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Basement waterproofing performed by AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation‘s disreputable work crew was, in most cases, done so poorly it would be laughable if it didn’t happen to you. Yet another example is the unworkmanlike installation of the water discharge piping shown in the picture. The carelessness of the work was apparent to anyone who cared to look at it. AquaGuard, exercising absolutely no oversight of the unlicensed, disreputable subcontractor they stuck me with, not only didn’t bother to look at the work, they ignored my numerous emails, photos, etc and essentially did nothing constructive to address the many issues I called to their attention.
As the Arbitrator stated in the Award of Arbitrator: “The mortar plugs at the holes where the discharge pipes penetrated the walls were inadequate and failed to completely fill the holes. Even after the work was done by the Subcontractor, water continued to seep onto the basement floor. The entire job was in fact required to be re-done. The Contractor has materially breached the Contract by providing a substandard, improper and defective drainage and waterproofing system.”
To give you an idea how bad the mortar plug job was, note that the discharge pipe itself is approximately 2 inches in diameter. The gaping hole left after the mortar was slopped into place and left to dry is approximately 3 inches in diameter; easily seen from across the room. If someone cared to inspect the work, and no one from AquaGuard bothered to do so, this problem would have been immediately apparent.
The problems with the mortar plug don’t stop here. The outside part of the holes were at least totally sealed but done in an unsightly manner with numerous cracks in the mortar. Of course AquaGuard’s contract has a clause that protects them from cracks in the cement that naturally occur after the cement had dried. There are in fact 25 separate “Terms and Conditions”, most in small print, on the back of their Contract. The relevant one in this case is Number 10: “Contractor warrants cement work as to proper mix and workmanship, but does not guarantee cement against cracking, peeling, or settling.”
With everything else that went wrong on this job, it wasn’t worth the time to argue about whether the cracks in the outside of the mortar plug also amounted to a breach of the Contract. The amount of settling, actually slumping, of the cement work done for the discharge piping is another matter entirely.
No one can reasonably expect perfection on each and every item of such an extensive job as was performed in my house. On the other hand one should expect, as stated in the very first of the “Terms and Conditions” in their Contract:
“1. THE CONTRACTOR HEREBY EXPRESSLY WARRANTS THAT ALL HOME IMPROVEMENT WORK DONE PURSUANT TO THIS CONTRACT SHALL BE OF WORKMANLIKE QUALITY,…”
Note that the text was, in fact, capitalize for this item as printed on the back of the Contract.
Nice words. I suppose, legal jargon to the side, this might give the homeowner some sense of security or belief that the company was going to adhere to these minimum standards of performance. Buyer Beware! If you have the stamina to actually make it through the many hundreds of words and fine print,with a degree of understanding, you still have no certainty that a company will actually abide by what’s printed. It is quite possible that much of the text is “boiler plate” material dropped in at the advice of some lawyer. Worse, if there are obvious breaches of the contract, you may be in for the fight of your life trying to get the company you are dealing with to actually do something about fixing the problem.
Of course a reputable company would be more interested in customer satisfaction than legal wrangling…
The basement waterproofing work performed by AquaGuard was anything but performed in a workmanlike manner. Worse, if you have a problem with the work, you might end up being told it’s a problem that you have to work out with the subcontractor!