Basement Waterproofing Hazards

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This site is dedicated to consumers who have been victimized as we were. Read on about our experiences with AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation

Outside of houseHello! I’m Russ Rzemien and together with my wife Kathleen, we’ve raised four wonderful children in our home which I’ve occupied for over 30 years. As we near retirement, we are making various repairs prior to selling it, as our children are grown and it’s much too big for us. In the spring of 2011 we had the roof redone. That fall we contracted AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation of Beltsville, MD to address water seepage problems in our basement. Unlike the roofing work, our experience with AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation has been nothing short of a nightmare. I’ve created this website to educate people:  consumers, contractors, and government officials charged with ensuring the rules and regulations are applied fairly and that those who violate these rules are held accountable.  Hopefully this information will help us all avoid the same errors in judgement we and AquaGuard made.

25 comments on “This site is dedicated to consumers who have been victimized as we were. Read on about our experiences with AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation

  1. neimezr
    March 7, 2013

    Just wrote a review on Angie’s List of my experiences with AquaGuard Waterproofing. They will be asked to comment so both parties have their say. If you subscribe to Angie’s List, look next week for my review and their response!

  2. Brendon
    March 7, 2013

    Thanks for all the helpful information- sure makes you aware how the average consumer can end up in a bad situation with bad contractors- this could help avoid those situations!

    • neimezr
      March 7, 2013

      Thanks Brendon! I’m hoping to learn even more from others and share that as well.

  3. Kim
    March 7, 2013

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope many people learn from your experience so that some good can come out of it

    • neimezr
      March 7, 2013

      Thanks Kim! I believe that educated consumers making informed choices is the best way to ensure reputable contractors are not pushed out of business by those who play fast and loose with the rules.

  4. Steph
    March 8, 2013

    Many thanks for this helpful information. Clearly anyone who takes the time to do their homework will select the right contractor and save lots of money.

    • Russ Rzemien
      March 9, 2013

      Yes Steph, your right about doing your homework! Unfortunately water in the basement is one of those stressful things that sometimes lead to hasty decisions that one later regrets.

      • Princeses
        June 16, 2013

        That is awesome! I rembemer what the kitchen looked like BEFORE all of the construction- and let me tell ya you’ve done a wonderful job! Looking at the kitchen from this angle though, I wonder where Jeff is wanting to make something else’. I hope that you’re flexible (or he is). *wink, wink*

      • Russ R
        June 16, 2013

        Hi Princeses,

        Thanks for the kind comments. At this point I’ve moved way beyond interacting with the contractor except in cases like my contacting them at the request of the county I live in. The county building inspector asked me to contact them and request that they open up the interior trench path, which I understand should not have been covered up (cemented in) before the county inspector had a chance to inspect the work. Imagine how much pain and agony all of us would have been spared if only someone, the parent company or the county, had a chance to see how badly I was being ripped off prior to sealing off the trench path! Because they did things in sections and covered up the the work as they went along, even my infrequent visits to the basement revealed nothing to my untrained eyes. Construction Pros, however, would have seen through all of this. We could have nipped this in the bud even before the tar disaster. Back to point. I wished they had availed themselves of the numerous opportunities I gave them to simply do the right thing and fix their mistakes. Instead it was a sad story of missteps, delays, denials, and finally a lengthy legal battle. Trying to salvage some good out of all this, I’ve dedicated myself to educating people, i.e., consumers, contractors, regulators, etc, about home improvement pitfalls. At the end of the day it’s about people making good choices. Hopefully my blog will help everyone do just that. Best Regards! Russ.

  5. neimezr
    March 9, 2013

    Anyone can say anything in a post, pretty much. If you want facts note that I’ve posted arbitration process depositions, including sworn statements by AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation General Manager and their so-called Senior Inspector, who is really a salesman working solely on commission. You can also read the hearing transcripts and read the Award of Arbitrator. You can switch to that page by clicking on the entry to the right of this front posting page.

  6. neimezr
    March 10, 2013

    Updated my Post on “What to look for…” which now includes a link to the Maryland Consumers Rights Coalition booklet titled “How to Improve Your Home Without Loosing Your Shirt”. Check it out!

  7. neimezr
    March 14, 2013

    I’ve written the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) describing the behavior of AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation. NARI sets standards for the industry and has a Logo that members may display. AquaGuard does just that on their website. Seems to me, AquaGuard actions at my house make a mockery of NARI’s standards and I wrote to inform them of such. Companies that claim membership in such organizations should be held to the standards of same.

  8. poonnenue
    March 15, 2013

    quite nice post, i undoubtedly enjoy this web site, keep on it

    micheal kores
    mk restaurant chicago

    • neimezr
      March 19, 2013

      Thanks for the comments. Hopefully the information in general, not just about my unfortunate experiences with AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation, will benefit everyone, consumers and contractors alike. I think we’d all agree that reputable contractors benefit when knowledgeable consumers make informed decisions.

