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6 Questions to Ask a Basement Waterproofing Contractor

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Unfinished basement
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What to Expect with Basement Waterproofing

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basement, flood, sump pump
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Checking for a Water Leak Outside Your Home

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lawn near red house

Basement Waterproofing reviews in Halethorpe

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • Our basement has been dry since the system was installed. The men who did the work were efficient. They arrived at 8:30 and were done by 12:30. They worked as a team with each man doing a specific task to get the job done. They were friendly, professional and knowledgeable. They left the area clean. I would recommend this company to anyone who is unfortunate to have a leak in their basement. My husband has a heart condition and does not need the stress associated with a wet basement. Thanks to “Stop Leak”, he smiled after our first big rain. ‘It’s dry!”
    - Mary B.
  • AA action waterproofing was amazing!! Our basement completely flooded and our first estimate for a sump pump repair, a second sump pump installation, and a drainage system the entire perimeter of the basement (109 feet) was ridiculously high and simply not affordable. A friend recommended AA Action and I am so glad we called them. They came out for an estimate within 24 hours and their estimate was much more reasonable. The crew that came out to do the work were trustworthy, friendly and very knowledgeable. They even hauled our carpet away! The fact that they have a lifetime guarantee made choosing them even easier, it shows they stand by their work. I could not be happier with this company!
    - sara m.
  • Basement wall was bowed and needed reinforcement. Installed wall anchor system. Since my house is located at the bottom of a cul de sac, rain water always runs down to the house and over the years cause the earth to shift putting additional pressure on the wall. The installation was simple, they were as neat as could be expected and finished on time. After the installation, I started had some leaks at the wall plates, basement systems can back and resealed all of the openings. Alright for sometime but started to get some water seepage around the the wall plates. Basement system came out again and sealed the openings from the outsides with success, no longer any problems. Maybe if they had better sealed the outside openings from the beginning things could have been different but that’s something we won’t know. Bottom line is they responded quickly and made sure everything was done so that this problem was corrected but that I was happy with their work. For my peace of mind, I had a drainage system installed along the front wall, Basement system gave me a very fair price and completed the work in only a few hours Scott, operations manger and techs Jorge and John all were great throughout the process
    - John R.
  • I purchased a deal on an estimate from Value Dry because the partially finished 588 sq. ft. basement of my 1954-built house was evincing signs of water intrusion. In addition to being somewhat damp and musty, its one exposed cinderblock wall had mold growing behind flaking paint. I am asthmatic and allergic to mold, among other things, so I had hired another waterproofing company for an estimate almost a year earlier and wanted to compare diagnoses, recommendations, and prices. VD’s salesman inspected the property inside and out and gave me an extremely thorough explanation of the mechanics of water intrusion, replete with illustrations, his assessment of the problem with my basement, and a recommended course of action. He assessed that the subfloor drainage system was compromised, clogged with clay and mud, causing water to build up several feet inside the cinderblock walls. He judged the previous owners’ decision to install a second sump pump to be a partial and ultimately inadequate measure to deal with water intrusion, probably taken because it was the cheapest option, which I had to admit was consistent with other cheap half-measures they had taken elsewhere in the house. The solution was of course a new subfloor pressure relief system (SPRS), this being a waterproofing company. Once I was sold on that idea, it was natural that I would opt for a new sump well, pump, and battery backup system. Finally, since there was no way of knowing if any mold was growing on the three walls that were covered by drywall and/or groovy Seventies paneling, if I wanted to be certain of minimizing mold, all of the drywall and panelling would have to be torn out and the newly exposed cinderblocks treated with an antimicrobial product and covered with a “vapor barrier” to prevent further mold growth. I also agreed to the installation of an “EZ Breathe” system, which was supposed to dehumidify and purify the air in the basement and force it out of the house via a duct like the one exiting a clothes dryer. The cost for this alone was close to twenty thousand dollars, significantly more than the $9,000 the other company had proposed charging to install a similar SPRS and EZ Breathe system, although the latter project did not include removing most of the drywall and installing a vapor barrier. VP’s SPRS also came with a lifetime warranty, as opposed to the warranty of only a few years that the other company had offered. My reasoning - sound or poor as it may have been - was that VP was charging more than its competitor because it was doing a more thorough job of permanently solving my basement’s putative problems. The job was projected to take three days but ended up taking four since there were apparently more layers of panelling to be removed behind the drywall than had been initially