The Fifth Avenue Station

This sprawling building located in the old part of Naperville was originally the Naperville Lounge Factory. Partially destroyed in the early 1900s by a cyclone, it was rebuilt in 1913 as the Krohler Furniture Company. It has now been converted into commercial, residential and office space known as Fifth Avenue Station which takes up most of a square block.

The first floor commercial space at the east end of the building is approximately three feet below ground and had been plagued with leaking for years. When the tenant decided to move, the management people called in U.S. Waterproofing Co. to provide a solution.

The foundation was constructed of brick which was exposed on the inside. There were some obvious gaps in the mortar joints as well as evidence of leaking at the floor/wall joint. The leaking was exacerbated by rain water and snow melt from their own large parking lot. The building management wanted to take care of the worst section and preferred that all work be done from the exterior to lessen any disturbance to the tenants of the building.

U.S. Waterproofing Co. proposed excavating approximately 170 l.f. of the exterior of the foundation from grade to footing. This required that the owner’s landscaper to temporarily relocate three recently planted trees. The work was started during the last half of November 2002. We knew that weather could cause some delays but a build-out for a new tenant was scheduled so it was not possible to wait several months for good weather.

Once the wall was exposed, we found that there were several voids, some as large as one foot square. The holes were filled and a parge coat of cement plaster was applied to the entire below grade surface. As luck would have it, it rained a day or two later and we got a call from the leasing agent that some of the excavated spoil spilled over onto the adjacent public sidewalk. The school children were forced to walk in the street. We had men and a machine there the next morning to relocate the spoil and clean the walk.

The parge coat was coated with a primer and then we trowel applied a bitumen modified polyurethane liquid membrane at approximately 60 mil thickness. Once that had a sufficient time to cure, drainage board was attached to the wall which has a twofold benefit. It acts as protection for the newly applied membrane and it directs water down to the base of the wall and the drain tile which we installed. The drain tile was installed with a filter sock and the drainage board has an integral filter fabric on one side to prevent clogging by soil particles.

The drain tile was connected to the storm sewer.

The work was completed on time and without any extras, in spite of the bad weather. The retail space has been built out and we received a very appreciative note from the owners.

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