Owner refused to send staff to my house to assess my concern of appearance of water seepage into floor and wall. Refused walk-through after install.
3/31 completion date. 4/30/14 Contacted**************- President of Standard Water. Asked that someone come to my house for follow-up examination for water seepage was appearing in basement. He insisted he knew what was wrong and that it was condensation. **** refused to send anyone out to examine the concern I had unless I paid a $200 service fee. I literally begged to have someone stop by for 10 minutes. I was shocked, for this job was just completed. I have email documentations of his denial of me having any problem and requiring 200.00 service fee. Not knowing what to do, I hired an independent contractor to come to problem solve/assess what is going on with my basement since **** would not provide follow-through and problem solve as to why my walls are wet, damp floors in the basement and try to determine what is going on. Turns out that the discharge pipes on the outside of my house are
connected for discharge incorrectly with the main pump discharge pipe blowing water out, right outside my house, puddles, and it sinks right back into my basement. (Simple problem/simple fix) My basement walls are wet about 2 feet up the wall and increasing daily,my outside foundation block is saturated, floor seeps moisture and amount increases daily.
**** would not send anyone out to walk me through and see what was going on. Insisted it was just condensation, he had experience and knew exactly what my problem was. How could he? He didn't see it. He has also been less than polite and I have been agitated.
I then called the city inspector to see when he was coming out to inspect the completed job, thinking he could give me some answers since Standard Water would not follow up on a job completed within the past month. It turns out a permit was NOT pulled with the city either and it said on Standard's contract I signed that a permit would be pulled if required. I am assuming the permit fee was added into my cost for the drain tile and it was not even paid for or pulled.
I have written, called, begged to have someone come and fix this. My exchange with **** and Standard Water has been going on since April 30th and today is May 3rd. My correspondence has been ignored since May 1st. No phone calls returned, no emails returned. I have all my documentation of communication in writing and will provide that if requested that shows **** and my exchanges, my requests, frustrations, reports of what the other contractor discovered etc, and **** refusing to budge on sending someone to my house, insisting there was no problem. I asked for 10 minutes of a person to stop by. **** kept insisting my problem was not covered by their warranty. This was not a warranty issue to me, it was something was not right. I have now discovered it is a pipe installation mistake that just needs the out-put pipes reversed. They will not come fix it and I paid $7,000 approximately for this service and cannot get them to come out, look at the workmanship and fix it without me paying $200 on something they did incorrectly? How can I get this man to stand up to their work and just change the pipe discharge, redo some of the caulk where pipe is going into house, (It is cracked and water will go into my masonite siding, fix the grade slope of the pipe also so it runs correctly. The pipe they have running 15 feet into my back yard is not the main discharge. It is the back up pump which will only run if my electricity goes out. The main pump dumps right outside my house. My brand new pump is running constantly which is over working my new pump and my basement walls and block are wet, which may harbor mold, water marks, which will then make me need to repaint and it will appear that I had major water flood with the marks on the wall when I try to sell my house.************** is not working with me and will not back his crews installation and so on and I am so frustrated with this and also do not like it that I am getting damage in my basement. Please help me resolve this.
I want my pipes vented out correctly for proper water discharge. I want the the caulk fixed leading into my house. I want the wobbly discharge pipes stabilized and secured and angled correctly for proper drainage flow.
I want financial compensation for wall paint If my walls are stained and I don't know if they are until they dry out. If I get mold, I want them to remedy that too.
I want a new pump replacement since my pump is currently running 3 times every 5 minutes for the numerous days we have had this excessive rain. I think it rained about a week.I feel that I have had more wear on my pump than would have been necessary. None of this would be requested if they could have just come out and taken a look at this.
I just want it fixed and not be required to pay a $200.00 service fee when this is an error on the part of the Standard Water crew. I want it done in a timely manner. It should have been No big deal. I am dumb-founded and can't believe this escalated with no resolution when there was a simple resolution.I have never seen business done this way and especially with such a large company.
Over the past 36 months Standard Water Control Systems has installed 2,349 basement waterproofing systems. In that time we have had only 3 BBB complaints, including this one. Keep in mind we're only counting the drain tile systems we've installed and left out egress windows, radon mitigation systems, and more.
Standard Water faxed the application for permit to the city on March 21st, 2014. The city never sent the permit out.
Damp spots in the concrete seam where the new and old cement meet are commonplace. Unless the homeowner paints or seals the floor the damp spots will reappear, this is clearly stated in our literature as I tried to explain.
Standard Water does not warranty against damp spots. A quick reading of our contract clearly shows Standard Water warranties against further seepage. In fact, no one in the industry warranties against damp spots.
When informed of potential service fees the homeowner chose not to have Standard Water Control come out to look at her problem. Instead the homeowner called another contractor. It is, of course, the homeowners right to have other contractors to their home any time they choose. However, the cost of the other contractor must be borne by the homeowner.
We replied to an email to inform the homeowner we would have a technician stop by on Monday the 5th. He dropped off the permit from the city, which finally arrived, and re-connected the discharge pipes to discharge farther out into the yard.
