Chicago Basements Present Special Post Water Loss Drying Issues--Call SERVPRO for a Professional Restoration
Cinder Block and Exterior Wall Water Damage and Drying Challenges in Chicago
The extreme temperature swings experienced in the Chicago area during a year require specific building decisions to provide adequate shelter. Most residences are built above in-ground, cinder block foundations featuring full or walk-out basements. Exterior walls almost always contain significant quantities of loose or sheet insulation. Both of these building construction choices help moderate the effects of severe cold and heat, helping HVAC systems operate more efficiently.
Building Configurations Impact Extraction and Drying Efforts
Water damage in Chicago poses some unique challenges to straightforward loss recovery. Hollow construction materials like cinder blocks and methods like sandwiching a cavity between exterior and interior walls do insulate but also create spaces where water can hide. Difficulty in obtaining access to the cells in cinder blocks and building cavities also impairs professional drying efforts.
Basement “Improvements” Can Limit Moisture Transfer
If water from the stories above migrates down the walls into the block construction of your finished basement, complications can ensue. Gloss or semi-gloss paint applied to cinder blocks can act as a vapor barrier, preventing water release from the cells. To moderate the temperatures in what otherwise can be a cool space, vermiculite, cellulosic, fiberglass, and foam insulation can fill the hollow spaces. Intentional use of vapor barriers to prevent seepage inside can limit airflow during drying. SERVPRO crews often use holes drilled into mortar joints at floor level or higher to permit water to drain out.
Drying of Exterior Walls
Although choosing to remove and replace drywall is an option, SERVPRO’s attempts to dry the exterior walls are typically less disruptive to building occupants and more reasonably priced. Although the insulation in your home’s walls does slow down drying efforts, a successful outcome is possible. As long as the water is Category 1 and sheetrock is not backed with a vapor barrier, walls protected from uncomfortable temperatures with fiberglass insulation can be dried. We again use strategically spaced drilled holes to gain access for the warm, moving air needed for evaporation.
SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City has a broad range of solutions available when drying complications arise in cinder block or exterior wall applications. Call us round the clock at (773) 337-3900 for a rapid evaluation.