long history it’s not surprising the town has more than 3,000 homes that are more than 50 years old. House of this age, along with newer ones, commonly have maintenance issues and many of them are in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Similar to homes in nearby Barrington and Woodstock, homes in Crystal Lake will be diagnosed on an individual basis but there are three commonly used methods of wet basement waterproofing that will solve most problems.
Crack Repair – The most common source of seepage in a poured concrete foundation is a non-structural crack in a basement wall. These cracks can be permanently repaired by injecting them with expanding polyurethane that fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane stays flexible after it cures to prevent the crack re-opening from minor foundation movement.
If the crack can’t be reached on the inside, it can be repaired on the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug to the foundation footings at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which forms a pliable but permanent barrier to water infiltration.
Interior Drain Tile – Another common source of seepage is through the cove joint or cracks in basement floors when hydrostatic pressure under the foundation forces water in. Installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried under the basement floor in a bed of washed stone, alleviates this pressure and carries ground water to a sump pump for disposal.
Exterior Waterproofing – Water can enter a poured concrete foundation over the top of the foundation wall or through patches of porous concrete; masonry walls can seep through deteriorated mortar joints or porous masonry units like concrete block or brick. This seepage can be stopped by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied with a trowel to the exterior of the foundation wall to form a permanent barrier against water.
When a lot of ground water is present, the membrane can be assisted in keeping the basement dry by installing exterior drain tile and drainage board to channel water down to it.
No matter what the recommended method, a Crystal Lake homeowner in need of wet basement waterproofing is also in need of a professional contractor that knows the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been waterproofing basements throughout Chicagoland for 56 years and have already helped many Crystal Lake homeowners like this one. Why not ask for our free advice?
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