What are the Benefits of Glass Block Windows?

Glass block windows are a form of windows which are often used in basements because of their airtight construction quality. glass pane windowThese unique windows offer a number of benefits that you can’t get with other windows.

Perhaps you’ve never heard of them and are wondering what exactly you can get out of them? Maybe you’re considering buying them and are wondering if you’re making the right decision? If so, you’re in the right place.

Here are the benefits of glass block windows.

Lower Energy Bills

When it comes to energy efficiency, no type of window performs quite as well as the glass block window. This has a lot to do with its construction quality.

Glass block windows are constructed so that they have two separate panes located 3 to 4 inches apart from each other. This makes them much thicker than typical glass pane windows. In addition to being thicker than glass pane windows, they are also thoroughly sealed with a thick mortar which essentially ceases the movement of any heat or cold.

Because they do such a great job of stifling heat and cold, glass block windows give your furnace and air conditioner a huge break. When your furnace and air conditioner work less, you save more money.

Reduced Leaking

Because your basement windows sit so close to the ground, they have a much greater chance of coming into contact with standing water than your other windows. For this reason, they need to be as airtight as possible. The last thing you want is moisture making its way into your basement. As a waterproofing company, we deal with glass block windows on a regular basis. For many of our clients, they are a fundamental building block in creating a safe and dry basement.

This is why glass block windows are a terrific choice for basements. Because they’re so thick and sealed so tightly, they’re almost impenetrable.

Water stands no chance against glass block windows. They don’t even allow for condensation to occur.

More Privacy

One of the nicest things about glass block windows is that they provide tons of privacy. When outsiders look through them, they will only be able to see blurs. Nothing can be seen clearly through a glass block window.

Of course, you won’t be able to see anything out of them either. But if they’re installed in your basement, you probably won’t care to look out of them anyway.

And it should be noted that, despite the fact they’re impossible to see through clearly, they still allow in plenty of sunlight.

Improved Security

Standard windows are easy to break. In fact, kids routinely break them with baseballs on accident.

Glass block windows, on the other hand, are almost impossible to break through. This makes them especially useful for security purposes. You won’t have any thieves busting through your glass block windows at night.

You can rest easy knowing that, if your doors are locked, no one is going to be breaking into your home anytime soon.

Attractive Appearance

While it may not be the primary reason to purchase them, the appearance of glass block windows is another of their many benefits.

Though they might not be for everyone, these windows have a unique and sophisticated look that is far from boring. They will almost undoubtedly catch some eyes, even if they’re buried down in your basement.

If you want to give your home an exciting new look, glass block windows would be a great option.

Take Advantage of the Benefits of Glass Block Windows

Are you looking to reap the benefits of glass block windows in your basement? Do you live in the Chicago area? If so, ULB-Dry Waterproofing is the company to see.

Our team has been waterproofing homes for over 25 years and is more than prepared to install high-quality glass block windows in your basement.

Contact us today!

Crack Repair: Common Causes of Interior and Exterior Cracks

 

Unless you’re living in a stainless steel house, cracks are a fact of life. But what are the common causes of interior and exterior cracks? The pros at ULB-DRY Waterproofing in Lombard have the answers.

Interior Crack Causes

When a house is built, the builders must address factors like slippage, concrete shrinkage, compression stress, and soil shrinkage, all of which will manifest themselves when the house starts settling. It’s at this point that interior wall cracks begin to appear, some of which are potentially dangerous.

In addition to the settling process, there are several other things that can cause interior wall cracks:

  • Expansion/contraction of soil
  • Temperature changes
  • A poorly-constructed foundation

internal crack repair

Interior Crack Repair

Once you’ve identified interior cracks, it’s time to call ULB Dry Waterproofing. We handle two types of interior cracks: “dirty” (previously repaired) and “clean” (never touched). Our process for interior crack repairs starts with cleaning the surface of the crack so it is free of all loose dirt and other contaminants.

We then create a surface patch out of epoxy mastic, check the exterior area, and seal any portion of the crack above grade. Once the surface patch has cured, we inject an epoxy/urethane resin into the wall crack, starting with the port closest to the floor level. The material is forced upward until it is then capped at the top of the foundation.

