- March 18, 2021
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If you have a wet basement or your basement flooded due to groundwater coming in through your foundation walls or up through the concrete basement floor, you may be thinking about hiring a basement waterproofing contractor. This is especially true if you’ve tried some DIY solutions like regrading, burying your gutters away from your home or painting your walls with a “waterproof” paint and you still have water in the basement.
We have been in the basement waterproofing business for more than 20 years, and during that time, we’ve heard and seen some horror stories. Homeowners that thought their basements had already been waterproofed and found out the job was done incorrectly. Homeowners that were prepared to pay another contractor twice as much as our cost for a lesser warrantied solution (outside excavation). The stories go on.
This prompted us to create some tips on how to choose a basement waterproofing contractor. Whether you choose to work with us or not, we hope these questions will help you. The important thing is that you learn about why you need basement waterproofing, what the process entails, and what to look for in a contractor.
Do Your Homework
First, read as many articles as you can on basement waterproofing. Learn what some of the signs of real problems are. Learn some of the jargon and industry terms so when you ask questions, you have a good idea of what the answer should be. This will make disreputable contractors nervous.
When you walk through your basement with the inspector/estimator, ask them about how they will install the drain system and what they will do to your existing basement finishing and your foundation walls.
Read Reviews and Get Recommendations
Check out the various basement waterproofing contractor websites. Read their reviews on their website, Google, Angie’s List, and Yelp. Check out their Facebook page as well. Do they have recent reviews? Are the majority of them positive? Do they respond to unhappy customers? How long have they been in business? Not just how many combined years of experience do they have. This has direct warranty implications.
Ask friends, family, and coworkers what contractor they used, and if they were happy with the company. Make sure each of the contractors is licensed, insured, and bonded to work in your state.
Look for a Lifetime Transferable Warranty
This is important. You want a basement waterproofing contractor who will stand behind their work. If your waterproofing system needs any kind of attention down the road, the contractor will be there. Most contractors who offer this will say so on their websites but always double-check.
Ask them about their REAL Service Capabilities
How many trucks does the company own? How many employees does the company have (not including subcontractors) to drive those trucks in times of need? During periods of prolonged precipitation pumps fail and you may need service. Ensure the company that you choose has the trucks and capable employees to service their customer base. Beware, there are many companies that have nice websites and stock pictures of trucks that are really just a sales and marketing company that subcontracts all of their installations. These companies don’t have the service capabilities to swap out broken pumps in an efficient manner when duty calls. How many pumps does the company have on hand at any given time?
Get Multiple Estimates
Based on reviews and recommendations, set up estimates with several basement waterproofing companies. If it works out, you can set up appointments within a couple of days of each other. Take notes to record the answers to your questions. Be sure to ask when they will be able to do the work if you choose to hire them.
Ask About Quality Materials
Ask to see brochures that explain their materials, or even an actual sump pump or section of perforated pipe. Ask how powerful the sump pumps they offer are. What is their warranty on the sump pump? Do they offer an annual maintenance or service contract program? An important ask is how many gallons per minute the pump expels. Ask to see before and after photos of previous interior waterproofing jobs.
Once you have the written estimates in your hands, compare pricing. When deciding, make sure you take into consideration the warranties and service capabilities of each company. Sump pumps are mechanical items and they all eventually fail. If your pump fails in 10 years, what will it cost you to replace it? How long will it take to get it replaced? Think about these issues.
One company may come in much higher than the others. If they are your favorite company, ask why.
They Shouldn’t Make Promises They Can’t Keep
Beware of a basement waterproofing contractor who guarantees that “you’ll never have a wet basement again.” No one can control the rain. Remember Tropical Storm Lee in 2011? It came on the heels of Hurricane Irene. The two storms brought record rainfall to the Mid Atlantic and flooded a lot of basements. If you lose electricity for a long period of time, your sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps won’t be able to keep up with the water and your home will flood. Be sure that you have a sump pump rider or drain overflow insurance on your home owner’s insurance policy for these instances.
Some older basement waterproofing pumps and systems just couldn’t keep up during this weather event. Sump pumps failed and basements flooded when the power went out. Will your company stand behind their customers during these weather events?
Choose Your Basement Waterproofing Contractor
There are several final considerations when it comes to choosing who to work with. If prices are comparable, who was the most prompt and communicated the best? Who had the best reviews? Who did you feel you “clicked” with? Who gave thorough answers and made every effort to make sure you understood everything?
If all of the companies seem equally qualified, sometimes asking yourself these questions can help you make your decision.
Hire a Basement Waterproofing Contractor You Can Trust
At Value Dry Waterproofing, we offer extremely competitive rates and reliable customer service. In addition, we:
- Are licensed, bonded, and insured
- Offer high-quality workmanship
- Use patented products second to none
- Offer financing
- Offer lifetime transferable warranties
- Routinely get top ratings from our customers
- Have an A+ from the Better Business Bureau
- Have our own trucks, our own employees, and maintain inventories to service our customer base.
We would welcome the opportunity to help you reclaim your territory. We offer waterproofing solutions to homeowners throughout Maryland, northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Delaware. See our Service Area page for specifics. Schedule a free basement inspection by filling out the form, or call us at (888) 768-2583.