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How Are Plumbers and Basement Waterproofers Different?

Oct 28, 2015 • By Matthew Stock.

Finished Basement Water Problems: What to Do First

When something breaks or malfunctions around the house, the response of most homeowners is to call “the guy.”

The guy can be the handyman who fixed the fence in the backyard last year or the electrician who hung a new chandelier in the dining room.  Sometimes the guy is a painter, sometimes a carpenter, sometimes a specialist who removes raccoons from the attic.

Sometimes, the guy is even a plumber or a basement waterproofing contractor.

So, how do you know which guy to call?  It can be a simple choice:  Tree limb falling down?  Call the tree guy.  Bathroom floor cracking?  Call the tile guy.  Water in the basement?  Not so simple…

Plumbers and Basement Waterproofing Contractors Do Very Different Jobs

Most of the time, it’s going to be pretty obvious when a homeowner needs a plumber.  The bathtub backs up and the water won’t drain.  Pipes are leaking under the kitchen sink.  A remodeled laundry room requires new supply pipes to be run for the washer.

But, what happens when a homeowner discovers water on the basement floor?  Is the plumber the right guy to call in that instance?  Not necessarily.

It’s important for homeowners to understand the basic differences between plumbers and basement waterproofers in order to know which one can help them solve their water problem quickly and permanently.

Plumbers are highly skilled professionals whose job it is to install, maintain and repair water delivery and waste systems in the home.  They fit pipes, install fixtures and make sure that water and sewage drain properly from the home.  The integrity of the home’s structure and the health of its occupants may depend on how well they do their jobs.

Plumbers also repair problems with water supply and drainage systems.  They unclog drains, fix leaking or burst pipes, dripping faucets and running toilets.

Basement waterproofing contractors deal with water, too, but in a much different way than do plumbers.  Also a highly skilled professional, a basement waterproofer’s job is to keep water away from where it doesn’t belong, like on the basement floor.  They fix cracks in basement walls, install drain tile and apply waterproofing membranes to the outsides of foundation walls.

Basement waterproofing contractors encapsulate crawlspaces and install sump pumps and basement dehumidification systems.  They also help manage water outside the home by installing underground downspout extensions and dry wells.

So, you found water in the basement?  Take a look around. If you look up and spot a leaking pipe or if the water appears to be coming from a washer or bathroom fixture, call the plumber.

If the water seems to originate from a crack in the floor or wall, or comes from the joint where the floor and wall meet, call the basement waterproofing contractor.  Same goes if the water is seeping through the foundation wall or is flowing from a flooded sump basin.

In fact, if you’re not sure where the water is coming from, call the basement waterproofing contractor.  If you have a seepage problem, they’ll point it out and offer a solution; if it’s a plumbing problem, they’ll show you that as well and may be able to recommend a qualified plumber if you don’t already have one in mind.  Best of all, there’ll be no bill for the advice.

At U.S. Waterproofing, we have diagnosed and repaired basement water problems for more than 300,000 satisfied customers in the Chicago and northwest Indiana area since our founding in 1957.  We can’t fix your leaking pipes but we’re your best resource whenever you find water in your basement.  And, our advice is always free so why not ask for it?

If you have more questions about the difference between plumbing and basement waterproofing, please ask them in the Comments box below.

Tags: plumber basement wateproofing

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