In the stories of the Old West, writers often spoke of “boom towns,” places where gold and silver, or later uranium and oil, were discovered. The population usually quickly multiplied many times over and prices for land and goods skyrocketed only to have it all go bust when the vein of ore petered out or the wells ran dry.
The word “boom” took on new meaning when used to describe the generation of Americans that came along after the end of World War II – the “Baby Boomers” born between 1946 and 1964. Returning vets married and started families, reversing the trend of slow population growth that accompanied the Great Depression of the 1930s.
These same military veterans were also responsible for another postwar boom — that of American suburbs, as the G.I. Bill encouraged and facilitated home ownership. One suburb where that boom was extremely impactful was Mount Prospect, which had only 1400 homes at the onset of the war. During the three decades that followed it, a staggering 16,000 homes were built in the village and its population skyrocketed. A new kind of “boom town,” Mount Prospect not only survived but prospered and today has 53,000 residents living in 22,000 homes.
As the “boom” houses come of age, however, their owners are faced with typical maintenance problems, including the need to seal basements against water intrusion.
Sealing a Basement in Mount Prospect
Crack Repair – The most common type of foundation in Mount Prospect is one of poured concrete and these foundations are most likely to leak through non-structural cracks in the basement walls and floors. The best way to permanently repair these cracks is to inject them from the interior with expanding polyurethane that will seal the crack all the way through the wall. The polyurethane remains flexible once it has cured; this prevents the crack from re-opening due to minor foundation movement.
If the crack can’t be reached from inside, it can be repaired on the exterior by digging a small hole next to the foundation at the site of the crack and filling it with sodium bentonite clay. The clay forms a pliable yet permanent seal against water on the outside of the foundation.
Interior Drain Tile – Another common source of seepage in Mount Prospect homes is water that is forced by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation through the cove joint and cracks in the basement floor. This pressure can be alleviated by interior drain tile, perforated pipe that is buried under the basement floor in a bed of washed gravel and connected to a sump pump. When it is installed properly, interior drain tile should be maintenance-free.
Exterior Waterproofing – Three other common ways for Mount Prospect basements to leak is either over the top of the foundation wall, through bad mortar joints or through porous spots in concrete or masonry. These leaks can be sealed by applying an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is installed on the foundation walls with a trowel. The membrane provides a permanent “positive side” seal against water.
In extreme situations, the membrane can be assisted by installing exterior drain tile and drainage board that covers the membrane and channels water down to the drain tile.
Whichever method is the best for his or her home, a Mount Prospect homeowner who needs to seal the basement requires the assistance of a professional basement waterproofing contractor that knows Mount Prospect and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have sealed literally hundreds of thousands of basements all over Chicagoland and we have already helped numerous Mount Prospect homeowners keep water out of their basements. Why not ask for our free advice?