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Basement waterproofing -- ever have it done at your house?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by BaileyCatts, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    Three straight days of non-stop rain and I got a layer of water covering my entire basement floor. I have had small seepage problems before, but never this bad. Has anyone ever had a professional company waterproof their basement (like EverDry, The Basement Guys, etc. -- I think those are national)? I have someone coming tomorrow and so not looking forward to the high pressure sales tactics, and the big flashing sign over my head that reads "sucker" doesn't help me in dealing with sales people. When I set the appointment, they actually asked me "and will your husband be there for the inspection" and "what do you do for a living"? :huh:? What's that got to do with getting a free basement inspection? I could almost hear the dollar signs cha-chinging in her head when I said I wasn't married.

    And my basement, while not "professionally" finished, does have drywall; like a previous homeowner put up some framing, hung some drywall and painted it, and glued some tiles directly to the basement floor (which are all mostly loose and I can pick them up with my fingers due to the water). I told them this, and asked if they cut down portions to see the actual basement walls and she said no, they don't do that. Well how can they see where the water is coming from if they can't see the true basement walls? I feel like they are just going to tell me I have to get this whole basement system like on their websites where they dig trenches all around your house, tear up the basement floor and put in french drains and sump pumps, and aren't even going to tell me other options, like maybe all I need is waterproof sealant on the walls if its something small, like maybe there's a single crack behind that drywall that's causing all the problems. I do have a sump pump, and I know it works because twice in the last four weeks I happened to be standing outside where it discharges at and heard the pump come on and run, and saw the water coming out the tube.

    So anyway, if you had this done at your house, what can I expect from the inspection and how can I know if they are not just suckering me into tearing up my whole house to put in their drain and weeping tile systems they promote on their websites? I can only imagine this is going to cost several thousand dollars (I'm guessing like 15-20??) There is no way I can afford that.

    Gawd I wish I would have never bought a house! My thinking at the time was the extra monthly condo fees weren't worth the cost on the condo versus home issue. Lawdy do I see now how they are sooooo worth it to not have to deal with all the problems of home ownership!! :wuzrobbed
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  2. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    Can you hire an engineering firm on an hourly basis?

    It will not be cheap, but you may be more likely to get unbiased advice if you go this route.

    I've been through a couple of renovations, plus a few larger building projects, and there's the tendency to want to involve as few professionals as possible to save money. While I understand that, with complicated issues -- especially any water leakage -- IMO it's better to spend money on getting the correct diagnosis v. jumping into repairs.
  3. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    BaileyCatts, I just sent you a PM.

    Agree with Louis, although if you do hire an engineer, ask around and try to get a recommendation. Make sure they've done the kind of work you need and did a good job.
  4. Lizziebeth

    Lizziebeth the real Lizziebeth

    Before you agree to anything, check around the outside of your home and be sure that the ground slopes away from the foundation. I built a new house and the contractor was told not to do anything around the foundation when we were not there. He wanted to finish the job and I came home and he had filled around the foundation!

    The first spring thaw, I got water in the basement. Turns out he buried construction junk next to the house, creating a pocket where water collected and seeped into the basement. We had to dig the junk out and refill and make sure the ground elevation was higher near the house.

    This is a very common problem after the ground settles for a while. Sometimes fixing this takes care of the problem.
  5. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    :eek: They buried construction junk around the house just so they wouldn't have to throw it out?! Good lord! Stories like that are why I am so distrustful of repair and construction people. I know not ALL of them are like that, but they sure seem to all gravitate to me. That and because I have been ripped off and conned so many times I've lost count. What the hell are they thinking?! Would they want someone to do that to their own house? I watch those Mike Holmes shows on HGTV and it just makes me sick the way people get ripped off with shoddy construction work because those people know that the client has no clue what they are doing. If I ever won the lottery the first thing I would do is hire Mike Holmes to come build me a freaking house himself so I wouldn't get suckered. That is why I am dreading the sales pitch. You could sell me ice in Alaska, that is how gullible I am. :eek:

    To me, my basement is not living space for me, its storage space. So I know I am not going to fall for the "clean air systems" they talk about on their websites. No way will they talk me into getting that (I hope!). The only reason I go down there is laundry. I frankly wouldn't care if I just paid the high school boys across the street to come tear down all the drywall and the hell with it if it floods, but I know that would not be good either.

