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WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT
SELECTING THE RIGHT WATERPROOFING COMPANY
 OR THE RIGHT WATERPROOFING SYSTEM?  
THE ANSWER IS BOTH  
 
FIRST LET'S TALK ABOUT THE COMPANY
 Most waterproofing companies hold an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau. And most waterproofing companies have endorsements from satisfied homeowners. Is that good enough for you to make a decision? 
 
The answer is emphatically no!  To make an educated decision you have to look further into a company’s performance. Does the company have any complaints against it registered with the Better Business Bureau? To find out go to the Better Business Bureau website and look up the company. Are there any complaints? If so, how many complaints and what type of complaints?   It seems apparent that any complaint to the Better Business Bureau means that the consumer has lost his rapport with the company. The next step is litigation. This is not a position anyone wants to be in. Unfortunately many waterproofing companies have several complaints registered against them. This seems especially so with the franchise companies. Why is that?
 
 
The Better Business Bureau categorizes complaints as: 
 
Advertising/Sales Issues
 False advertising claiming ”systems as low as…” when the actual sales price is many times higher. High pressure salesmen who refuse to take no for an answer.Price gouging  and not having standardized prices or an itemized price list.Charging more money once the job has started.Not advising homeowners of their three day right to rescission.
Not having full disclosure as required by law on all home improvement contracts.
 
Billing/Collection Issues
Placing homeowners into financial plans which they do not understand and which the terms are not disclosed.
 
Delivery Issues
Not performing the work on schedule or on a timely basis. 
Leaving materials on driveways and lawns without homeowner permission.
Leaving trash behind
 
Guarantee/Warranty Issues
Not honoring the Guarantee / Warranty. Misrepresenting exactly the terms and conditions of the Guarantee/Warranty.
Not directing the homeowner to read both sides of the contract.
 
Problems with Products/Service
Not providing exactly what components were sold to the homeowner or not   providing installation in the exact manner in which it was sold. Not showing the homeowner the exact product to be used during the sales presentation or not prior to  installation. As a consumer of any product or service you should be aware of any problems that the company you employ or purchase from has had with previous customers.
 
Basement waterproofing requires that salesmen are qualified trained foundation inspectors. Many companies have salesmen who know little or nothing at all about their product. You have to make sure that the company sends someone who will thoroughly inspect your foundation in and out and gives you a detailed explanation of his findings along with literature to substantiate those findings.
 
INSPECTION REPORTS SHOULD BE COMPLETE
Inspection reports should include  details such as a floorplan, what size and type of drainpipe, sump pump size and location, discharge plan, other services such as mold treatment, encapsulation, negative air, and disposal.Of course the price should be itemized and included on the report and good for at least 30 days. The homeowner should receive a copy of a detailed basement inspection report signed by the inspector along with his personal address and phone number as required by law along with a copy of a current insurance certificate with Liability and Workman’s Comprehensive endorsements for $1 million. 
 
WHEN THE INSTALLATION CREW ARRIVES
The foreman should walk the job with the homeowner and discuss all aspects of the work to be performed and when payment is due prior to commencement of work. He should also inform the homeowner of the work schedule. The crew should not leave the job to go to another job until all the work is done on the current site. Any back ordered or missing materials that will hold up the completion of the work should be disclosed before any work has been started. A company manager should always be available to the homeowner by phone during installation. Companies should always use qualified experienced installation crews.   
 
 THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF BASEMENT WATERPROOFING 
Exterior French Drain
For the past fifty years most communities required exterior drainpipe to be installed along the exterior of the perimeter of newly constructed homes near the footing. The location of this drainpipe does not capture all of the water seeping into the ground above it prior to that water seeping into the cores of the cinder block foundation walls. With enough lateral pressure of this water below grade the cores of the cinder blocks fill up with water and pressurize onto the basement floor at the cove base. This water carries in with it organic material such as silt and mold spores.
 
This standing water in the cinder block cores causes the growth of mold which grows through the block to the inside of the basement. Also with exterior French Drains the water pressurizing up against the center of the basement floor from beneath the basement floor from hydrostatic pressure due to a rising water table bypasses the drainpipe and forces it’s way onto the basement floor at the interior side of the cove base where the cold joint at the meeting of the footing, the foundation wall, and the basement floor meet. This is the cause of the majority of basement leaks.
 
