“Heavy Storm Soaks Milwaukee Area”
How many times have you seen that headline? Seems like every spring and summer Milwaukee gets pounded regularly by heavy thunderstorms that drop several inches of rain per hour. Good for the farmers, some say, but what about the rain water that ultimately finds its way into your basement?
If you’re wading through the basement, picking up soggy cardboard boxes and removing smelly carpet – again – it’s probably time to waterproof the basement, don’t you think? But how do you do wet basement repair in Milwaukee?
A typical home in Greater Milwaukee sits on a foundation made of concrete block. A block foundation is generally more susceptible to water seepage because of the inherent weakness of the mortar joints between the blocks. When water does seep through a concrete block foundation, the remedies can be more extensive than for a poured concrete foundation.
Whereas a crack in a poured concrete foundation can usually be repaired by urethane injection from inside the basement, this method will not work on a masonry foundation. There are two ways to waterproof a concrete block foundation:
Exterior Waterproofing Membrane: A concrete block wall can be waterproofed by excavating around the foundation and applying a waterproofing membrane on the foundation wall. If the area of seepage is relatively small, the membrane alone will solve the problem. For larger repairs, it may be necessary to add exterior drain tile to prevent any further seepage.
Interior Drain Tile: Installing interior drain tile is often the preferred method of repairing seepage in a block foundation because it:
To install interior drain tile, a trench is dug through the concrete floor and into the subsoil around the inner perimeter of the basement next to the footing. The trench is filled partway with washed stone, and then a perforated corrugated pipe, which is covered by a protective filter. This pipe is connected to a sump pit where a sump pump will remove the water. The trench is filled with the same stone and new concrete is poured to replace the floor.
Properly installed, an interior drain tile system will protect the basement from water seepage for the foreseeable future.
Another characteristic of many Milwaukee homes is that they are likely to have an interior drain tile system that was installed before the foundation was built. If seepage is occurring, it may be that the drain tile has clogged due to improper installation and sections of it may need to be replaced.
There are foundations other than concrete block in the Milwaukee area, however, and in Part 2 of this article we’ll talk about how to solve basement seepage problems in other types of construction.
In the meantime, there’s a solution to water seepage problems in your basement. U.S. Waterproofing has been working in homes in southeastern Wisconsin for more than 30 years and we know the territory. Our expertise in waterproofing block foundations and managing the area’s high water tables means we know the right way to fix your leaky Milwaukee basement, so just ask for our free advice.
Want to know more about leaky concrete block foundations, interior drain tile or even the mysteries of the Palmer valve? Please ask us in the Comments box below.