Where Is Water Seepage Coming From?

flood control

When we get a call from a homeowner who lives in the city of Chicago complaining of water in their basement my first question is, “Where is the water coming from?” It’s a key question. Sometimes homeowners don’t know, but if you live in the city and get water in the basement, try to note the origin. Water seepage from the area where the wall and floor meet (cove joint) is completely different from water oozing out of a floor drain.

Cove joint seepage should be addressed by using drain tile, the solution for water bubbling up from a drain in the middle of the floor is by implementing a flood control system. Knowing and understanding the difference and the solutions is vital. A homeowner could spend thousands on a new drain tile system complete with new pits and pumps yet still get water bubbling up from the floor drain. This leaves a frustrated and angry customer and a black eye to our industry.

This difference between seepage from the cove or the floor drain is simple, It’s two separate systems. Cove seepage is ground water, free flowing water around your foundation. The floor drain system is a closed pipe system connected to the city’s storm drain system.

Under normal conditions, water in your basement should flow to the floor drain and into the storm system. However, when the storm sewers become overwhelmed, water backups through the same system sending water into homes through the floor drain, which ironically was designed to take water away.

In the olden days, we took a length of pipe and stuck it into the drain. This is a stand pipe. It works but it can come loose. Then water would gush into the basement. It also created pressure that could damage the underground pipes.

Fast forward to today. Midwest Waterproofing offers a flood control system. We are essentially adding a one-way valve close. This goes to the street on the pipe that leads from the city storm sewer to the house. By only letting water flow out from the house, it stops the problem at the source.

Another thing to remember: more people protected means more chance of you flooding. As homes on your block and neighborhood install flood control systems, your basement becomes more susceptible to flooding. That’s because as the water has fewer and fewer places to go it might head in your direction. It does require us to dig up a portion of the homeowner’s front lawn, but our landscaping guys return the property–at times–to better than original condition.

Experience can save you from making a huge financial mistake. You need a waterproofing team who knows where the problem originates and offers an appropriate solution. Not every firm offers flood control systems. Midwest Waterproofing does. Call us at 815-245-6890 or Book Online for a free in-home consultation.


The Solution for Unsightly Crack Repairs

crack repair

A frequent comment I hear from clients is the way crack repairs look after completion. They see the smeared on epoxy bonder with unsightly injection ports leave the repair looking messy. We see it too! While the products we use offer a Lifetime Warranty and we know they work, I agree that the final product is often less that attractive for crack repairs. This can also cause concern for potential home buyers who see this as a foundation issue and not a simple crack that was repaired and the lifetime warrantee transfers to them. That’s where we step in.




crack repairs

                                               Seal and Peel

Midwest Waterproofing has a solution for crack repairs. It’s a removable top coat that holds the product being injected in the crack but can be removed along with the injection ports within a few days. Ground smooth with the surface of the foundation, when painted, the crack repairs virtually disappears.

Being small, flexible and experienced, we address any homeowners concern. We create a unique solution that meets all your criteria and concerns. The big waterproofers only offer solutions to fit their profit model. Going the extra step is what makes Midwest Waterproofing the ONLY choice. Contact us at 815-245-6890 or Book Online

Floor Cracks Can Be Repaired

floor staples cut

Basement and garage floor cracks: a lot of companies say they are cosmetic in nature and should be left alone. Since we all know concrete cracks can be quite the problem, sometimes just leaving them alone is not good enough.  There are plenty of solutions available to reliably and professionally repair cracks.

In the case of finishing the basement or installing a decorative floor coating, we typically recommend using carbon fiber to “stitch” the crack and stabilize it. This is very effective in reducing concrete cracking when overlaying a decorative coating or epoxy surface.

The process is can be completed in a few hours. However, only a trained installer should “stitch” a crack. Midwest Waterproofing works with Rhino Carbon Fiber to ensure the installation is completed correctly.

We “stitched” the floor in preparation of the basement being finished. The homeowner wanted a decorative, durable finish on the floor but did not want crack forming and ruining the seamless look.

It’s important not to confuse floor crack and wall cracks. Vertical cracks in foundation walls require a different type of solution.  If you have concrete floor cracks that need to be evaluated, please contact Midwest Waterproofing at 815-245-6890 or Book Online.


Using Dry Liner With Drain Tile

waterproofing dry liner drain tile

We solved a unique problem for a client recently. The homeowner had their crawlspace excavated to create a basement. Yes, it can be done and it’s a fairly common practice. We have done several ourselves. It adds usable square footage to a home for a fraction of the cost of an addition. It’s also an excellent solution if building onto the home is not possible because of setbacks or zoning issues. However in this situation the contractor who did the work was not adept at waterproofing, which had rendered the new basement unusable.

As you can see from the photos, the area that bumps inward in the basement is called “benching”. This is usually a poured concrete wall around the perimeter to hold back the earth. This creates a weak spot and invites seepage.

By utilizing dry liner, the white plastic that encapsulates the walls, we were able to create a barrier and a way to channel water that had been seeping from the walls into the newly installed perimeter drain tile. You can see the the darker area which is freshly poured concrete curing which covers the drain tile. This leads to a sump pit where a sum pump discharges the water to the outside.

