There’s a legitimate sense of history in Winnetka, IL. The North Shore village dates back to 1836 when the first homes were built and the first commercial establishment opened to serve travelers on the Green Bay Trail. The railroad came along about two decades later and brought more settlers and more businesses and the community began to thrive.
Homes in Winnetka tended to be large and built on spacious lots, much like homes in neighboring Glencoe and Kenilworth. Many were designed by the eminent architects of the day for financiers and captains of industry who were engaged in making Chicago the world class city it is today. Modern Winnetka is no different, serving as home base for CEOs and celebrities alike.
One thing about Winnetka homes: although beautiful and spacious, many of them are quite old. In fact, more than half of the village’s 4300 homes were built prior to 1940 and, like older homes anywhere, have started to create maintenance problems for their owners. In fact, many homeowners in Winnetka have needed to seal their basements to stop water infiltration.
Three Ways to Seal a Basement in Winnetka
Like any home repair, the recommended way to seal a basement in Winnetka will be determined by the situation in an individual home but there are three common ways in which it is done.
Crack Repair – The most common type of foundation under homes in Winnetka, with the possible exception of some of the oldest, is poured concrete. In turn, the most common source of basement seepage in a poured concrete foundation is a non-structural crack in the basement wall. The best way to repair such a crack is from the interior, injecting it with expanding polyurethane that fills and seals the crack all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane remains flexible when cured so that minor foundation movement doesn’t re-open the crack.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible it can also be repaired from the outside. A small hole is dug next to the foundation at the site of the crack and is filled with sodium bentonite clay, which sets up to form a permanent, pliable barrier against further water intrusion.
Interior Drain Tile – Another common seepage problem in Winnetka occurs when hydrostatic pressure under the foundation forces water in through cracks in the basement floor or the cove joint. This can be remedied by installing interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe in a bed of washed gravel that is buried under the basement floor next to the foundation footings. The drain tile alleviates the pressure and carries ground water to a sump pump where it is ejected outside the house. Properly installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Exterior Waterproofing – Water can also enter a basement through sections of porous concrete or masonry or over the top of the foundation. Seepage of this nature can be prevented by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled onto the foundation in a thick coat. This forms a permanent barrier against water and should not be confused with “damp-proofing,” a thin coating sprayed on during construction.
In extreme situations the membrane may be augmented with exterior drain tile and drainage board that channels water downward.
Regardless of how the problem is fixed, a Winnetka homeowner who needs to seal his or her basement requires the assistance of a basement waterproofing company that knows the area and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have helped hundreds of Winnetka homeowners seal their basements and count them among our more than 300,000 satisfied customers, so why not ask for our free advice?