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How to Seal a Basement in Morton Grove, IL 60053

Aug 29, 2013 • By Matthew Stock.

Morton Grove Rose

In the early 20th Century, Morton Grove IL was a hotbed, or maybe hothouse, of the floral industry.  A major grower of roses and other flowers, Poehlmann Brothers, located a huge greenhouse operation in the area now occupied by Harrer Park and produced a first-prize winning rose at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.  Other floral businesses from that era, Platz Flowers (Jamaican Gardens) and Lochner’s still operate in the village today.

Greenhouse businesses aside, Morton Grove was a pretty small place until the construction of the Edens Expressway opened it up to development, which happened pretty quickly.  Of the 8300 homes in Morton Grove today, only about 1000 predated the highway but more than 5000 new homes popped up between 1950 and 1970, corresponding with the national spurt in suburban growth that followed World War II.

Of course, this means that more than three-quarters of the homes in Morton Grove are between 40 and 60 years old and are subject to the typical maintenance problems of older houses.  In fact, many Morton Grove homeowners need to seal their basements to prevent mold growth and property damage from ground water seepage.

3 Ways to Seal a Basement in Morton Grove

Every home in Morton Grove, as in neighboring Skokie and Niles, is unique and demands a solution that is tailored to its specific problems.  However, there are three frequently employed methods of repair hat will handle almost every homeowner’s need to seal his or her basement.

Interior Drain Tile – One of the major sources of seepage in Morton Grove basements is hydrostatic pressure in the ground below the foundation that forces water into the basement through the cove joint or cracks in the floor.  Installing interior drain tile, perforated pipe buried in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor, will alleviate the pressure and the pipe will carry the water off to a sump pump to be discharged from the house.  Installed properly, interior drain tile will never require maintenance.

Exterior Waterproofing – Poured concrete foundation walls can admit seepage through patches of porous concrete or over the top of the wall; masonry walls can leak through cracked or deteriorated mortar joints or through porous brick or stone.  This seepage can be stopped by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied to the wall in a thick coat with a trowel to for a permanent “positive side” barrier against water.

In extreme circumstances, exterior drain tile can also be installed, along with heavy-duty drainage board that will channel water downward and protect the membrane.

Crack Repair – The most common source of seepage in poured concrete basements is a non-structural crack in the wall caused by minor foundation movement.  The best way to permanently repair such a crack is to inject it with expanding polyurethane from inside the basement.  The polyurethane will seal the crack all the way to the outside soil and will remain flexible when cured to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.

If the basement is finished or something else prevents access to the crack on the inside, it can be repaired on the outside by filling a small hole next to the foundation at the site of the crack with sodium bentonite clay.  The clay forms a permanent and pliable barrier against water.

Regardless of the source or location of the seepage, a Morton Grove homeowner who wants to seal his or her basement will require the expertise of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor.  At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been sealing basements around Chicago since 1957 and have already helped hundreds of Morton Grove homeowners to keep their basements dry.  Why not ask for our free advice?


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