Basement Waterproofing Hazards

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Basement Waterproofing Ripoffs | AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation Lies

Crack Pic III

Basement Waterproofing ripoffs by AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation in my house were extensive, covering every single aspect of the job.  Contract breach or failures to perform to the side, good faith dealing for all items is a basic assumption in the contracting process and a minimum expectation.  In this posting I’ll reexamine one of many specific examples of AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation contract breach in the basement waterproofing done in my home.  The extensive list of these breaches deserves item-by-item examination as each highlights an aspect of what can go wrong.  Attention to details by the contractor, but also by the knowledgable homeowner, will result in a better final product.   This assumes the company is interested in quality work and has pride in what they produce.  AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation is interested in neither of those.  They are interested in taking your money while delivering the absolute minimum in service or oversight. Buyer Beware!

This specific example relates to crack repairs that I contracted to have done and what actually was “delivered”.  Our old house, built in the early 1920s, has a poured concrete foundation with a few feet of blocks finishing it at the top of the walls.  You can see the transition from block to poured concrete in the left side picture at the top of this posting.  You’ll also note the crack which runs from the top to the bottom of that wall.  The other two pictures show a couple of other portions of the same crack, in the middle and at the floor respectively.  This was the biggest of the cracks and there were several others.  Past experience showed that water tended to come in through the walls, flow to the floor, and spread out from there.  This fact was provided to the AquaGuard Senior Inspector, but he dismissed that as a source of “surface” water flow, sticking to his assertion that the “real” source of the problem was water pooling up from the bottom, around the foundation, and then through the cracks.  This was the central piece of his sales pitch, i.e., the so-called clay-bowl effect.  In the case of our house this was false, as later events showed, and also very self-serving but that’s the topic of a future posting.

Getting back to the crack, I insisted on getting these patched and contracted to have that done.  How to repair a crack?  AquaGuard has a description of such work on their website, which is consistent with what the senior inspector described, and was consistent with how the work was written up.  Unfortunately that was not done by them at all, which is consistent with practically every other thing they did or I should say failed to do.  Let’s look at the details using the sworn testimony of AquaGuard’s “Senior Inspector”.  In the following, “Q” represents questions by my side, “A” are the responses of the Senior Inspector.  His entire deposition can be read at “AquaGuard Sales Rep Depo Transcript 090612“.

  1. Did you indicate to him that that repair procedure would include cutting out the existing crack in the shape of a V that would then be —
    A. It’s typically in the industry called a V groove.
    Q. Okay. And how is that V groove created?  What tool is used or what methodology is used to create the V?
    A. I’m not sure. I’m sure that there are several different tools to utilize that.
    Q. The V is —
    A. I mean, it’s generally power, power tool.
    Q. And that V groove is then plugged with some material?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Are you familiar or are you aware of the type of material that is used to plug that V groove?
    A. Typically, a product called Aquafin. Typically, Thoroseal. Sometimes hydraulic cement or waterproofing cement would be used.

In other words, the industry standard practice would be to cut a slot where the crack is in the shape of a V groove and seal it with some material that would inhibit the flow of water through the crack.  This is essentially the same description provided on AquaGuard’s website and provided by all the inspectors and other contractors who offered an opinion on how to do such repairs.  One would think this is well understood practice.  Unfortunately it was either unknown or purposely ignored by AquaGuard’s foreman, i.e., the subcontractor they gave the job to.

If one hopes from clarity from the testimony AquaGuard’s General Manager, then I point you to the comments in his deposition (AquaGuard General Manager Depo Transcript 091212 ) pages 44 through 46 or the hearing transcripts (Arbitration Hearing – 110512) pages 208 through 211.  The familiar refrain of “We contracted for …” is given with no regard for the written documents within the contract (which specifies lateral stitching in the block, not the poured concrete), the testimony of AquaGuard’s own expert witnesses and our expert witnesses, the description given by their senior representative at the time of the contract signing, etc.  None of this phases the General Manager.  In other words, if it isn’t specified exactly in the contract, at least those parts of the contract that they care to focus on, then you are out of luck.

The real point is that no one, with the exception of their General Manager, thought the cracks were repaired correctly.  If AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation had an unbiased inspection and quality control process this, and so many other issues that will be outlined in future postings, would have been caught immediately.  Addressing those problems would have taken time, additional effort, and would have been far more cost-effective.

2 comments on “Basement Waterproofing Ripoffs | AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation Lies

  1. mark anderson
    June 2, 2016

    Russ, I see the Better Business Bureau (another bunch of cheats imo) gives Aquaguard an A+ rating, un–be–lievable, truly another scam. Whether a company is honest, fair etc or not, if they have MONEY then they can buy a good BBB rating, they can buy quite a few in the media who will then recommend that company on the air, radio/tv etc to unknowing homeowners – scam! Keep up the great posts Russ.

    • Russ R
      June 2, 2016

      The BBB ratings are a joke though the average consumer doesn’t know that the A+ is simply bought by the company. If one reads the fine print (and who does?) you discover that the rating is nothing more than a statement that the company has agreed to respond in some sense to complaints but DOES NOT guarantee the performance or products of the company in any way. If you dig a little deeper you will discover the history of complaints against them and it is extensive.

      Another point. When AquaGuard’s sales representative visited us it was before they bought their A+ rating. At that time they were a C and the representative (you have to love it) stated that BBB was a scam, sold ratings (he showed us a news clip “proving” it) and bragged about their low rating and the fact that they would never buy a good rating. That, of course, was before my blog went live. It took them several months but then they had a change of heart or maybe felt the heat. Regardless, this is a bad outfit plain and simple.

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