Arlington Heights is one of the larger suburban cities in the Chicago area with 75,000 residents spread over 16 square miles. Like other towns in the area, such as Des Plaines and Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights developed as a farm community that supplied the growing Chicago area with produce. In the 1850’s two significant changes set the stage for growth in Arlington Heights: the railroad came to town and farming production began to shift to large orchards. These orchards later became tree nurseries and even later, floral greenhouses.
Today, a large part of the city’s economic engine is driven by Arlington Park International Racecourse, one of the country’s premier thoroughbred tracks. After a near-miraculous recovery from a 1985 fire that destroyed the grandstand and clubhouse, the track today employs more than 4000 and draws hundreds of thousands of racing fans to its annual meets.
Of course, along with agriculture and horse racing, the history of Arlington Heights is steeped in homes – nearly 32,000 of them — of all sizes, styles and vintages. Most American suburbs expanded during the decades following World War II but Arlington Heights exploded with 19,000 new homes constructed during the ensuing three decades. Today, these homes are showing their age and many Arlington Heights homeowners find themselves needing to seal a wet basement.
Sealing a Wet Basement in Arlington Heights
Foundations under Arlington Heights homes are constructed of poured concrete and various types of masonry. Many feature full basements, others crawlspaces and some no basement at all, just slab foundations. Regardless of the size, age or construction of a wet basement in Arlington Heights, a competent basement waterproofing contractor will have a way to repair it.
Crack Repair – The most common foundation in Arlington Heights, especially among newer homes, is poured concrete, which is susceptible to non-structural cracks caused by settlement or pressure from over-saturated soil. These cracks are a common source of wet basements but can be sealed permanently by injecting them with expanding polyurethane from the inside of the basement. The urethane expands to fill the cracks all the way to the outside soil and it remains flexible when cured to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.
In the case of a finished basement or other situation where the crack is inaccessible from the inside, it can be repaired by digging a small hole along the outside of the foundation at the site of the crack. The hole is then filled with sodium bentonite clay to form a pliable, permanent barrier against water intrusion.
Interior Drain Tile – Interior drain tile is a versatile repair method for sealing wet basements; it relieves the hydrostatic pressure under the foundation that causes seepage through basement floor cracks and through the cove joint. Consisting of perforated plastic pipe that is located even with the foundation footings in a bed of washed gravel under the basement floor, interior drain tile picks up the ground water and carries it to a sump pump where it can be discharged from the house. Once installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
Exterior Waterproofing – Effective on all types of foundations, an exterior waterproofing membrane is especially useful on masonry foundation walls. A thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane, the membrane is troweled onto the exterior of the foundation wall to form a permanent barrier against water intrusion, even over the top of the foundation.
In severe circumstances, the membrane can be augmented with exterior drain tile and covered by heavy-duty drainage board that channels waters downward.
Regardless of the type of foundation or source of seepage, an Arlington Heights homeowner needs the skills and expert advice of a professional basement waterproofing contractor to help seal his or her wet basement. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve helped hundreds of Arlington Heights homeowners seal their wet basements during our 56 years in business and we can help you, too, so why not ask for our free advice?