Complaint Category: Failure to honor a contract or agreement
Complaint: I was promised a "bone dry" crawlspace. But what I have is fungal growth, 25 moisture level, and floor isn't covered with visqueen.
January 6th, 2010 I signed a contract for $6,050 with Greentree Waterproofing from Springfield IL to do work on my crawlspace. According to the salesperson, Daniel Higgenbotham, I was told when they were done with my crawl space it would be bone dry and spray stuff to kill any fungal growth. While I was extremely disapointed with how long it took them to finish (close to a year I believe), they eventually told me they were done. Had to call them many times to come finish the job. Anyhow after they finally finished, I trusted that they were done being as how I know nothing about crawlspaces and I am not getting down in there.
Fast forward to July 2013, I have a person from ***** down in my crawlspace looking for termites. While he didn't find any termites, he said there was fungal growth all over the place in my crawl space and the moisture level was 25 which was way too high according to him. It should be 15 he said. He also said quite a bit of the floor was not covered with visqueen. He said it was really bad down there and he probably shouldn't have been down there without a mask. Who knows what kind of air I am breathing because Greentree did such a poor job. I am constantly conjested and so is my 7 month old son, I feel horrible for my son who was probably breathing in bad air because of Greentree. Anyhow, I told ***** guy that I spent over 6k to Greentree on my crawlspace and was promised it would be bone dry and that they sprayed stuff to kill fungal growth. While the person from ***** was reluctant to say anything bad about another company, he felt horrible for me for how much money I spent and basically only got a sump pump out of it, the rest was not done correctly. Needless to say, I was thrown back because I thought I would have had a bone dry crawl space with no fungal growth after spending $6,050 to Greentree. Because I refused to deal with Greentree again, I paid Orkin $3,400 to fix up my crawlspace correctly, dry it up, cover the floor, and spray stuff to kill the fungal growth. ***** did an amazing job, contract signed mid July, and they are already done, did not take around year like Greentree. Only had to come out 3 seperate days. The workers were extremely nice and courteous, didn't duck tape card board boxes to my floor like the people from greentree. I probably still have duck tap residue from that on my floor. I didn't have to call them to remind them to come back out and finish. This is the kind of customer service I would have expected from Greentree. It was always my fault according to Greentree, my fault my yard isn't sloped correctly, my fault the vents weren't open enough, my fault I didn't put fans down in crawl space, and they probably think it's my fault for them taking about a year to finish, my fault for having such a muddy crawlspace that they got mud all over my carpet that I had to replace because of that.
I wish I didn't have to complain. But spending another $3,400 to ***** on top of the $6,050 I already paid Greentree on what should have been a bone dry fungal growth free crawlspace is a good enough reason for me to file with the BBB. And who knows what kind of medical problems the fungal growth may have caused for my wife, son, and myself. And due to the moisture level being so high, who knows if I have rotting wood that I am going to have to deal with now. And finally having to replace the stained floor due to the mud. I just feel screwed, plain and simple. After Greentree finished, I just wanted to put things past me and not deal with them again, but I have no choice now but to complain. Again I am not an expert, I would not have known these problems were it not for me having another company down in my crawlspace.
Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ****** **********, Manage
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: **********************@comcast.net
This client has confused two totally different services he has received from ***** Pest Control July 2013 and our company 2/22/2010.****** technician checked for termites in the upper wood construction of the crawl space.****** technician uses a wood humidity probe specifically designed for wood to check humidity level inside the wood, which has nothing to do with humidity levels in the crawl space or the system our company installed.****** sprayed their own special chemical mix & sealer on the wood, covered this area of treatment with a plastic sheeting and lastly installed a dehumidifier. ***** DOES NOT PERFORM ANY WATERPROOFING SERVICES. At no time did this client claim that his crawl space was "wet" nor did he claim that the ***** technician state the crawl space was wet. The initial inspection performed on 1/06/2010 was the most severe case of crawl space flooding our company had ever seen since 1992. The crawl space had completely flooded out with standing water covering the entry way. The client didn't know how long the water had been in there either. Our crews work long miserable hours chest high in muddy water setting up sump pumps just to get this crawl space to the point where a drain tile system could be put in place. The process of drying this crawl space quite naturally took a lot of time from start to finish. A problem for this client was and obviously still is "home maintenance" While our system will handle ground water issues, it is the clients responsibility to periodically test his sump pump and replace it as needed. This client has been instructed repeatedly to make exterior repairs to his home and to perform routine maintenance. It is as the client indicated in his complaint "his fault" when he does nothing to correct a problem that he has been advised to correct. Our system was put in place to handle ground water issues as a result of a rising water table beneath the home. As far as surface water coming into his crawl space from other sources our company was not contracted to address or correct those issues, but we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't advise the client to make these corrections, which ****** ************ did. The client was informed that he needed new vent wells along the north and south wall, grading with sloping towards the foundation corrected so rainwater will not flow towards the foundation. Client did finally have his gutters replaced, but his down spouts were still dumping right down the side of the foundation upon last service to lay vapor barrier. Since this client admits he will not go into the crawl space then how will he perform sump pump checks? Sure he can always check to see if water is discharging from the discharge line, but going into the your homes crawl space is something he should be able to do. If he doesn't check the discharge line for water exiting when the water table is high, Will he allow the crawl space to flood and then blame our company, probably so. As you will find out by calling any ***** Pest Control Company comparing what they do to what we do is like comparing apples to oranges which is a statement of fact. Our heart and prayers go out to this clients family and their 7 month old son that has been ill since birth that is a very serious matter and we dearly hope that he is getting the best medical attention available.