Exterior Crack Causes

Exterior cracks not only make a home look a lot older than it really is, they can also be a sign of serious structural damage that requires prompt crack repair. Just like with interior cracks, the majority of exterior cracks are foundation-related. However, exterior cracks can also be caused by a few other issues, including:

  • Weather
  • Poor drainage
  • Expanding/contracting soil

As a home ages, the soil beneath the foundation will settle and shift – consequently, the foundation moves too. If any of the aforementioned three issues occur in excess, the foundation could crack, and so too the outside walls. And while concrete is a strong building material, it’s not invulnerable. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a homeowner to have too much confidence in his walls and pass cracks off as aesthetic problems rather than something far more serious and foundation-related.

Exterior Crack Repair

The exterior crack repair process is a bit more involved than interior crack repair as it needs to account for elements like changes in temperature and the sun’s ultra-violet rays. We use a “Bento-Seal” paste along with bentonite powder during the process to ensure the best results. If you want to know more about the step-by-step process, check out our concrete repair page.

Obviously, you want crack repairs to look good and “natural”. What’s most important though is that if you do find cracks in your home’s exterior, don’t delay in calling our waterproofing company in Lombard. These cracks could be indicative of a foundation problem, and at the very least you should have your foundation inspected and the cracks repaired.

For more information about crack causes and repairs, or to make an appointment with an experienced waterproofing company serving Chicago, contact ULB-DRY Waterproofing today.

How to Determine if You Need a Backup Sump Pump

Whenever a potential customer contacts us regarding sump pump service near Naperville, IL or another Chicago, IL suburb, nine times out of ten the customer asks if a backup sump pump is necessary. The ULB-Dry Waterproofing team believes it is, and this blog covers the reasons why. But first, let’s summarize the two main backup sump pump options:

Battery-powered backup sump pump: this is a separate, battery-powered reserve pump installed adjacent to the primary pump.

 

Combo sump pump system: a compact, pre-assembled unit that combines the primary pump and the reserve pump.

 

Most backup sump pumps are battery-powered, with the best ones able to pump for up to eight hours while the primary pump is brought back on-line. There are also water-powered backup sump pumps that will operate as long as the water entering the sump maintains a pressure of 50psi – 80psi. These too afford ample reinforcement while the primary pump is being fixed.

Other backup systems exist – for example, “inverter systems”, but these options have several downsides. Thus, we don’t recommend them.

Now, back to the question at hand. It’s important to understand that all primary sump pumps eventually fail – it’s just a matter of when and why. Operating with this fact in mind, here are the circumstances in which a backup sump pump is vital to protecting your basement from water damage:

The Primary Pump Can’t Keep Up With Water Inflow

If you’re hammered by a particularly brutal storm, there’s a very real possibility that your primary pump won’t be able to handle the amount of water entering the sump. In situations like these, a backup pump is invaluable.

Primary Pump Failure

Tied in with the first point, the primary pump will work as hard as it can, but could ultimately fail due to an overwhelming amount of water. If this happens, and you don’t have a backup pump ready to handle the load, you could be looking at serious basement water damage.

Power Outage

The more violent a storm, the greater the chance of a power outage. Since your primary sump pump runs on electricity, a power failure is a potentially catastrophic setback. However, if you have a backup pump, it will run off of reserve power, typically in the form of a battery, and take over until the power comes back on and the primary pump returns to life.

Stuck Float Switch

A float switch is attached to the primary pump. When water reaches the float, the pump turns on. If for some reason the float switch gets stuck or fails to trigger the primary pump, a sensor or second float switch will detect the rising water and signal the backup sump pump to begin pumping.

A blown fuse, damaged power lines, a clogged discharge pipe, a tripped circuit breaker, and a burned-out pump are all reasons why a primary sump pump could fail. For an affordable cost, our highly rated waterproofing company serving Burr Ridge, IL will find, install, and maintain the right backup sump pump for you. Contact us today and let’s talk further.

Tips for Preparing Your Basement for the Winter Season

It’s that time of year again – time to prepare your basement for winter. Though the weather in Chicagoland has become slightly less predictable over the last few years, you can still count on a healthy dose of snow and freezing temperatures. So don’t wait until the last minute – call ULB-Dry serving Arlington Heights, IL and ask our experts to make your basement cozy and problem-free from now until spring.

