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How to Seal a Basement in Wilmette, IL 60091

Aug 2, 2013 • By Matthew Stock.

Bahai Temple

A lot of interesting stuff has happened in Wilmette.

In 1928, for example, developers opened something called a “shopping center” in an area along Sheridan Road known as “No Man’s Land.”  The “Spanish Court,” as it was called, remains in business today as the second oldest shopping center in the U.S. and is known as “Plaza del Lago.”

Fifty years later, Wilmette residents discovered that their town harbored a basement fireworks factory that remained unknown to them until it blew up, taking the house and its owner with it.  The explosion exposed an illegal fireworks ring operating in the Chicago area.

Perhaps the most interesting, though, was the construction over a 32-year period interrupted by the Great Depression and World War II, of the Baha’i House of Worship, known locally as the “Baha’i Temple.”  The domed white concrete structure, headquarters of the Baha’i faith in North America, towers over manicured gardens on the southeastern end of Wilmette and is the oldest of the 8 existing Baha’i facilities in the world.

Life in Wilmette is calmer these days but interesting things still happen to Wilmette’s homeowners. Since 80% of the village’s 10,000 homes were built before 1970, homeowners there are facing the maintenance problems common to older homes, including the need to seal their basements.

3 Ways to Seal a Basement in Wilmette

In Wilmette, as in the neighboring towns of Evanston and Kenilworth, the right repair depends on the specific house but there are three common ways to seal a basement.

Exterior Waterproofing – One way that water can enter a basement in Wilmette is through patches of porous concrete, masonry joints or over the top of the foundation wall.  The best way to seal the basement against this type of leak is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the foundation wall.  Consisting of asphalt-modified polyurethane, the membrane is applied with a trowel in a thick coat to seal the wall permanently, unlike “damp-proofing,” a thin coating sprayed on during construction.

If the ground water around the foundation is heavy, the membrane can be complemented by installing exterior drain tile and drainage board to channel water downward.

Interior Drain Tile – Another common source of a wet basement is seepage through the cove joint or cracks in the basement floor.  Interior drain tile relieves the hydrostatic pressure that forces this water into the basement.  Consisting of perforated pipe embedded in washed gravel below the basement floor, interior drain tile alleviates the pressure by carrying ground water to a sump pump for disposal.  Installed properly, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.

Crack Repair – the most common type of foundation in Wilmette is one of poured concrete and the most common source of seepage in this foundation is a non-structural crack that allows water to enter.  The best way to repair such a crack is to inject it with expanding polyurethane that fills and seals it all the way to the outside soil.  The polyurethane material remains flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement will not cause the crack to re-open.

No matter what the source of seepage and the best method of repair, a Wilmette homeowner needs the services of a professional basement waterproofing contractor to seal his or her basement.  At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve helped hundreds of Wilmette homeowners seal their basement and keep them dry and count them among our more than 300,000 satisfied customers.  Why not ask for our free advice?

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