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Responding to Greentree's reply. As for checking for humidity, where do you think that moisture in the wood came from in the first place? The air is where it came from. It is funny you say ***** does not provide any waterproofing services. They sure seemed to know a lot about drying out a crawl space. They said my crawlspace will not get dry without a dehumidifier. I guess having a dryer crawlspace has nothing to do with waterproofing according to Greentree. I guess only partially covering the floor with visqueen is Greentree's idea of waterproofing. ****** fully covered my crawlspace floor. I guess having Fungal Growth after 2 and half years is Greentree's idea of waterproofing. Maybe the only thing Greentree considers as waterproofing was installing a sump pump, but I am sure they will explain in their reply. As far as the crawlspace being wet, every person that has gone down in my crawlspace since Greentree apparently finished comes out muddy. If the floor was fully covered which Greentree was supposed to do, I would think they would be getting a lot less mud on their shoes and clothing. Unless mud can go through visqueen, I am no expert. Because the floor is not fully covered and they are getting mud on their shoes, so another clue it is wet down there. Not to mention the moisture level being 25 when it should be 15, sounds wet to me. As far as my crawlspace being the most severe case since 1992, irrelevant, funny how Greentree never said anything remolely close to this until I filed with the bbb. I refuse to believe they have never had a crawlspace with standing water like my crawlspace was, again irrelevant, but just replying to what they decided to reply with. I believe them when Greentree says they worked long miserable hours, irrelevant however. I work long miserable hours too sometimes to get the job done, plus I was paying them a lot of money to do this work. You said they were working chest high in muddy water, the water was about a foot high, a tad bit of an exaggeration. As far as it naturally taking a long time to dry, I believe you. But it didn't help that you had the water draining a foot away from my house. Where do you think all that water is going to go. I told Greentree to drain it to the road like was discussed when I signed the contract. It didn't help it took you several months to decide to put some fans down there to help dry it out. Then even when it was dry, you guys apparently forgot about me and didn't follow up call like you said you would. I called you after 3 more months went by to come back out and finish and Greentree refused to do any more work without me paying the remaining balance. This was not part of the initial agreement, the initial agreement would be that I would pay the remaining balance when they finished. 2 more months go by and after about a year from the initial contract, Greentree finally said they were finished. As for what they instructed me to do, it was not until after I signed a contract and paid Greentree a down payment and months later that they told me to put in new vent wells, fix the gutters, grade my lawn away from the house. How would you like it if you were told you would have a bone dry crawlspace and paid several thousand as a down payment only to have the contracter backtrack and make you feel trapped into spending more money to get what you were verbally told you would get in the first place. As far as me checking the sump pump, I know nothing about these things, hence we I paid you guys so much money to do this work in the first place. Like anyone who is not handy, I do the best I can to know from an amateur perspective if something is working as intended or not.
So in summarizing here are the facts, I will let whoever reads this to decide who they want to believe. I was verbally promised a bone dry crawlspace and paid $6,050 to Greentree for that. What I have less than 2 and half years later is a fairly muddy crawlspace floor, fungal growth, extremely high moisture levels, and only a partially covered floor with visqueen. Greentree contracters ruined/stained my carpet, had to replace that. It also took them an entire year to complete the job. I had to call them several times to remind them to come back out and work otherwise I am not convinced it would even be finished today. Multiple times they told me they would call in a month to follow up and do some more work and they would not, I would have to call them back because I never heard from them. Then at one point, they outright refused to finish unless I paid for what they had not completed which was not part of the deal. They duck taped cardboard boxes to my floor. I had duck tape residue all over my brand new laminate flooring which was a complete pain to remove. I was stuck in a contract and had already paid Greentree several thousand dollars and it felt like they were piling more expenses/excuses as to why my crawlspace wasn't dry on or they wouldn't finish. Good luck to whoever has to deal with Greentree. Beyond the facts and just in my opinion, if you have a contract with Greentree don't be surprised if they take a long time to finish, leave a mess in your house, make excuses, not do everything they said they would do and you find out later, make false promises of a bone dry crawlspace, and you have to call them repeatedly to finish.
So fast forward to the present, now I am spending another $800 to fully cover my crawlspace floor that Greentree did not cover. I am spending another $800 to spray and kill fungal growth because it is not dry down there. I am spending $1,800 to install a dehumdifier which probably should have been recommended to me by Greentree. I am told by another expert that it simply would not get dry down there without a dehumidifier. I spent $1,000 to replace my flooring that Greentree stained/ruined and I could not get the stain out. And it's impossible for me to quantify the health of my family due to the air quality from fungal growth but can you really put a price on your families health. That is why I am forking out an additional $3,400 listed above to get my crawlspace finally dry which Greentree did not. I really wanted to complain to the bbb about Greentree back in 2010, but I really just wanted to put this fiasco in my past and just move on. I especially did not want to have to deal with Greentree anymore, what a horrible experience that was. But only a few short years later finding out I have fungal growth, extremely high moisture levels, visqueen only partially covering my crawlspace floor and having to fork out another $3,400 to get my crawlspace dry is good enough excuse to complain. So be careful choosing Greentree.
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.