anticipated. As was to be expected, it was extremely disruptive and messy, but the crew did a pretty good job of covering my belongings remaining in the basement with plastic sheeting. They did however turf my lawn with their truck on the first day, break a picket off the fence outside the back door leading into the basement, and also break the metal railing along the stairs leading from my driveway up to the house. More about that later. As the project progressed, I noted the condition of the basement each day and assessed my options for refinishing it. My washing machine, dryer, and utility sink had to be disconnected for the project to be performed, as did the toilet and vanity sink in the bathroom. Their reinstallation was not included in the project. The bottom 18 inches of the studs had been cut away to install the SPRS, and they were now just dangling from the walls. I came to the conclusion that foregoing refinishing the basement at all and just hiring another contractor to reinstall the appliances and utilities was not an option. If I hired VD to refinish the basement, including new studs, insulation, and drywall and reinstallation of the toilet, the new cost for the total job would be $30,500, but in order to lock in that price I needed to decide by the final day of the current job, which turned out to be day four, when the concrete was poured over the SPRS. I shopped around in the limited time I had but could find no contractor who was available any time in the near future, which was a necessity since I could not do without my laundry for an extended period of time. VD was available to do the job immediately, so I signed a new contract with them. The basement was refinished with “primer-ready” drywall, and a new toilet was installed (due to a happy misunderstanding). The drywaller also glued the broken picket back onto the fence. I was relieved when the project was completed and I could finally clean up. The drywalling contractor had left quite a mess, not even using a shop vac to do a cursory cleaning. A few days later the salesman I had initially consulted returned to reinstall the washing machine, dryer, and utility sink. Reinstallation of the bathroom vanity had not been included in the project, so I had to hire a plumber for that surprisingly expensive job, but before it could be performed, the bathroom needed to be repainted, since the moisture that would build up behind the vanity would damage the drywall. The painter arrived and informed me that the walls had not been sanded, i.e. they were not “primer-ready,” as they were supposed to be according to the contract I had signed and paid for with VD. Since the painter was already there, I had no choice but to pay him extra to sand the walls of the bathroom before he could begin painting. I called Value Dry to inform them that the job had not been completed as stipulated, and they dispatched the drywalling contractor again. He sanded the walls, repaired the drywalling that had been botched around some of the electrical outlets, and did a more thorough cleaning than previously (although I had already done several hours of cleaning myself, even having rented a shop vac to do so). Since I did not want to deal with the further hassle of re-removing all of my belongings from the shelves of a closet or re-moving the contents of the laundry room, I told the drywalled not to bother with sanding those areas. Meanwhile, as soon as the EZ-Breathe system had been installed, I noticed that the output was barely an inch or two above the soil outside my house. Concerned that this would make it easy for the system to be damaged by incoming dirt as a result of rain or even wind, I informed Value Dry of the problem. They sent someone out who dug a small pit below the opening and surrounded it with some sheathing. I certainly HOPE it works. I also notified the company that the metal railing leading up from the driveway had been broken on the first day of the job, but I failed to do so until several months after the damage had been done. The representative I spoke with informed me that he would look into the matter but could make no promises since I had reported the damage so long after the job had been completed. The company never got back to me, but I silently dropped the matter since I could understand their position. I should have pointed it out the day it happened. I can report that my basement has remained dry through the summer and fall and no longer has the dampness and musty smell it once had, so the system seems to be working. However, I still have some allergic reactions when the hot or cold air cycles through the ductwork, which I had cleaned after all of the work had been done. I cannot be sure that the mold problem was completely remediated. My advice to anyone considering waterproofing a basement is to shop around and ask as many questions as possible of any potential contractor. Take both the price and the extent of the work quoted into consideration. If you hire this contractor (or any other for that matter), watch them like a hawk and immediately inform them of anything that does not seem to have been done correctly. As detailed above, my experience was that ValueDry made quite a few mistakes, but they WERE responsive when I brought problems to their attention. But for the price I paid, that seems to be the least any company should be expected to do. As always, caveat emptor!
    - Philip R.
  • The salesman (and I emphasize "salesman") toured my property and on the basis of a small amount of aquamarine mold behind the paint that had been scratched away on the one exposed cinderblock wall of my semi-finished basement tried to scare me into thinking that the foundation of my house might collapse in "a few years" based on rising groundwater. He tried to sell me a $14,000 package involving removal of the drywall, boring holes in the cinderblocks to drain them, digging a trench around the foundation, laying new drainage piping, and installing a new sump pump. When I pointed out that I would need to consider this for a few days, he dropped the price to $9,000. Needless to say, I showed him the door. I have no idea what the service offered should actually cost, much less whether the condition of my house even warrants such a service. Caveat emptor!