The cost to excavate a three foot wide by ten foot deep trench around the home to replace clogged and or damaged exterior drainpipes considering the damage to hard surfaces such as walkways, driveways, porches, patios decks, and landscaping and hardscaping is prohibitive. Not to mention that the system design is flawed to begin with. Adding a coating to the exterior of the foundation wall below grade adds more expense to the job.Many townships are changing their laws to require that the drainpipe be installed in the basement during construction of new homes.
 
Above the floor system
The process by which a shaped length of either aluminum or plastic is glued along the cove base on homes with concrete foundation walls is total ineffective and a waste of time and money giving the homeowner a false sense of security against  the occurrence of water leaking onto the floor from a leaking cove base.
 DOES NOT MEET THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION CODE GUIDEBOOK
This guidebook is used by township building inspectors throughout the entire country.



Above the footer drainpipe
This is a favorite method of waterproofing from one of the largest basement waterproofing franchises in the Northeast.
It is the opinion of this author that this system is severely flawed and one of the reasons that franchisees have so many complaints against them to the Better Business Bureau from dis-satisfied homeowners. The reason being that the reveal of a footing (amount of space the footing extends beyond the width of the foundation cinder block) is only approximately two to three inches. The above the footing drainpipe sits on this footing lip. Therefore it is only approximately two inches wide by one inch high.  The weep holes on the drainpipe are on the back side facing the foundation wall only. There is about a one inch layer of drain stone alongside the drainpipe on the opposite side facing the center of the basement. Basement floors are approximately four inches thick and their edge rests on the footing to hold the foundation walls in place thereby preventing displacement of the foundation wall at the footing. By placing the drainpipe on the footing the thickness of the basement floor at that critical location is reduced to one inch and it is now resting on a flimsy plastic drainpipe box. This severely weakens a most critical component of home basement foundation construction.

DOES NOT MEET  THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION CODE GUIDEBOOK
This guidebook is used by building inspectors throughout the entire country.
 
The design of this system does not seem capable of capturing effectively water entering onto the basement floor caused by hydrostatic pressure. Draining the foundation walls of lateral pressure is also hampered by the fact that the drain core panel necessary to capture and direct lateral water flow is only one inch high. This panel is a necessary component to cover over the core drain holes drilled into the first course of foundation cinder block. However most often it is necessary to drill those holes farther up on the block to ensure a clear open drain hole. The above the footer one piece drain pipe and drain board does not afford the height flexibility to effectively cover those higher core holes. This type of above the footer drainpipe sits on the level footer and cannot be pitched to aide in drainage to the sump well crock. The drain pipe although flimsy is rigid and requires piecing with elbows at every turn.  These elbows are in pieces they snap together and are not vented. The result is a lack of proper effective drainage ability in every corner of the basement.  Consequently basement corners leak the most and have the least amount of protection.                    
  
DryMaster Subfloor pressure relief system
An approximate 12“ wide by 10” deep trench will be excavated in the floor along the cove base.  The trench will be lined with a filter paper and a 4” perforated subsoil drainpipe will be installed in the trench encased in “drain stone”. The best drainpipe used is from Advanced Drainage Corporation. ADS has been successfully manufacturing this engineered drainpipe for over forty years. The drainpipe is flexible and bends around corners offering maximum drainage effectiveness.  It can be buried twenty six feet underground without damage. In the event of cinder block foundation walls only, weep holes will be drilled into every core and seam of the first course of block to aide in drainage. At this time a mold inhibiter will be power sprayed into the core holes and trench. The weep holes will be covered by a drain core panel which will extend above and below the floor. This type core drain panel comes in four foot high panels and can be cut to various heights to ensure complete effectiveness. The drain pipe is attached to a sump pump system which will discharge the water into a PVC pipe which will go through the foundation wall to the outside. This system is one hundred percent effective in hundreds of installations. 

MEETS THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION CODE GUIDEBOOK
This guidebook is used by building inspectors throughout the entire country.
 
Bud Lauria has four decades of performing all types of quality home improvements and has extensive experience waterproofing basements. 
 
If you are experiencing basement leakage you can request a free basement inspection from DryMaster Basement Waterproofing .