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Basement Waterproofing Costs: You Get What You Pay For

May 23, 2012 • By Matthew Stock with Todd Teer.

Basement Waterproofing Costs: You Get What You Pay For

Basement waterproofing is like any other service business.  It is made up of companies, both large and small, that have successful track records and a history of standing by their work.  There is also a collection of start-ups, one-person outfits, franchisees and “technicians” armed with a kit they ordered from a website.   Many of them will offer to fix seepage problems at a significantly lower price than established companies but when considering basement waterproofing costs, as in most things, you get what you pay for.

Please understand that I don’t question the sincerity or integrity of novice basement waterproofing contractors but I do have serious reservations about their experience and ability, as should you.  And, as most basement waterproofing companies offer a lifetime warranty on their work, consider whether the company without a track record will be around to honor their warranty when something goes wrong.  That nice guy who works alone might decide next year that running a fishing charter in Florida seems like a better career choice.

The Top 5 Signs You May be Wasting Money on Basement Waterproofing Costs:

  1. One Solution – Most inexperienced waterproofers take on what they think is the easiest basement waterproofing job – filling cracks.  That’s all they do.  It’s true that a foundation crack is a very common source of seepage but it’s certainly not the only source.  If your problem is caused by hydrostatic pressure or poor yard drainage and requires a solution like interior drain tile or exterior waterproofing membrane, you’re out of luck.
  2. Wrong Materials – The materials used for basement waterproofing are specific to the job, engineered by suppliers who understand how they are used and how they must perform.   Experienced, professional basement waterproofing companies will never use caulk, paint or roofing materials on your home – the inexperienced waterproofer just might.
  3. Waterproofing Kits – Anyone can go online and buy a waterproofing kit.  (Check this one out to see what I mean.)  This doesn’t make them a waterproofing professional anymore than my buying a pipe wrench makes me a plumber.  Beware the waterproofer who wants to charge professional rates for a do-it-yourself solution.
  4. Hydraulic Cement – If a waterproofer tells you he will repair cracks in your foundation with hydraulic cement, run — don’t walk — away as fast as you can.  Hydraulic cement is a useful product, but it’s not effective as a primary basement waterproofing material.  It has very little structural strength and cannot be injected to fill an entire crack like the best crack repair material, expanding urethane.
  5. Quick Diagnosis – A professional basement waterproofing company continuously trains its sales and technical staff; they use this training to conduct a thorough inspection and evaluation of your home and offer a complete diagnosis of the problem.  Watch out for the waterproofer who tells you over the phone or after poking his head into your basement that he can fix your problem.

Along with being wary of the inexperienced discount waterproofer, you should also take a hard look at tradespeople or contractors from other industries that “also do basement waterproofing.”  A plumber or carpenter may be a master of their chosen trade but they’re no match for a basement waterproofing professional with the resources of an established company.  Part-timers don’t have the experience, tools or materials to do the job right.

Same goes for the handyman.  Let him hang light fixtures, remodel your closet or weather-strip your windows; don’t let him waterproof your basement.

As I said earlier, you get what you pay for, and this is particularly true of basement waterproofing costs.  At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been around for 55 years and have more than 300,000 dry basements to our credit.  We do basement waterproofing the right way, with the right materials and at a fair price.  We even give free advice.

Tags: basement waterproofing costs, warranties, how to choose a waterproofing company

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