It is important to note the homeowner is responsible to remove the discharge pipes in the cold weather and reinstall them when things warm up again. This is a regular maintenance issue not an installation issue. The homeowner can find this information in the literature we left with her after the job.
As none of the issues perceived by the homeowner are related to our system, installation or warranty we cannot reimburse her for expenses incurred or anticipated.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Case # ******** Standard Water Systems
Rebuttal to response from **** ********- President of Standard Water Systems
His Response to BBB
SW:Damp spots in the concrete seam where the new and old cement meet are commonplace.
I plan to seal the concrete. That was before any of this came about and I have to wait until it dries out to seal it. I would wager it is not commonplace practice to Standard Water to make a mistake on the discharge pipe configuration so that water dumps out next to the house and drains back down along my foundation wall. Easy fix, had it been assessed, discovered, and attended to in a timely manner. I had to find someone else to assess, and discover the problem.
These were not just damp spots. It was a wet wall and increasing moisture on my basement floor.
Please see attached pictures.
SW: said "we could put a hole in the floor to prove water is not coming up through the floor and if there was there would not be the cost. But if it is not, the cost would be $200.00".
This was not a warranty issue. Something was wrong with my system or installation or something, and I was getting water in my basement. Since I did not want a hole in my floor, nor did I want to pay $200.00, nor did I think drilling a hole in the concrete was the answer, it was necessary to get another contractor to come out and PROBLEM SOLVE. This Drain Tile $7000.00 job was completed on March 31st. I asked that someone stop by my house for about 10 minutes to look at my basement. **** refused this without a service charge. He was insistent it was condensation. I was not concerned about the seams. I was concerned about what you see on the pictures.
I read the warranty. **** states that he told me a potential service fee. I was told there would be a fee.
Once the other contractor was out for quite some time, and puzzled by my wet walls, it was discovered that Standard Water had connect the discharge pipes incorrectly. The main discharge pipe should have been piped out into my back yard. The battery back-up pipe was to be the short pipe and dump water outside my house should electricity power ever be lost..
The other contractor discovered the main discharge pipe was blowing water out along right outside my foundation and it was draining back into my basement along my concrete wall. This is an error on the part of standard Water Company.
Standard did not/would not come to my house to fix this problem until Standard received a letter from my City Inspector stating that the permit had not been filed (I believe they were fined) and that there was a potential that the concrete would need to be removed for the inspector to examine the system installation in my USPS mailing or I can request the City Inspector to verify this. I can provide concrete information on this and will attach a copy of the letter the City Inspector sent Standard Water.To the best of my knowledge a permit was not applied for.That is the information I had from the City Inspector and also I would think that the installation team would know that a paper permit is to be hung on the house when work is in process. I am not certified in these areas though.
The work was completed March 31st 2014. Standard did not apply for the permit until May 5th after they were ordered by ************* the City Inspector of Columbia Heights to come and get a permit. Inspector also said my basement floor may need to be busted open for him to see if the system was installed correctly.
**** ******** stated:
We replied to an email to inform the homeowner we would have a technician stop by on Monday the 5th. False statement. There was no email. There was no communication anyone was coming out.
He dropped off the permit that finally arrived. This is a false statement implying they had to wait for the permit. There is no waiting time for a permit. The permit was not applied for. The drain tile installation work started March 30th and completed March 31st. There would not have been a permit pulled had I not contacted my City Inspector in an attempt to get assistance to determine what was going on with my basement walls and floor.
I asked for someone to stop by for 10 minutes to figure out what was wrong. Standard would not problem solve and denied there was any problem. This was not condensation. This was a simple fix. But **** would not demonstrate support of his product or positive customer service.
Plus again, it was stated on my contract that a permit would be pulled it was not. It was not pulled until they were ordered to pull it by the city. Had the city not ordered it, I don't think my pipes would have been re-connected as of yet.
No permit was pulled and it was not due to a necessary waiting period from the city. Again we are talking March 30th work started, March 31st completed. Pulled permit May 5th after receiving letter from City.
Homeowner was informed technician would be out...Did not inform me anyone was coming to my house on May 5th. Had I not heard noise outside my house, I would have no known anyone was at my house. No one knocked on my door to announce they were at my house and what they were doing. It was not until I walked outside to see what was going on that I saw pipes being configured differently/switched.
Again, a technician coming to my house did not occur until Standard received a letter from my city inspector. On May 5th a yellow paper was taped was to my window of my front door. I asked the technician what it was and he told me it was a permit for the work being performed today (which was May 5th ) I wasn't understanding why they would need a permit to reconfigure the discharge pipes. Actually after I examined it, I discovered it was the permit that should have been pulled prior to, or on, March 30th.
"None of the issues perceived by the homeowner are related to our system". (I thought they did good work and was pleased with the workers while at my house, their organization, neatness, process etc. I had called Standard at the completion of the work with my praises)
After this water issue began, I did not know what my problem was and they needed to help me figure it out. I am not supposed to be the one to figure out what was wrong. I am not an experienced drain tile person.
