Basement Waterproofing Hazards

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AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation Gross Negligence. How Could This Happen?

Customer Contractor Agree page1ProposalContract page1

Be Careful What You Sign

The attached files show details of the AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation basement water management system we thought we were paying for.  The sales representative, who touted himself as a “Senior Inspector”, described details using a proposal form, a binder of photos, and showing us physical samples of the materials he claimed would be used.  What actually was done in practically all cases was substantially different, cheaper, sloppy, and in the case of the wall coatings simply wrong.

What Went Wrong – The Inducement To Sign A Contract

We shopped around for a reputable basement waterproofing contractor and regrettably chose AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation. The following table points out, on hindsight, key points we missed.

Sales Inducement Vice Facts

“AquaGuard Waterproofing is a local, family-owned foundation contractor”:  Quote from AquaGuard’s website. Four unrelated owners When asked about this statement, the General Manager of AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation made the following statements:
Q. Okay. So on your website, I note it says it’s family owned foundation contractor. What other family members are owners?
A. None for me.
Q. I’m sorry?
A. None of my family.
Q. Well, who were you referring to when you say AquaGuard is a local family owned?
A. I don’t believe I wrote that.
Q. Okay. Let me just show you. It’s about us. I just pulled it off your website today.
A. Well, the owners are families, I guess.
Q. Well, how many owners are there?
A. Four.
Q. Okay. You’re one owner. Who are the other three owners?
A. John Bryant, Todd Watkins, Jon Siegel,
Q. And what’s their relation to you?
A. None.
Honesty, truthfulness Lying Salesmen When asked about the accuracy of statements made by AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation sales force, the general manager stated the following:
Q. Okay. And do you ever seek to ascertain whether or not the statements your salespeople are making to the customers is accurate or not?
A. Every week, we go over that, and every week, they go out and lie.
Q. They go out and what?
A. Lie.
Required Permits In Our Case Not Taken Out Till 6 Weeks AFTER Work Done We paid them $350 in permit fees.
AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation failed to take out a permit till more than 6 weeks after the work was started and in that case
2 weeks after we complained to them about the lack of permits.
Who Does Work? In Our Case They Subcontracted Out Entire Job One would think the company you contract would do the work. Not in our case. The AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation salesman never mentioned their use of subcontractors.
Worse, the subcontractor was:
1). Unlicensed
2). Running an unregistered “company”
3). Was totally unsupervised by AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation and
4). His work wasn’t inspected at any time during it’s performance.
Indeed AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation didn’t send out any employee to inspect the work done till four weeks AFTER the tar was smeared on our walls!
Senior Inspector Salesman Working Solely On Commission When AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation employee visited our house he touted himself as a “Senior Inspector”.  Indeed that is the description written on his business card.  When asked about this under oath he acknowledged he was a salesman working solely on commission. The general manager of AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation stated the following:
Q. And is Dave Collins one of those service inspectors, or is he a salesman?
A. He has a fancy name for a salesman. He’s a salesman.
Accuracy of Sales Representation Use of Outdated Forms When asked about the accuracy of company forms, in this case the form titled “Proposal: AquaGuard Water Management System”, the general manager stated the following:
Q. Okay. Is that printed form, is it your testimony this printed form is erroneous?
A. It’s outdated.
Q. It’s outdated. And have you had it changed at this time?
A. I would have to look, but most of the time, I go through them and have them changed, but has it been changed? I don’t know.

14 comments on “AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation Gross Negligence. How Could This Happen?

  1. neimezr
    March 19, 2013

    This post is of importance if someone wants to read statements AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation management and employees made under oath, i.e., not in advertisements or self-serving responses to reviews.

  2. Mary
    March 30, 2013

    Amazing what some people will do to when they are greedy.

  3. allisonjuhl
    April 5, 2013

    This site is a great resource for anyone, especially if you’re a new homeowner. There are so many things to be aware of and on the lookout for when hiring and working with contractors that I never would have considered. Thanks for the info!

  4. Shane329
    April 16, 2013

    Ensure that the ground is sloped away from the house rather than toward it. If the ground is level or sloping the wrong way, water is more likely to affect your basement. Your walls should be properly protected so that water has no way of entering the basement.

