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AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation, not content with ripping me off when “performing” basement waterproofing in my house, had the audacity to lie about practically every aspect of what they promised to do. When confronted with the blatant failures to do what the contracted stated they would do, their General Manager resorted to making obviously false statements to cover their misdeeds. Read below how he states that concrete won’t dry if poured ON TOP of plastic!
AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation failed to install the plastic vapor barrier as described by their sales representative and as described in their proposal. In fairness to AquaGuard, the Arbitrator noted in the Award of Arbitration: “…the Proposal is not a part of the Contract and the Owner had no contractual right to receive … the plastic sheet.” I will not comment here on contractual rights, obligations, or the relationship of the proposal to the contract itself as these are topics that rightfully belong to others to judge.
I would note that the basement waterproofing proposal was quite clear on this matter. Furthermore it was my expectation that what was described to me by the salesman and what was presented to me in word and in the proposal was exactly what I expected to receive for my money. As stated therein, the AquaGuard Foundation Water Management System would provide “A cover of 6 mil polyethylene will be used as vapor barrier between the Aqua Guard Mira drain and the floor slab. The crew will then complete the job by hand troweling a cement replacement over the trench using a Portland cement mix.” This could not be clearer.
Why wasn’t it done?
As the Arbitrator stated “…Contractor had stopped using plastic because the concrete would not set up properly.” Unlike the relationship of proposals to contracts, I will delve into this aspect of the work not performed. By highlighting the testimony of the expert witnesses and the statements of AquaGuard’s General Manager regarding the use of the plastic vapor barrier, I hope to provide the reader with some insights into pitfalls and challenges associated with contractor and customer relations. Simply put: Buyer Beware!
This polyethylene or plastic cover was described by AquaGuard’s so-called senior inspector as part of his sales pitch. As he said in his sworn deposition, where questions (Q) are from my side and answers (A) are by the salesman:
When AquaGuard’s Independent Inspector testified, rather than recount each and every failing in the system, the inspector was simply asked the following, where questions (Q) are from my side and answers (A) are by the inspector:
Let’s examine for a minute what the purpose of the vapor barrier is. At the Arbitration hearing I had a home inspector testify. This gentleman has been in the construction business for over forty years. With respect to the vapor barrier he had the following to say when describing the finishing of the trench path: Questions (Q) are from my side and answers (A) are by the home inspector.
Similarly, I had a waterproofing contractor inspect the work and provide a sworn deposition for the arbitration hearing. In his deposition he discussed the vapor barrier. The following are excerpts from that deposition, where questions (Q) are from my side and answers (A) are by the contractor:
Later on, the contractor explains…
In summary, the plastic on top of the trench serves to hold up the cement covering the trench, preventing it from seeping into the trench gravel, plugging part of the drainage path provided by the gravel itself. It is worth noting that none of the witnesses, with the exception of AquaGuard’s General Manager, expressed any concerns about the cement drying.
Though AquaGuard likes to blame the gross negligence and numerous breaches of contract on the hapless unlicensed subcontractor they sent to do the work, the failure to install the plastic vapor barrier was something AquaGuard’s GM defended. In doing so, he stands in stark contrast to statements made by his own witness and other industry professionals as shown above. Let’s examine exactly what he said, where questions (Q) are from my side and answers (A) are by AquaGuard’s General Manager:
Three Take Aways
First, why would the cement not dry, even after “six months” as the General Manager says? Does that strike you, dear reader, as a bit odd? Even making allowances for exaggeration, this is pretty lame.
Second, why seek to shift blame on old forms, the salesman not telling the customer all the facts, gripping and/or ignorant customers, etc? Is it not far more likely that AquaGuard’s handpicked, unlicensed, incompetent subcontractor simply blew it? Is this what AquaGuard means when they say on their website “Aquaguard provides you peace of mind in knowing your basement is waterproofed with uncompromising pride, integrity, and value for life!”??
Third, what exactly is the General Manager saying when, in response to the question about construction codes, he states “Well, I don’t care what they say”??? Recall from my previous posting that AquaGuard has already been fined not once but twice for violations of county codes and regulations.
This has been an especially long posting. If you’re still with me, thank you for your patience and remember that you are your own best advocate when dealing with home improvement