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AquaGuard’s many failures in the basement waterproofing job they did at my house went far beyond simple breach of contract. To start with, they totally missed identifying the real cause of the water seepage. You get what you pay for. In my case, I got a “Free” AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation inspection where their so-called “Senior Inspector” spent more time filling out forms than walking around the property to find out the real cause of the basement water seepage. Woe to you if you’re as naive as I was in trusting a company without checking into their background!
I bought the wrong solution based on their representations. My fault. I should have sought a second opinion from an independent home inspector, someone who had no vested interest in selling me a product. As it was, the guy who came to my house was nothing more than a salesman working strictly on commission. He claimed we both walked around the outside of the house to do an exterior inspection. Regardless of the truthfulness of this assertion, whatever he saw out there never translated into a recommendation of dealing with the problem from the outside. Rather his sales pitch was about the so-called “Clay Bowl” effect, where water flows into the soil and essentially “drains” into the disturbed earth around the foundation, eventually rising up and seeping in through the wall/floor seams, etc. In the case of my house,it was a nice story but, as events would clearly show, not the real source of the water that was pooling on the basement floor. However, in fairness to all involved, I believed him and bought the solution they offered, so my bad.
So I got a useless, worthless interior “water management system” they provided. The fact that it wasn’t installed properly is another matter entirely. Even if it had been properly installed, it would not have solved the fundamental problem. What was needed was a well-constructed, exterior waterproofing system. That was what I ultimately had installed. It cost somewhat more than the faulty interior system AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation sold me, but it was far better constructed and solved the seepage problem. Perhaps more significantly, I did not have to endure more than $50,000 in damages because of their gross negligence.
Back to the “free inspection”. If you read the various posting online, or the various publications that discuss basement waterproofing, there’s some debate about the value of a free inspection. Some recommend paying for an inspection by a waterproofing company. Other’s (and frankly, I don’t get this) state that it’s a bad idea to pay someone to do an inspection. I believe it is a good investment since the eventual cost of whatever work has to be done will dwarf the inspection fee. In my case, I paid two separate home inspectors to do the inspections, each costing around $100. Both came to the same conclusion, i.e., this old house, built in the 1920’s, had a deteriorating wall with multiple cracks. They both recommended digging out the foundation from the outside, repairing the damage and sealing up the walls, and then refilling the trenching. I also had two different waterproofing companies come out after the AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation fiasco and they too stated that an exterior system was the appropriate solution.
So why did AquaGuard’s “free inspection” lead them to recommend an interior “water management” solution? Good question and one we’ll examine in more detail in a future post. For now it is simply worth reiterating that in my case it was the wrong solution, something I would have realized had I taken time to get the unbiased recommendations of independent home inspectors. That was a failure on my part.
One can hardly fault AquaGuard for selling their wares. The fact that their “free inspection” failed to identify the real source of the water seepage was irksome, to put it mildly. The fact that I paid many thousands of dollars to them for the wrong solution, an investment based on that inspection, is my reason for stating the inspection was useless. Again, that’s putting it mildly.