Elmwood Park IL, tucked in against the northwest side of Chicago, is an “urban” inner-ring suburb with a population of 24,000 that first became attractive to settlement because of its large supply of rich, productive farmland. Farmers first came to the area, then known as Orison, in the 1840’s and thrived until the coming of the railroad in the 1870’s made the area more attractive as a residential community.
Elmwood Park was incorporated as a village in 1914 and saw its biggest population boom during the following decade. The first major residential subdivision was developed and helped account for the fact that fully one-quarter of the village’s 10,000 homes were already standing by 1939. Three-quarters of Elmwood Park’s homes were built before 1970.
Today’s Elmwood Park is a thriving combination of residential and commercial development. Interestingly, more than one-third of the homes in the village are occupied by renters, a much higher level than in surrounding suburbs. Owners of rental homes generally need to be extra mindful of the condition of and problems in their homes if they are to retain good tenants and maintain the value of their property.
Of course, all homeowners in Elmwood Park with its older homes are facing the typical repair and maintenance issues common to older homes. Many, in fact, are in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Doing Permanent Wet Basement Waterproofing in Elmwood Park
Just like homes in nearby Norridge and Oak Park, homes in Elmwood Park that need wet basement waterproofing are diagnosed on an individual basis but there are several common ways to do a permanent repair.
Crack Repair – The most common damage to a poured concrete foundation that allows seepage is a non-structural crack in the basement wall. The best way to repair these cracks permanently is to inject them with expanding polyurethane from inside the basement. The polyurethane expands to fill the crack all the way to the outside soil and remains flexible when cured to prevent re-cracking from minor foundation movement.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible, it can be repaired from the outside with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug next to the foundation at the site of the crack and filled with the clay, which forms a pliable and permanent barrier against water infiltration.
Interior Drain Tile – Water is often forced by hydrostatic pressure through cracks in a basement floor or through the cove joint. This seepage can be stopped by installing interior drain tile, a network of perforated pipe embedded in washed gravel under the basement floor. The drain tile alleviates the pressure and carries ground water to a sump pump for discharge. Properly installed, interior drain tile never needs maintenance.
Exterior Waterproofing – A poured concrete foundation can experience seepage through patches of porous concrete and/or over the top of the foundation wall. A masonry foundation can leak through deteriorated mortar joints or porous masonry units like concrete block or brick. This type of seepage can be stopped by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied to the outside of the foundation walls with a trowel to create an impermeable water barrier.
When ground water is particularly high, the membrane can be augmented with exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board to protect the membrane and channel water downward.
No matter which type of repair is best, an Elmwood Park homeowner who needs wet basement waterproofing will require the advice and assistance of a basement waterproofing contractor that knows the community and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been doing wet basement waterproofing all over the Chicago area since 1957 and we have already helped hundreds of Elmwood Park homeowners keep their basements dry. Shouldn’t you ask for our free advice?