    Anyone want to buy a house?! I'll give you a good deal .... as long as you take all the problems that go with it. :slinkaway
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    Thanks Debbie! Got your PM. I know I will definitely not sign anything or agree to anything today. Actually for once I don't think it will be a problem because I ain't got the money anyways! :eek:

    One thing is you know those big electric utility boxes that are every few houses down the street (at least around here they are)? There is one of those in between my house and the house next door. The last several weeks they have been doing major upgrades to the utility boxes, and within the last two weeks they have dug a hole (on my side of course so now my yard is ruined :rolleyes:) and there's a new metal lid/grate in my yard, like a new utility area. Do you think they could have done something to cause my basement to get all the water? Its not a lot like a pipe broke and I got a foot of water. Its not even an inch. But its enough to make a layer of water over the whole floor.
  7. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    If you're worried about high pressure sales tactics, all you have to do is (repeatedly) say something along the lines of "Thank you for the information, I will look it over and get back to you as soon as I have made a decision". Someone whose only objective is to sell you something, regardless of whether it's right for you or not, will push you to decide now, say when you are going to decide, etc. etc. Someone who is genuinely concerned with making sure you have the right product will respect that you want to think about it and will let you decide on your own time.
  8. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Make sure and have a couple of companies come out and give you estimates and information about what they'll do to fix the problem. That's also a good answer when pushed - "sorry, but others are coming to assess the problem, I'll get back to you when I decide. Thanks for your help." If they leave mad you know you don't want to deal with them. Good post by overedge.

    Takes more time but, boy, is it worth it.
  9. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

    I just bought a house recently and I feel your pain. We've had a ton of rain last week, and no water in the basement, but a little seeping from the fireplace chimney area. I was told at inspection that the crown was "missing", and I wanted to wait until springtime before working on it.

    Speaking of sump pumps, what worries me is the next door neighbor has one and it is constantly flooding his backyard with all the water it pumps out. I don't even have one! My neighbor on the other side of me doesn't have one either, and he says in the 8 years he's lived there, he's never had water in his basement.

    So I wonder what's up with the other neighbor with the overflowing sump pump. His backyard resembles a small pond right now. Maybe it pumps water out from all our basements??:confused:
  10. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    Hmm. For the first time in like EVER I felt like the guy was not pressuring me (or conning me) into signing a contract (which I didn't). He did a very good explanation, starting with how we have the water problems because of the clay ground, how they build house around here, how the cracks and settling develop, and like a thorough explanation of just "why" the water gets in there. Gave me a very detailed and good explanation of where the water is gathering and coming in and how, pointed out all the issues he saw as we walked the interior and exterior, I felt like he was simply giving me the facts and no pressure at all, and fully explained to me what they do, the warranty. He even told me other things I could try, and why he would and would not recommend them. I told him I wanted to just gut the whole basement right down to the concret walls and floor and he said if it were his house he would not do that, it was a nice space, it is a well constructed frame, an all I would need to have done is cut about 4 feet up from the bottom and replace that portion of the wall.

    I have called three other places to get estimates and compare costs and explanations, but for once I felt like I wasn't getting the "sucker" treatment I usually do.
  11. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Replaced the display under my name

    I wish you all the best in your quest for the answers, BaileyCatts. I understand exactly how you feel about dealing with contractors etc. I had to do that for my parents for a number of years and now, heaven help me, I am considering buying their house and really making those problems my own. I really wonder if I am doing the right thing but hear from those that have sold up and moved to rental/condo spaces how they wish they had never done so and living outside city limits I really dread the idea of living in close quarters with all those strangers.

    I know that getting a number of quotes/explanations is always a very good idea but it always seems that I am lucky to even get one to come out to this house for some reason. There is no shortage of work around here for them it seems and they can pick and choose so why not work on fancier properties and bigger jobs. Summer of 2010 I needed to re-shingle the roof and could only even get one person out to estimate for me. I pretty much was forced to go with them as the roof was leaking and it just wouldn't stop raining for more than a day all summer, and when I say rain I mean buckets. Unfortunately I have no head for heights so can only hope that they did a decent job. I also got water in the basement, most likely from high up on the foundation when the house addition meets the original foundation since it only showed signs of seepage during the frequent deluges and not the rest of the time despite the fact the soil was super-saturated. Fortunately after regrading around the house I seem to have solved that problem, at least for now. I too was wondering how on earth to cope with it.