What does preparing your basement for winter entail? Here’s a partial list:

Addressing Your Pipes and Ducts

Freezing pipes, potential leaks, chilling drafts – these are threats we must negate. Keep these potential calamities at bay by insulating all exposed pipes in your basement. Also, confirm that your home’s duct work is connected and insulated. This is a relatively simple procedure that can prevent hot air losses upwards of 60 percent – losses which occur due to poorly connected/insulated ducts.

Humidity-level Analysis

Of all the rooms in your home, the basement is the most vulnerable to mold growth at all times of year, even winter. Moisture caused by basement humidity and leaks both indoor and outdoor can turn a basement into a veritable petri dish of unwanted mold and mildew. To counteract these possible issues, we recommend using a space heater and/or a dehumidifier to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity. This is something you can do yourself, or our experts can make a home visit and help you with setup.

Waterproofing is Essential

The best way to deal with any disaster is to be prepared. In the case of a potential busted pipe caused by extreme cold, or leakage brought on by melting snow that finds its way through various cracks and crannies, you’ll be thrilled that you contracted ULB-Dry to waterproof your entire basement before winter sets in.

Inspect All Doors and Windows

If your basement has windows or doors (i.e. an English basement), ULB-Dry Waterproofing will inspect the caulking around these furnishings for cracks. Water, whether brought on by winter rain or snow, has a way of finding its way through incomplete caulking, but our team will reinforce any weak spots and make sure this doesn’t happen.

Clean Those Gutters

Clean gutters ensure that snow and rain-related water flows freely away from your house and its foundation. Clogged gutters not only put undue stress on the gutters themselves, but could result in water being deposited over your home’s foundation, which could become a problem if left untreated.

Shovel Smart

When you’re shoveling your driveway, back patio, and walkways, throw the snow away from your home’s foundation. Also, if snow has accumulated at the base of your house, shovel it away. If you leave this snow to linger, your basement is the first place it will head when a thaw arrives.

For basement waterproofing near Lombard, IL, trust the friendly, knowledgeable team at ULB-Dry Waterproofing. We’re always looking out for your best interests, no matter the time of year. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to furnish a competitive quote that covers all of your basement winter-preparation needs.

What Is a Basement Waterproofing Membrane?

Preventing water from seeping into a basement or crawl space beneath the home should be on homeowners’ top list of things to do to properly maintain and care for their homes. Unfortunately, not having proper basement waterproofing measures in place, like the application of a quality basement waterproofing membrane, will lead to the need for foundation leak repair Park Ridge homeowners want to avoid. There are different types of basement waterproofing membranes available, and homeowners need to know a few things about them.

Basement Waterproofing Membranes Can Help Prevent the Need for Foundation Leak Repair in Chicago and the Surrounding Areas.

A basement waterproofing membrane is essentially a sealant applied or attached to the surrounding area and surfaces of a basement’s walls and foundation. It prevents water from entering the area, even if cracks or other foundation problems exist. However, a basement waterproofing membrane is only as good as the material to which it is applied. In other words, the basement waterproofing membrane should be applied after all necessary foundation leak repairs have been completed and all cracks have been filled or otherwise addressed.

How Is a Basement Waterproofing Membrane Installed?

The basement waterproofing membrane is installed depending on what type of membrane it is. It may be painted or applied directly to the surface from a liquid basement membrane sealant, or it may be made of an elastic material, similar to polyurethane, that is glued in place. While some homeowners may consider using do-it-yourself basement waterproofing membrane say Lance, it is always best to work with a professional to ensure the basement waterproofing membrane selected will provide adequate protection for the area.

How Long Does It Last?

The durability and ability of a basement waterproofing membrane to successfully prevent moisture from entering a basement or crawl space depends on its type. Painted sealants may last years, but elastomeric waterproofing membranes of urethane or polyurethane have been known to last decades. However, severe weather or drastic changes in temperature like the changes between seasons resulting in the need for foundation leak repair Chicago homeowners detest can impact the integrity of the basement waterproofing membrane.

Let the Professionals at ULB-Dry Solve Your Basement Waterproofing Membrane Chicago and Lombard Needs.

Selecting the right type of basement waterproofing membrane to sue to your home’s unique needs can be challenging. Rather than trying to go it alone, contact the professionals at ULB-Dry to schedule your installation or find out more about how to prevent moisture from causing eventual foundation leak repair in your home online or by calling 1708 978-7558 today.