Park Ridge is probably best known outside the Chicago area as the hometown of Hilary Rodham Clinton and Harrison Ford but to Park Ridge’s 37,000 residents the town’s pleasant suburban lifestyle is more important than celebrity connections. Good schools, a thriving downtown and convenient location make Park Ridge a desirable place to live.
Of the nearly 15,000 homes in Park Ridge, a large majority of them were built prior to 1970, creating an established community long before the building boom (and bust) of the past 20 years. The ages of many homes, however, along with a geographical condition that once contributed to the settlement and growth of the town, make repairing wet basements in Park Ridge a unique challenge.
How to Repair Wet Basements in Park Ridge
The first commercial venture in the history of Park Ridge was a brickyard opened in 1853 that fed the demand for a growing city of Chicago. The brick-making enterprise was well-suited to Park Ridge because of the abundance of clay found in the local soil; this same clay soil today contributes to basement water problems and foundation damage for local homeowners. Clay soil doesn’t drain well so surface water finds other places to run, often ending up in Park Ridge basements. Also, clay soil is expansive, that is, it swells when saturated and creates pressure against foundation walls that can lead to seeping cracks or more substantial damage.
Regardless of cause, there are several effective ways to repair a wet basement in Park Ridge:
Crack Injection – Most basements in Park Ridge are constructed of poured concrete, although some of the older homes may have masonry foundations. The single most common source of a wet basement is a non-structural crack in the concrete foundation wall, usually caused by the lateral pressure referred to earlier. The most effective way to repair such a crack is by injecting it from the interior with expanding polyurethane. This sealant expands to completely fill and seal the crack all the way to the outside soil and remains flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement won’t cause the crack to re-open. If the interior is not accessible, cracks can also be filled by applying sodium bentonite clay to the outside foundation wall, forming a barrier impervious to seepage. Both are permanent, maintenance-free repairs.
Drain Tile – Drain tile alleviates pressure caused by ground water and carries the water off to a sump pump for ejection from the house. Interior drain tile, flexible perforated pipe, is installed in a bed of washed stone alongside the foundation footings on the inside perimeter to relieve hydrostatic pressure and prevent seepage through floor cracks and the cove joint. Exterior drain tile, perforated rigid pipe installed similarly on the outside of the foundation, relieves lateral pressure and can prevent seepage through cracks and other openings. Coupled with a properly-sized sump pump, drain tile is one of the most useful tools for repairing wet basements in Park Ridge or anywhere.
Exterior Waterproofing Membrane – A highly effective exterior repair is to apply a waterproofing membrane to the outside of a foundation wall. The membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane, is troweled onto the wall in a heavy coat and, when cured, forms a “positive-side” barrier to seepage. This is most often used on masonry walls but is also effective on poured concrete, especially when covered with heavy-duty drainage board that channels water to exterior drain tile. An exterior waterproofing membrane is not to be confused with “damp-proofing,” a thin coat sprayed on the foundation, usually during construction.
Regardless of the cause of a wet basement in Park Ridge, the homeowner needs a basement waterproofing contractor that has the knowledge and experience to diagnose the problem and the resources to repair it, permanently and cost-effectively. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been helping homeowners in Park Ridge repair wet basements for decades and count many homeowners there among our more than 300,000 satisfied customers. Why not ask for our free advice?