Given the state of the economy, everybody these days is all about saving money. I certainly don’t blame a homeowner who wants to save money when they need a basement waterproofing solution but I do want to make sure that they don’t regret being, as the old saying goes, “penny wise and pound foolish.”
In basement waterproofing, like anything else, you get what you pay for. Sometimes you need to pay only a little for a minor repair; other times, well, the bill is going to be a little larger when the problem requires a major solution. Regardless of how much or how little you pay, don’t waste any of it!
Don’t Do It Yourself – As I said in an earlier article, there’s no reason a homeowner with the skills (and the tools) can’t install a sump pump or put in a downspout extension. It’s important, though, that you know your limitations and don’t take on projects you can’t handle.
Even the skilled do-it-yourselfer, however, is going to quickly get in over his or her head if they attempt to do a waterproofing project that requires specialized skills, tools and materials or one that requires a great deal of heavy labor. Let’s face it, if you take on a waterproofing project in your basement only to find that you can’t handle it, you’ve wasted whatever you’ve spent on tools and materials, not to mention your time. You’d have been better off to have called a pro in the first place.
Hire the Right Professional – Needless to say, you’d be wasting your money going to see the dentist to treat a pain in your back. The same thing applies to basement waterproofing – don’t call the plumber, the general contractor or the handyman to waterproof your basement. They may be good at their chosen profession but that doesn’t mean they know waterproofing.
Be choosy, too, about selecting a professional basement waterproofing company. As I’ve said before, there are some companies that push “one-size-fits-all” solutions and, as I’ve learned from my years in the business, there is no such thing. If you hire a basement waterproofing company that offers a full range of services you’ll get exactly what you need, not just what they have to sell.
Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need – Even the best basement waterproofing company may have some salespeople who are, shall we say, over-enthusiastic. Don’t let a convincing sales pitch lead you to overspending on waterproofing work.
The most common source of basement seepage in the Chicagoland area is a foundation wall crack, which can be quickly and permanently repaired by injecting expanding polyurethane into and through the crack. This repair can be done for several hundred dollars; don’t spend several thousand dollars for drain tile or some other system when you don’t need it.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs – On the other hand, if your foundation has multiple cracks and you see other signs of water infiltration in your basement, don’t slap an inexpensive “band-aid” repair on a serious problem. Sure you can get a crack filled for a few hundred bucks but, if your foundation is shifting or hydrostatic pressure under your floor is causing multiple leaks, the problem will only get worse if you don’t address it.
The same goes for ignoring the signs of water damage in your basement. If your basement smells musty, you notice dampness on the floor or walls or you have even a trace of mold, don’t wait. Call in a professional; they can probably fix the problem much more economically now than later when it gets worse.
Waterproof Before Finishing – Planning on turning your unfinished basement into a family room or “man cave?” The time to address basement water problems is now, before you hang the drywall, lay the carpet and move in the furniture.
If you ignore basement water problems before finishing the basement, the eventual repair job is going to cost a lot more, even if the waterproofing work is exactly the same, because you’re going to have to pay to have all that drywall, carpet and furniture removed. You’ll pay again to replace it all so doesn’t it make sense to make sure the basement is dry before turning it into living space?
At U.S. Waterproofing, we’re big believers in saving our customers money. We offer a full range of basement waterproofing services and aren’t beholding to any one “system.” Since we started in business in 1957 we’ve been dedicated to doing the right thing and we’d be happy to offer our free professional advice on your basement water problem.
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