There are many sources of water seepage in a basement and some will occur only in basements of a particular construction. For example, in a foundation built of concrete block, as is often found in the Milwaukee and northwest Indiana areas, water can seep through mortar joints and through the relatively porous concrete block itself.
In Chicagoland, the majority of residential foundations are constructed of poured concrete and those basements can experience seepage through thin cracks in the wall caused by the pressure exerted by saturated soil.
First, a brief history of Chicago basement waterproofing: The earliest methods of crack repair were either to dig a hole outside the foundation and apply a coating or to chip out the crack from inside and fill it with hydraulic cement. Then, crack injection came along, with practitioners using a two-part epoxy material, injected at low pressure from the inside, to fill cracks.
Many basement waterproofing contractors still use epoxy today. However, epoxy crack repairs often fail because epoxy hardens to a rigid state and any further movement of the foundation will crack the epoxy, again allowing water to seep in. Additionally, because the liquid epoxy does not expand when injected and tends to set up quickly, it cannot fill the entire crack.
In Chicago today, the technologically proficient basement waterproofing company will use expanding polyurethane to repair basement wall cracks. This material has several advantages for the homeowner:
Permanent Flexibility – The urethane used to repair basement wall cracks never hardens to a rigid state. The material, even when fully cured, remains flexible so that it will allow slight further movement of foundation walls without cracking and allowing water to seep through.
Complete Seal – Because the urethane is an expanding compound, it will completely penetrate and fill the foundation wall crack all the way to the outside soil. This forms a complete seal throughout the entire wall and ensures that there will be no further seepage.
Compatibility with Wet Surfaces – Unlike epoxy, expanding urethane can be used in the presence of water so that a seeping crack can be repaired before the problem gets worse. An epoxy repair has to wait until the crack is completely dry in order for the material to bond with the concrete.
If you’re a Chicago homeowner and you discover water in your basement coming from a foundation wall crack, which repair would you rather have? Want to take a chance that you’ll be repairing the crack again in the future? Want to keep mopping until the crack dries out?
If you want your crack repair done right (and right now) you’ll want a Chicago basement waterproofing contractor that uses expanding urethane. At U.S. Waterproofing, we learned the advantages of urethane over epoxy long ago and we’ve repaired cracks for thousands and thousands of Chicagoland homeowners quickly, effectively and permanently. Why not schedule a free consultation in your basement?
Want to debate epoxy vs. urethane? Let’s hear it in the Comments box below.