With the seepage controlled, the basement can be finished and becomes excellent living space with the peace of mind that comes with a lifetime warranty.

Dry liner can be utilized on block and stone foundations to control seepage as well. Combined with a drain tile installation, sump pit, sum pump and battery backup, you can create safe, comfortable mold-free living space.

Give us a call at 815-245-6890. Ask for Kristi and set yourself an appointment for a free in-home consultation for any seepage issues.

Waterproofing Terminology Explained

waterproofing terminology

Every profession has their own unique terminology. Plumbers have elbows, bushings and check valves. Software Engineers have viruses, ram and bandwith. Waterproofing is no different. This article will explain the most common waterproofing terms, so you can become an educated consumer.


Hydrostatic Pressure- The pressure exerted by water due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases at greater depths because of the increasing weight of water exerting downward force. This usually manifests itself at the cove joint (where the foundation floor and wall meet) creating seepage at the floor. The usual solution is drain tile.

Efflorescence- Is a crystalline deposit of salts. Often seen on the surface of concrete or brick, it occurs when water leaves behind salt deposits and appears as a white fuzz. It is a clear indication of water saturation.

Concrete Block- A standard size rectangular block used in foundation building. These blocks are hollow and hold water usually in the rows at the bottom of the wall. Seepage solution with concrete block foundations is almost always drain tile.

Footing- Footings are the base of foundation construction. They are typically made of concrete with rebar reinforcement that has been poured into an excavated trench. Footings support the vertical portion of the foundation, distributing the load of the house evenly and preventing settling.

Cold Joint- An area of weakness in concrete caused by an interruption in the concreting pouring operation. It occurs when the first batch of concrete has begun to set before the next batch is added so the two batches do not correctly intermix.

Drain Tile- Either a solid PVC or slotted corrugated pipe that is designed to collect and redirect water seepage into a sump pit to be discharged away from the home. Drain tile can be installed either on the interior or exterior. Also known as a French Drain


Sump PumpA pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin connected to a drain tile. Usually found in the basement or crawlspace. Used specifically for ground water and not sewerage. It is important to utilize an underground sump extension to discharge at least 10 feet from the foundation to prevent undermining the foundation.

Ejector Pump- Often confused with a sump pump, an ejector pump transports waste from an appliance that is situated underneath the main sewer line. Ejector pumps are typically used in basement bathrooms and basement sinks.

Dry Well Is an underground chamber that disposes of unwanted stormwater, It is a covered, porous-walled container that allows water to slowly percolate into the ground.

Water table- Is the upper level of an underground surface in which the soil or rocks are permanently saturated with water

Black Mold- Is the common name for the infamous toxic mold Stachybotrys chartarum which can grow in houses and is dangerous to humans. Mold needs air, water and an organic food source (wood,paper,etc.) to grow. Simply eliminating water can eliminate mold.

Undermining- The process of weakening by removing underlying support of a footing or foundation by groundwater or draining downspouts. Many foundation issues can be avoided by extending downspouts away from the foundation.

Foundation- The system on which the home sits. Consisting or two parts, the footing and foundation wall, foundations can be solid poured-in-place concrete or stacked concrete block. Older home may have foundations built from brick, stacked stone or in rare occasions telephone tile.

Iron BacteriaSmall living organisms which naturally occur in soil that combine iron and oxygen to form deposits of “rust” and a slimy material that sticks to pipes and pumps. While a nuisance, it is a manageable condition.

Backfill- The process of replacing excavated material. Important to note in waterproofing as backfilled areas hold more water and careful backfilling is necessary to ensure an installed system such as a membrane, is not damaged.

Dehumidifier- An electrical appliance which reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air, usually for health or comfort reasons. Very effective in eliminating musty odors and prevents the growth of mildew by extracting water from the air.

Grade Above/Below- Above grade means the portion of a home that is above the surface. Conversely, the portion below grade, basement, crawl space, etc. is where waterproofing done. However, an above grade issue such as bad tuckpointing or missing caulk around a window can manifest itself in the basement and appear as a blow grade issue. 

Epoxy- A very useful material created through reacting an epoxy resin and a hardener which provides a window of working time before hardening. Used in combination with urethanes to repair vertical cracks and beam pockets.


Crack Repair

Urethane- Expansive foam that reacts with water and is excellent for vertical crack repair. Used in conjunction with epoxy that controls the expansion, urethanes last a lifetime. However, considering the expansive nature of urethane, it should be used very carefully around pipe penetrations. If urethane migrates into the pipe, it could mix with water and expand, clogging the pipe.

Cove Joint- The area where the basement floor and the foundation wall meet. Seepage from this area is solved using drain tile. While a vertical crack can be injected with epoxy, a horizontal crack, such as the cove joint, cannot. 

Drainage Board- A foundation waterproofing component that consists of a sandwiched dimpled panel that allows water to flow between and down to a drain tile. It is also excellent at protecting a membrane.

Beam Pocket- A pocked in the foundation designed to hold a steel beam. Because of the concentration of load on one spot, they are susceptible to cracking and leaks.