FAQs for general basement, crawlspace, foundation waterproofing and waterproofing contractors.
The longer you wait to fix your basement, the more damage you will have to contend with. The damage could be a result of unhealthy mold, reduced value of your home, structural problems, electrical and shock hazards. Infestation of insects, for example carpenter ants. Your best course of action would be to fix your basement now before it gets worse.
Look for a waterproofer who is licensed.
Look for a waterproofer who is insured.
Look for a waterproofer who has liability and workman’s compensation policies. This is one way, you may know, it will be the same company doing the job and not a sub-contractor.
Look for a waterproofer who has a strong presence within the “Better Business Bureau.” Three common complaints against basement waterproofer’s within the “Better Business Bureau” are; sales practices, service issues and warranty issues.
Look for a waterproofer who is not limited to one specific type of waterproofing system, product, style or technique. The system their selling may not be the right solution for your home. Remember, not everything has a “one stop shop,” this includes a majority of basements, crawlspaces, and foundations.
When collecting quotes from waterproofers, get their estimates in contract form. This will allow you to see their warranties on labor and material. Most waterproofers have lifetime warranties which also have specific terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, liability disclaimers, hidden fees, and additional charges to renew your warranty every twelve months.
Look for a waterproofer who will guarantee your basement dry. Most waterproofers warranty only the areas of service such as the wall and cove area (joint seam, this is where the wall and floor meet.) Now, if your basement leaks up through the floor, in the middle of the basement, your warranty would not cover any damage.
If you find a Gutter or Landscaping Company who will “guarantee you a dry basement” by doing either one of these projects, give me a call with their company’s phone number because I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would like to sell them! These projects may redirect the water from downfall off of your roof. Yet, the majority of the water your foundation comes in contact with is “ground water.” For example, one inch of rain over an acre of land equals 27,000 gallons of water. Imagine a winter thaw where we have two feet of snow melt within 48 hours. Gutters and downspouts are important, do not get me wrong, but should not be confused with repairing or fixing a leaky basement.
The water that is coming up through your floor is most likely a result of hydrostatic pressure. This means that you have an abundance of water under your home. Doing the before mentioned work may not completely solve your problem under your home. I must restate that most contractors only warranty the area in which they waterproof. So, in your case, your walls maybe warrantied to an extent where your floor or slab would not.
The water coming through the crack is usually a symptom of a much larger problem. By patching the crack, you are not addressing why the water is behind the wall and why it is not draining correctly. The water, which follows the path of least resistant will usually find another way into the basement.
Using a waterproofing paint on the interior of the foundation walls could be the worst option to do in comparison to doing nothing. Concrete blocks and cinder blocks have hollow cavities inside them. This means these walls are completely hollow. Ground and surface water can make access inside your walls through cracks, mortar joints, or other deficiencies causing your walls to fill with water. The paint seals this moisture and water in and causes your walls to hold stagnate water. Moldy walls will be your immediate symptom, followed by water inevitably making its way in.