    • Wannagon
      June 16, 2013

      Any ever use Dermatend or any other OTC mole removal remdey?Has anyone/know anyone that have used Dermatend or wart mole vanish? Or any other mole removal product? If so, what was your/their sucess level? Number of applications? Pain level? I’ve seen mixed reviews on these products, from being the greatest thing since sliced bread to being worhtless and very painful.Um My question had nothing to do with acne or hair removal. Also, going to a doctor isn’t an opition as I have no health insurence right now.

      • Russ R
        June 16, 2013

        Hi Wannagon,
        Never used the products you mention in my waterproofing activities. In the basement the main problem was water seepage, which I’ve done a fairly decent job cleaning up. Done quickly, the basement tends to stay relatively dry, even in the damp weather of Maryland. I do keep the basement closed up and the dehumidifier going. Before the dehumidifier, and because we don’t have central air conditioning in this old house, during the summer the moisture would result in some mold growth in the basement. Thankfully we’ve got that under control, at least downstairs. The upstairs bathroom is another issue. Again since we don’t have central air conditioning the steamy bathroom can have problems with mold, especially on the ceiling. I did a good cleanup of the ceiling and painted it with something called “Kilzs” as I recall. I’ve not had a mold problem on the ceiling since doing that 10 years ago. Something to think about. Best Wishes! Russ

  9. goatsrule
    March 16, 2013

    I think it’s great you are disseminating this information. I hope it helps other avoid what we went through.

  10. Samuel Weisgal
    April 23, 2013

    Hi Russ, Hi Kathleen. My name is Sam Weisgal, owner of The Foundation Expert.I started my company because of companies like Aquaguard, Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing, JES, BWN and quite a few others. Not a few – hundreds of others.
    I also own http://www.waterproofingcomplaints.com and http://www.waterproofingscams.com
    I’d like to speak with you regarding this site and a possible business venture.
    Please email or call me at 443.742.7801 –

    • Russ R
      April 23, 2013

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for commenting on the site. I’m about as good with business as I am a judge of waterproofing companies so I’ll decline any business ventures. However, I would be happy to talk to you about my experiences and hear about yours as the more I know, the better job I can do helping others. I’d also be interested in meeting past customers who feel they’ve not been treated fairly.

      Maybe we could have coffee somewhere in the area one weekend and chat. Kathleen has suffered enough from the disaster that hit the basement so I’ll spare her! Let me know if you’d like to talk. I’m in the Hanover, MD area so most of Baltimore and DC are within an easy commute.

      Regards,
      Russ

      • Samuel J Weisgal
        April 24, 2013

        Hi Russ – the issue isn’t your ability or lack thereof to judge ‘waterproofers’ – it’s the complete state of ignorance when it comes to home ownership, contracting, and understanding how to conduct due diligence.

        I have rocket scientists that are complete idiots when it comes to their home – including the purchase, and the hiring of contractors who shouldn’t be allowed to hold a license.

        For example, more than half of my leads come from Angie’s List, because I am so highly rated.

        Fortunately for homeowners who pick me, whether they are aware or not, is that almost all my reviews are written by customers. The few that are not are written by Aquaguard and other WP’s who consider themselves my competition.

        But you have companies like Aquaguard that used to mandate that they’re salespeople join Angie’s List and post false reviews touting their greatness.

        Go to Service Magic or Home Advisor and you’ll see that Aquaguard is one of their 5 Star Companies with over 87 (false) reviews telling people how wonderful Aquaguard is, with Home Advisor telling you that they’ve done the research for you. What a joke.

        There is currently no vehicle that tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But that is where I am heading – attempting to create that vehicle that not only educates the homeowner regarding contractors, but creating the website that exposes charlatans like Aquaguard. But they’re not the worst.

        In any case, would love to do lunch or meet.

        Samuel J Weisgal

        sam@theFoundationExpert.com

        (443) 742-7801 Cell / Direct

        (703) 762-2429 Office

        Skype – tasersam

        WINNER OF 9 SS AWARDS 2011-2012

        BASEMENT WATERPROOFING – N. VA, DC METRO & MD.

        FOUNDATION REPAIR – N. VA, DC METRO & MD.

        CONCRETE POURING & REPAIR

      • Lana Chandler
        November 25, 2018

        Who do you recommend in Atlanta, Georgia (Decatur) to waterproof a basement or do a quality inspection?

  11. Russ R
    April 25, 2013

    Truth will out, at least according to Shakespeare. Getting it to the people who need it is another matter. The web is powerful and one of the messengers I’m using, but I need help and I look forward to working with you.

    • Tanya Rahall
      May 8, 2016

      Oh, boy, Russ. You are being pulled in “deeper and deeper”.

  12. mark anderson
    January 26, 2014

    Eh, Angie’s list is NOT quite what some want to make it out to be, not on this-subject at least. Almost EVERY article THEY (Angie’s list) has wrote and posted on their site was written with ALOT of input from, yep, you guessed it, interior system company owners, salespeople etc, its just more crap, just like the BBB

  13. John
    August 31, 2014

    I am currently in a dispute with Aquaguard. My family needs direction. We spent nearly $10,000 to have our basement waterproofed. They assured us we could finish the basement. Several thousand dollars later our family room was destroyed. I feel they are now constructing a plan to blame the framing of the wall. WE NEED HELP!! Of course my luck, my place of employment closed and now am unemployed and can not afford representation.

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