    • Russ R
      April 17, 2013

      Shane, thanks for the comment. Of course you’re right but I didn’t fint that out till it was too late. The so-called “Senior Inspector” from AquaGuard saw the conditions around the exterior of the foundation and blew it all off by claiming the real problem was the pooling of ground (not surface) water in the “Clay Bowl”. This turned out to be totally bogus but at the time I trusted him, a huge mistake. I can’t change any of that but I can try to reach others with what happened and hope someone benefits from the disaster I experienced by trusting this outfit.

      • Chamay
        June 16, 2013

        I simply want to say I am just all new to woeblg and truly loved you’re web site. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely have beneficial well written articles. Thanks for revealing your web-site.

      • Russ R
        June 16, 2013

        Hi Chamay,

        Thank you so much for your kind comments! I’m trying hard to help people not only avoid the mistakes I made but to pause, do your homework, and make informed decisions! This goes beyond consumers. Contractors also need to think about what they do, from cutting corners to subcontracting out work without checking whom they gave the job to, otherwise they can get bitten. Glad you’re enjoying the site. I’m working on a posting inspired by Plato’s Myth of the King of Gyges which will look at the role of “invisibility” and corruption. That is, if one thinks they are not accountable for their actions is that person more likely to make bad choices? It’s hardly an original idea. One sees the same theme over and over again, most recently and popularly in “The Lord of The Rings”. Still, it will be fun to explore. Hope you and others find that enjoyable and thought provoking. Best wishes, Russ

    • Russ R
      May 22, 2013

      Thanks Shane. Your exactly right on both points. Unfortunately I trusted AquaGuard’s so-called Senior Inspector who had a different assessment of the problem, and paid the price. Next time I face a major home project I’ll get at least one independent assessment from a licensed home inspector, not the two “free” assessments from companies that have a vested interest in selling me their product. The second problem, totally unforeseen by me, was AquaGuard’s handing out my job in total, and unsupervised or inspected, to a disreputable subcontractor. They don’t advertise or tell you anything about that business practice.

  5. Kathy990
    May 20, 2013

    There are many things you can do to help fight the war against mold, including basement waterproofing. Due to the intense pressure that is being put on the concrete, water pressure must be relieved to eliminate cracking. Consult with a foundation repair contractor to discuss the best way to repair your home’s foundation.

    • Russ R
      May 22, 2013

      Thanks Kathy for the comment. There are two separate issues I had to deal with. The first was the total misdiagnosis of the reason for the water seepage, i.e., they stated an interior water drainage system would manage the problem which proved to be false. The second was, regardless of the utility of the approach, AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation gave the entire job, unsupervised or inspected, to a disreputable, unlicensed subcontractor who totally messed up the job and then they defended him! In the face of such massive incompetence, what can one do? They claim (talk being cheap) to be “The Trusted name in Waterproofing”, but one cannot prove that by my experience.

  6. Trish
    July 3, 2013

    I was just visited by a rep from Aquaguard concerning water drainage problems I’m having with my home. I’m so glad I saw your review!!! Everything you describe in your posts, he did. The binder with the photos, he gave me a quote of $4850 without even taking a measurement. In an earlier post, you recommend getting a licensed home inspector to do an assessment. Are you saying they will be able to diagnose and propose a fix?

    • Russ R
      July 3, 2013

      Hi Trish,
      First of all, I’m sorry to hear you have a problem but if it is primarily one of drainage then the fix may be relatively inexpensive, but that’s for the pros to tell you. Waterproofing isn’t an exact science, i.e., there are no guarantees. The thing about independent home inspectors, i.e., people who are unattached to a home improvement contractor/business, is they have nothing to gain by steering you one way or the other, so they tend to give you unbiased advice. They may suggest some inexpensive things to try first, like cleaning gutters, doing some above ground grading to help push water away, etc. In the end, even if you need something else, these are simply good things to do in any case. Here are the names of two inspectors I spoke to: Russ Allen of A. A. Home Inspection Services. He’s been in the business for something like 40 years and loves to talk. Jim Schreiber of Homebiz Inspection Team is another solid guy. They aren’t, to the best of my knowledge, running a business trying to sell you something. It will cost you $100 or $200 but, in my opinion and experience, it’s well worth the investment given the stakes involved. Best wishes! Russ

      • Trish
        July 3, 2013

        Thank you very much for your quick response and references!

      • Russ R
        July 4, 2013

        One more (and final, I promise!) thing is to check out the link on my posting titled: “What to look for and what to avoid when selecting a contractor”. The specific link is near the top of the posting and comes from Consumer Checkbook. It’s called “Tips on Basement Waterproofing”. They provide a lot of helpful information and insights for consumers.

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