Tuesday, November 30, 2010

seeking referrals for basement waterproofing companies

From a 1st Street NW resident:

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on waterproofing a basement.

I am looking at Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing right now, but they seem quite expensive. Has anybody dealt with them before or could anybody recommend another company?


  1. I have been through this issue with our house (old row home with livable basement which was once intended otherwise). I am an engineer and my father was a contractor so I have done my share of home improvements but the waterproofing techniques are a bit over my head. I had 3-quotes including one from mid-atlantic, the mid-atlantic quote was 4x higher than the bid I went with. From the sales person then sent out to see me I quickly got the impression they focus on getting you to make a quick and hasty decision. I remember laughing at the sales person who came to my house as he told me I better sign tonight because rain was expected tomorrow and you never know when the wall will just "give out" after all, he's seen it happen! I chuckled and asked him, so if I were to sign, you would have this done before the rain tomorrow right? I can't remember what he said but as he handed me a estimate for 4x's the next bid, I escorted him out... I also got bids from:

    Koppers Waterproofing - (301) 324-4797, very honest, I almost went with them but my basement had some unique challenges which required structural engineering evaluation so I went with another company. Fantastic better business bureau reviews. If my issue was straightforward I would have gone with Koppers, give them a call...

    JES Basement & Foundation - (540) 295-0318 (Todd was the sales guy I think) I ended up going with JES because they had a system that would fit behind into my basement walls with the least amount of intrusion, however I still had to re-do the bottom half of the drywall... JES is a bit more of a sales team than Koppers so push back on price.

    If you have any questions, give me a call and I'll pass on additional advice, this issue was one that drove me nuts for about 5-months until I got it resolved, now I have a nice dry basement! Greg - (DC) 3 eight 6 - 2 3 oh four

  2. We had a really good experience with Aquaguard. They were professional, quick and took care of our leaking problem due to hydrostatic pressure. The solution involves a trench and pump system that is actually better than traditional "waterproofing." http://www.aquaguardwaterproofing.com/default.asp
    Let me know if you'd like a referral (gets you better, faster treatment, or so they say:). amanda_medori AT hotmail

  3. See this message from a Truxton Circle resident:

    When I was getting quotes I had really bad experiences with the big companies like Aquaguard and Mid-Atlantic. The sales people get commissions from the contracts and they push hard and/or propose more work than actually needs to be done. So $10K later they may have done a great job fixing your problem, but it's possible your basement only needed $5K of work done for the same outcome. Beware! I eventually hired an independent inspector to evaluate the situation (I had a very damp basement, but not one that was leaking) and he said their claims about hydrostatic pressure putting my walls in imminent danger of collapse were completely bogus. All I needed to do was put a couple dehumidifiers in the basement and move my storage shelves two feet from the walls, which I did and everything was fine. Obviously if you are actually having leaking you are in a different situation, but proceed with great caution. It might even be worth it for you to hire an independent inspector (roughly $150) to tell you what work is and is not necessary. Could save you thousands in the long run.

  4. I went with Mid-Atlantic, and while you're right that it wasn't cheap, I appreciated the "lifetime dry basement" guarantee. We had problems continue, and they came back time after time for free until it was solved. For us, it was worth the extra cost.

  5. An additional comment, I have a lifetime guarantee with JES as well and it is transferable to future owners. I haven't had to exercise the guarantee as of yet because the installation works really well. My basement is nice and dry now for about 25% of the quote from Mid-Atlantic. I will say that I believe your experience with Mid-Atlantic will vary quite a bit because they employ sales contractors so I don't doubt many have good experiences. The best advice seems to be call them all, get many quotes and make them bid against each other...