In the Chicago area, historical landmarks are common. The city itself is known as a capital of architecture and many buildings in the suburbs as well have been preserved and honored as significant examples of design.
In the small village of Riverside, things are a little different – the entire village was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 and is called a “landmark in American residential planning.”
The origin of Riverside’s landmark status lies in its founding in 1868 when a group of investors bought a large tract of land and hired the foremost American landscape architect of the time, Frederick Law Olmsted, to design and plan a residential community there. Olmsted platted a town with winding streets and spacious lots and a number of large homes were built there that were designed by equally prominent architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and Daniel Burnham.
In the 1920s and 30s smaller homes were added to the mix resulting in the village being substantially developed early on, with more than half of the current 3,600 homes already in place before World War II.
With so many homes over the age of 70 and many other nearing the 50-year mark it’s not surprising that Riverside homeowners are experiencing repair and maintenance issues. In fact, many have found themselves in need of wet basement waterproofing.
Wet Basement Waterproofing Problems and Solutions in Riverside
Wall Crack Seepage – A common source of water in a home with a poured concrete foundation is seepage from a non-structural crack in the basement wall. These cracks can be permanently repaired by injecting them from the interior with expanding polyurethane. The polyurethane fills and seals the crack all the way through the wall and remains flexible when it cures to prevent the crack from re-opening due to minor foundation movement.
If the basement is finished or the crack is otherwise inaccessible, it can be repaired from the exterior with sodium bentonite clay. A small hole is dug next to the foundation down to the footings and filled with the granular clay. The clay absorbs moisture and creates a permanent water barrier on the outside.
Seepage through Porous Walls – In a concrete foundation, seepage can occur through porous areas of concrete or over top of the foundation wall. A masonry wall can seep through deteriorated or cracked mortar joints or porous masonry units like concrete block or brick. This seepage can be prevented or repaired by installing an exterior waterproofing membrane, a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is troweled onto the outside of the foundation to form an impervious barrier.
When ground water around the foundation is high, the membrane can be complemented with exterior drain tile and heavy-duty drainage board that protects the membrane and channels water down to the drain tile.
Seepage between Wall and Floor – Hydrostatic pressure created by ground water under a foundation can often force water through the cove joint between wall and floor or through cracks in the basement floor. The best remedy for this problem is to install interior drain tile, a system of perforated pipe that is embedded in washed gravel underneath the basement floor. The drain tile eases the pressure and gathers ground water to be transported to a sump pump for disposal from the home. When properly installed, interior drain tile requires no maintenance.
No matter what the problem or the solution, a Riverside homeowner in need of wet basement waterproofing will require the assistance of a qualified basement waterproofing contractor that knows Riverside and its homes. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been keeping basements dry all over Chicagoland since 1957, including hundreds of homes in Riverside. Why not ask for our free advice?