    - Philip R.
  • Job went great! They kept in communication the whole time and the guys did a amazing job. I will be telling family and friends as I see they do roofing and all. Great REAL people and down to earth!
    - Amanda T.
  • Chris arrived right on time to give us an estimate.  We felt the price was very good so we signed the paperwork that night.  We received a call within a few days to schedule the work but unfortunately because Basement Waterproofing was very busy as that point, we did have to wait about 6 weeks for the work to be performed, which was the first appointment available.  The crew showed up on time for the appointment and stayed until the work was completed.  We have had several storms since the work was performed and the basement has remained dry  We really appreciate the good work that was done.
    - Diane E.
  • Day one went fantastic.  Butch and Brad arrived on time and went straight to work doing all of the jack hammering and other prep work for the installers.  They were both very proactive in identifying potential issues with things they weren't even working on as well as keeping us posted throughout the day with what they were doing and what we should expect.  They were great.
    Day two was ok.  Had a new Crew with Corey as the lead and he did a decent job of answering my questions.  The crew was removing all of the concrete and installing the drains and sump pump, so it was a fairly labor filled day. 
    Day three was the exact opposite of what we experienced on day one.  Corey was the lead again and it was clear that the new crew that day wanted to go home.  They were very rushed and a lot of sloppy work was done.  There was no walk through of what we should do now, how to operate the sump pump/Blue Canyon....just packed up and left.  When the Blue Canyon was installed, we were never informed that a large pipe would be sticking out of our floor, nor that it would be as loud as it is.  The attitude of the gentlemen installing it was like "oh well."  They eventually moved the pipe away from the wall, but they weren't happy about it.  Upon further inspection, there was a lot of sloppy work.  All of the finishing work was very poorly done.  ie: concrete work had divots in the floor, could see daylight around the pipes going out of the house, concrete was rough and not smooth, Blue Canyon pipe outside wasn't fastened to the house properly.  It just looked bad! After three weeks, everything was addressed and fixed.  It was just unfortunate that it was required.
    Overall, I think the sump pump is fine.  It's only been a few weeks since its been installed.  We are, however, very disappointed with the Blue Canyon system.  It is fairly loud and you really can't turn it off.  Plus, there is a pipe sticking out of my floor that is pretty ugly.  Had I known that was necessary, we would not have gotten it.  If their entire team could be made up of Butch, Brad, and Mike (one of the guys who came out to fix the sloppy work) this would have been a completely different experience.
    - Beth B.
  • Scheduled it twice and then came to look at the leak. Looked at it by simply staring where the dry wall had stains from the water leak and then looked at it from the outside and made couple of comments of potential reasons why and promised to email me a quote by Monday but never heard back from him or his partner who made the appointment.
    - Faisal S.
  • I chose Budget Waterproofing because Bill (estimator) seemed very knowledgeable on situation and honest.  He spoke at length on what was going on with the basement, and took the effort to check what TYPE of wall was in the basement.  The other firms just assumed I have block walls, I have poured walls.   He also noticed that I have wood panel walls that were in good condition and said that they can do it without removing the walls.  I was surprised since the other firms that came by all said right away that all the walls need to be cut at least 2 feet up.  However, it was not explained to me just how that would be done.
    The workers showed up a 1/2 hour earlier than the agreed time and got started right away.  They came by a few times to update me on the progress.  They were able to complete the work in a day and 1/2.  (I have a 600ish sqft basement)
    When it was all done, everything looked like it was sealed up nicely.  The worker did tell me that one wall was loose and will need to get reattached.  I was fine with that.  I was very happy with how quick things went and everything was nice and tidy when they were done.
    6 months later, I am ready to install flooring.  My flooring contractor was checking the walls and happened to push it all the way in and informed me that the perimeter drain was not sealed.  The new cement goes right up to behind the interior wall, but right behind it is the unsealed open drain with gravel showing.  I called Bill and he said it was installed that way to keep the walls intact.  I had no idea it would result in an unsealed system.  He assures me that it will not fail and that the only way it'd fail is if the sump pump failed.  (which I took the effort to install a water-based backup sump pump system)
    So far, I've had no problems with the system.  After a day of rain, water will drip into the sump pit and I know the system is working properly.  But I don't know about years from now.  Or under hurricane conditions.  Also, the open drain allows extra moisture to seep into basement and against wood panel walls.  So I'm uncertain about the integrity of the work long-term. 
    - Grace H.
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