Kenilworth IL was different from other towns right from the start.
Unlike other North Shore suburbs that grew organically from small beginnings around a university or railroad station, Kenilworth was a completely planned community that sprang from the imagination and fortune of one man, Joseph Sears.
Sears, a Chicago manufacturer, bought 223 acres on the North Shore in 1889 that represented the last undeveloped acreage in the area. A trip to England had inspired him to create a planned community with large lots and high standards of home construction and also provided the name for the new town after a village that had impressed Sears.
Kenilworth today is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the United States and has remained small and exclusive, with fewer than 3,000 residents. The homes, many of which were designed by prominent architects of Sears’ day, including protégés of Frank Lloyd Wright, are large, beautiful and well-maintained but many of the 800 homeowners that make up the Kenilworth community are dealing with maintenance and repair issues, particularly those that are common in older homes.
In fact, many Kenilworth homeowners have discovered basement foundation cracks in their homes and need to repair them.
Diagnosing and Fixing Basement Foundation Cracks in kenilworth Homes
Basement foundation cracks in Kenilworth homes, just as in homes everywhere, fall into one of two categories: structural and non-structural.
Structural cracks are ones that indicate movement of foundation walls sufficient to compromise the stability of the foundation and the home it supports. They are wide cracks, more than 1/8”, and generally occur in a pattern. In poured concrete walls, a vertical crack usually appears near the middle of the wall with angled cracks across the upper corners. Invisible from the inside are two more vertical cracks at the corners where the wall has begun to separate from the adjacent ones.
In masonry walls, cracks usually run in stairstep patterns along mortar joints and lead to a bulging or bowed area in the center of the wall.
Non-structural cracks are smaller, less than 1/8”, and do not indicate structural damage but are very common sources of water that seeps into the basement. They generally do not appear in a pattern but may occur anywhere, often emanating from doors, windows and other openings in the foundation wall.
The approach to repairing a structural crack depends on whether the crack is a sign of walls that have moved or rotated inward due to lateral pressure from expansive soil or of a foundation that has dropped, sunk or settled because of desiccated soil that no longer supports it.
Stabilizing a wall that has moved inward can be done with carbon fiber strips that are epoxied to the wall but only if the wall has moved less than 2 inches. Walls that have moved more than that must be stabilized by installing low-profile steel channels to hold the wall in place. Both repairs are easily covered by finish walls.
Stabilizing a dropped foundation is done by installing hydraulic steel piers under the foundation, lifting the house back to level and stabilizing it there.
Repairing a non-structural crack is much simpler. The best method is to inject the crack from the inside, filling it with expanding polyurethane that seals the crack and remains flexible when cured to prevent minor foundation movement from reopening the crack.
If the crack is inaccessible from the inside, it can be repaired on the exterior by creating an underground barrier against the wall with sodium bentonite clay.
A Kenilworth homeowner who has found basement foundation cracks in his or her home will need the advice and assistance of a foundation repair expert, basement waterproofing contractor, or both. At U.S. Waterproofing, our foundation repair team uses engineering data and the latest repair technology to stabilize foundations permanently and cost-effectively. Our basement waterproofing experts can rely on 57 years’ experience in keeping basements dry and healthy with more than 300,000 satisfied customers to our credit. Why not ask us for a free consultation?