The issues were related to incorrect discharge configuration (WHICH I HAD NO IDEA THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. How was I to know?) I was to know it by having another contractor stop by. It was in my desperation of trying to determine why my walls were suddenly wet and visible water where the wall met the floor. It was in desperation I went to the city inspector asking if he could help me determine what was the problem was.
It was Standard Water's responsibility to come out and look at what could be causing seepage through my walls and into my floor, and determine why I had my wet walls which had not been an issue before installation (within a month after their job had been completed). Over the telephone **** said it was condensation and commonplace. This was not condensation. He wouldn't send someone out to look.
Basically, please look at my pictures sent to CM. Please observe the progression area of dampness by the Standard Water stamp branded into my concrete.
I want it on record that this is a valid complaint and that ****'s responses to my concerns did not relate to or address what the problem was and were not accurate. I want it on record that a permit was not pulled although it was stated in my contract a permit would be pulled, nor would it have been pulled had I not gone to the inspector.I want it on record there is no waiting period for a permit and implying there was a waiting period is inaccurate. I want it on record that **************- Building Official #**** wrote **** a letter on May 1, 2014 and it stated as follows:
It has been brought to my attention by the homeowner that you have installed a drain tile system for the above referenced property and no inspections have been performed. In looking through my records, I do not have a I permit application or issuance of a permit on file. You are therefore ordered to file a building permit application and obtaining a building permit from the City of Columbia Heights for the work performed by May 15th 2014. There will be also be an investigatory fee applied to your building permit at time of issue
I want it on record there is no waiting period for a permit and implying there was a waiting period to the best of my knowledge is inaccurate.I will ask the city inspector to address this again. Also I do believe, and ask that I be reimbursed for the fee that I had to pay for my other contractor to come over and assess what could be going on. I could not seek solution, until I knew what the problem was.
I will mail all documentation via US Mail or to my Case Manager -Thaddeus Lewis-Mediation
Coordinator via email, that I am unable to download onto this form.
Final Business Response
Since 1977 Standard Water Control has worked on nearly 30,000 homes. In that time we have had very, very few complaints. Our percentage of BBB complaints compared to total jobs is less than one tenth of one percent. That being said, we take every complaint seriously.
There is no need to wait for concrete to dry when using the recommended sealer in our documentation. It can be sealed right now, if the recommended product is used.
Regarding the "mistake" made on the discharge pipe configuration:
There was snow on the ground at the time of installation therefore we did not connect any discharge extension pipes due to the probability of freezing. We have a picture date stamped March, 2014 clearly showing no extensions were installed when we left the job site.
Upon completion of the job, we sent a "Paid In Full" pack to the homeowner (also found on the website) that clearly explains the homeowners responsibility to maintain the discharge pipes and how they should do it. It is the homeowners responsibility to attach the extensions in the spring and remove them for the winter.
On May 4th we received a picture from the homeowner showing the extension pipe connected to the backup discharge system not the main discharge. When we left the job site in March there were no discharge extension pipes attached as evidenced by our picture. In May the picture reveals someone, other than Standard Water, had attached the extension pipe. As this is the case, it is inappropriate to hold Standard responsible.
As we noted before, we offered to have a technician come out to look over the issue and, if it was a warranty issue fix it at no charge ... but if it turned out the problem wasn't covered under warranty there might be as much as a $200 service fee. We believe the homeowner misunderstood our position, an easy mistake to make especially when one is upset.
In any case, the homeowner chose not to have Standard Water Control come out to look at her problem. Instead she called another contractor. It is, of course, the homeowners right to have other contractors to their home any time they choose. However, the cost of the other contractor must be borne by the homeowner.
Standard Water faxed the application for permit to the city on March 21st, 2014 and is date stamped in our system. The city didn't issue the permit; an oversight by both the city and Standard Water -- but it was easily corrected and on May 5th we dropped off the permit and are addressing the city's clerical error. In either case, the permit was granted and the issue is resolved for the homeowner.
We have a date stamped email on May 3rd, from the homeowner, to which we replied (the reply is also date stamped). **** clearly told the homeowner to move the discharge extension from the backup to the main discharge (which would have solved the homeowners main complaint immediately). In that response we also informed the homeowner someone would stop by on Monday the 5th. Our technician went out, as a professional courtesy, to move the extension pipe from the backup discharge to the main discharge.
Finally, the sump pump is doing it's job properly and the cycling the homeowner experienced with not shorten its life. Plus there is a three year warranty (the longest in the industry) in case of pump failure. Most companies only offer a one year warranty. If the homeowner experiences a problem with her pump she should call Standard Water and we will send a technician out to help.
Summing up; when our crew left the job site in March there were no extension pipes on either discharge. We have a date stamped picture showing that. The homeowners picture from May shows someone -- other than Standard Water -- had attached the discharge extension pipe to the backup discharge instead of the main discharge. In a date stamped email we notified the homeowner she should move the extension pipe from the backup discharge to the main discharge and the problem would have been solved. It is clearly stated in our documentation that the homeowner is responsible for this simple maintenance.
As none of the issues brought forward by the homeowner are related to our system, installation or warranty we cannot reimburse her for expenses incurred or anticipated.