The North Shore suburb of Northbrook holds a special place in my heart because it’s my hometown. Although I missed the Ferris Bueller era at Glenbrook North, I still enjoy spotting familiar places in those John Hughes films and wasted at least a small part of my youth hanging out at Northbrook Court.
Today, my company, U.S. Waterproofing, helps the homeowners of Northbrook to keep their basements dry and I thought I should talk about how basement waterproofing gets done there.
We wrote recently about basement waterproofing on Chicago’s North Shore and noted that towns in that area are different, depending on whether they lie on the lakefront or west of the Edens Expressway. As one of the western North Shore communities, Northbrook differs significantly from towns such as Highland Park, Wilmette and Lake Forest.
Newer Homes – The lakefront communities on the North Shore were founded in the early- to mid-19th Century and much of the housing stock there dates back to an era when what is now Northbrook was still farmland. In 1923, when Northbrook changed its name from Shermerville, there were only 500 residents; the town, along with many American suburbs, boomed after World War II and has more than 33,000 residents today. They live mainly in homes built since the 1950’s and 60’s.
Poured Concrete Foundations – Unlike the older homes on the lakefront, the majority of homes in Northbrook sit on poured concrete foundations. Poured concrete is monolithic so it doesn’t have mortar joints to leak and erode. However, poured concrete foundations are subject to cracking and can still develop leaks around windows, doors and pipes and through the cove joint.
Variety of Construction – Because of Northbrook’s long period of growth and development, it has a wide range of homes, from smaller frame houses in the original settlement to large brick or stone homes in the newer sections of town. Many of the older homes have been remodeled or enlarged, which may have created yard drainage problems, and old terra cotta drain tile may have clogged or collapsed. Newer homes may have many more waterproofing safeguards in place but even they aren’t immune from seepage problems created by the current drought or other changing conditions.
Lower Water Table – Although the entire Chicagoland area experiences a high water table because of its proximity to Lake Michigan, the water table in Northbrook is lower than in the lakefront communities on the North Shore, just by virtue of being farther away. This is an advantage for Northbrook homeowners because the lower water table reduces hydrostatic pressure from ground water on their foundations. Unfortunately, the expansive clay soil is still prevalent but it creates fewer problems than it does on the lakefront.
As you can see, Northbrook homeowners have their own set of challenges when it comes to keeping their basements dry. When basement water problems occur, they need a basement waterproofing company that knows the area’s homes and how to make them dry and healthy once again. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve worked for hundreds of Northbrook homeowners and our record in your community is stellar, so why not ask us for a free consultation when problems arise?
Want to talk more about basement waterproofing in Northbrook? Let us know in the Comments box below. Oh, and please, no stories from high school.