The village of Bourbonnais took its name from a French fur trapper who first settled the area in the early 19th century. The French influence in the village remained strong even through its incorporation in 1875 with a mayor named LeTourneau and founding trustees with the names Sequin, LaMontagne and Bessette.
Today, Bourbonnais is a growing municipality in Kankakee County with a population of nearly 19,000 – a 20% increase in the last 15 years. Not surprisingly, not much fur trapping is done these days; the village is now best known as the home of training camp for the Chicago Bears.
More than 5500 homes are located on the 4.6 square miles that make up Bourbonnais but, unlike many suburban areas, Bourbonnais did not experience an immediate post World War II building boom. Instead, the village grew exponentially during the 1970’s when approximately half of its existing homes were built.
This means that most of the houses in Bourbonnais are at least 35 years old and homeowners there are dealing with the maintenance and repair problems that come with age and many are experiencing wet basements.
Diagnosing and Repairing Wet Basements in Bourbonnais
Although there are a number of causes of wet basements in Bourbonnais and elsewhere, there are three circumstance that are most common – leaking wall cracks, seepage through the joint between the basement floor and wall and water intrusion through the walls, either through bad mortar joints or patches of porous concrete.
Each of these basement water problems has a proven, permanent method of repair – crack repair, interior drain tile and exterior waterproofing membranes, respectively. Here’s how they work:
Wall Crack Repair – It doesn’t require a great leap of logic to determine that the best way to stop a leaking wall crack is to fill it with something to stop the leak. However, knowing how to fill the crack and with what material requires the expertise of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor.
To begin, the contractor cleans the crack of debris and loose concrete and inserts plastic injection ports at intervals along its length. The ports are held in place and the crack is covered by a coat of quick-curing epoxy.
Once the epoxy has set, the installer injects each port with expanding polyurethane to fill and seal the crack and form a barrier on the outside of the wall. The polyurethane keeps water out and remains flexible so that it doesn’t crack again due to minor foundation movement.
Interior Drain Tile – Seepage through the cove joint between wall and floor is due to hydrostatic pressure caused by a rising water table under the foundation. Interior drain tile alleviates the pressure and carries the excess water to a sump pump for removal.
Installation begins with removing a narrow strip of concrete floor along the perimeter of the basement and digging a trench down to the footings. A bed of washed gravel is poured and perforated, corrugated pipe wrapped in a “sock” of filtration fabric is laid on top and connected to the sump basin. More gravel covers the pipe and the concrete floor is repaired leaving a maintenance-free system to keep the basement dry.
Exterior Waterproofing Membrane – When soil around a foundation becomes over-saturated, the soil swells and the resulting pressure can force water into a basement through cracked or deteriorated mortar joints in masonry walls or porous spots in poured concrete walls. Stopping this seepage is done by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane.
The affected wall is excavated down to the footings and cleaned of dirt and debris. A thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane is applied to the wall and cures into an impermeable membrane. Typically the membrane is covered by heavy-duty plastic drainage board to protect it and channel water down to the exterior drain tile that is also normally part of the repair.
Exterior drain tile is similar in installation and performance to the interior variety except that perforated PVC pipe is used to better withstand the pressure and movement of soil.
When a Bourbonnais homeowner encounters any basement water problem, he or she needs the services of a full-service basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been fixing water problems for homeowners all over the Chicago area, including Bourbonnais and the rest of Kankakee County since 1957. Why not ask for our free advice?
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