Mr. D in Waterford

Mr. D. calls Atlantic Coast Waterproofing for a Free Inspection and Free Estimate. During the initial phone call with Atlantic Coast Waterproofing’s employee, Mr. D. briefly explains his home has a wet basement and is located in Waterford, Michigan. He states his home was built in 1968 and water is coming up through the floor. We happily take several notes on his property and schedule an inspector to meet with the owner at the specified location.

Our inspector arrives on location and begins the Free Inspection and Free Estimate process.

Our inspection reveals cracks in the basement floor slab with ground water intrusion. The exterior inspection shows that the home’s location is in a low spot in comparison to the neighborhood. Ironically, the foundation block walls are in good shape yet the basement floor slab is not. Our inspector explains the evidence and dilemma to Mr. D. The wet basement and cracks in the basement floor slab are a result of Hydrostatic Water Pressure and a system should be installed under the home to permanently solve the problem.

Mr. D. then conveys that the other three waterproofing companies proposed something different.

These solutions are as follows:

The first company, which was a plumber by trade, wanted to install a perforated sump basin (crock) and sump pump into the floor for a cost of $1,750.00. They could not offer a “Dry Basement Guarantee” yet only a one year manufactures warranty on the sump pump.

The second company, which was a waterproofer by trade, wanted to excavate around all four walls on the exterior side only. The walls would be waterproofed and the exterior draining system would be installed for a cost of $22,000.00. The waterproofer offered only a ten year warranty on their work specific to the walls, exterior side which they stated that this should alleviate the wet basement floor, “or so they said”. Any obstructions to that would need to be removed and replaced in addition, or at the customers expense.

The third company, which was also a waterproofer by trade, wanted to work on it from the inside. They suggested an interior drain or gutter system with an installed plastic subfloor system. The plastic subfloor would raise the flooring off the damp wet concrete. The cost was estimated at a rough $10,000.00

We need to address this waterproofing process now before we go any further. This waterproofing process involves installing a gutter like perforated pipe system on the top of a “level footing” and not “under the floor slab” to redirect groundwater to a sump pump. Now, the floor’s area of removal is four inches wide with installation of this type of drain system.

Please keep in mind that the floor is generally four inches thick “by building code” as well. To add, the gutter pipe is approximately three inches in diameter which allows for only one inch of cement flooring on top of it after installation of the system. Bottom line is this system does not have proper gravity flow of water and your only going to have about an inch of concrete between you and the pipe. In other words, you will have standing water within this pipe 365 days a year regardless of the weather conditions outside. Talk about causing another problem: No one in their right mind wants that damp, wet basement smell.

The system Atlantic Coast Waterproofing recomends is a below floor slab interior drainage with pressure relief system which lowers the groundwater level twelve inches beneath the basement floor slab. This system offers proper gravity flow of water to a submersible sump pump system. This sump pump system also includes backup pump for the potential of power failures.

Mr. D. said he found it hard to shop for waterproofing and said it was like comparing apples to oranges. The obvious answer was the three previous systems quoted for his predicament never dealt directly with his problem. Here are the reasons why they did not deal directly with the problem: The first plumbing contractor wanted to install just the sump pump system, yet offered no true passage way for the water to make it to the pump, big mistake. The second contractor, a waterproofer, who wanted to excavate and waterproof, had the right idea about moving the water, but was moving it away from the wrong location. The sure sign was the walls were intact and had no signs of stress or water retention on the interior sides of the walls! The third contractor, again a waterproofer, who was waterproofing in the right location, could have potentially done it the wrong way. The key is a majority of homes should not require you to buy a multitude of solutions. True, this system would catch the water immediately before it comes into your basement yet does not keep the ground water from contacting the floor slab from underneath it. We are talking about waterproofing your basement not buying a la carte soup, salad, and entree when you sit down at a local restaurant!

The Atlantic Coast Waterproofing System offers Mr. D. a “Lifetime Unconditional Guarantee Against Water Seepage” across his entire floor slab as well as all four of his foundation walls. We do have to say that Mr. D. says, “Thanks Atlantic Coast Waterproofing!” Thank you as well Mr. D. of Waterford, Michigan.