Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
Category: Home Improvement
This report is general in nature and is not intended as a reliability report on any company, service or product.
When considering a contractor, check to see if they are licensed with the state of PA at www.attorneygeneral.gov or 1-888-520-6680. You may also ask whether they belong to a professional association with standards for membership and ask that they will obtain any necessary building permits. National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors (NAWSRC) is a professional trade association serving the public and waterproofing, structure, and foundation repair industries.
· Check with your local building inspector or town clerk to see if a building permit is require
· Check with your local municipality to see what licensing requirements the contractor must have
· Solicit two or three bids for the work you are planning, make sure all bids are based on the same specifications and materials and length of time. Do not automatically accept the lowest bid, sometimes this can be due to inferior product quality or workmanship
· Once you have found a contractor, request proof of a current insurance certificate covering workman’s compensation, property damage and personal liability
· Read and understand any contract in it’s entirety, don’t sign a blank contract or any with blank lines, a copy of the signed contract is to be given to you at time of signature
· Do not pay for a job in its entirety or in cash. The PA Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (517.9. Prohibited acts) states for any sale of over $5000, the contractor cannot accept a deposit of more than 1/3 of the price, or 1/3 of the price plus the cost of special order materials. Never make a final payment or sign an affidavit of release until the job has completed any inspections and any subcontractors have been paid and you are satisfied that the work has been done to your specifications
The best general advice to anyone attempting to eliminate unwanted water from a basement is that all cures and options should be fully researched. A homeowner who examines the full range of possible causes and potential remedies will be far more likely to obtain effective and lasting repairs than one who settles for the first, easiest, or least expensive method proposed as a solution.
· Identify the source of water in the basement, determine whether the water is seeping in from the outside or condensing inside
· Is your lawn flat or does it slope toward the house? it should slope AWAY from the house
· Are your gutters and downspouts in good working order? Clean them and inspect for damages, consider extending the downspouts away from the foundation
· Do you have unprotected basement window wells? Bottoms should consist of gravel to permit good drainage. Clear plastic bubbles are available to cover the entire window well like an awning
· Do cool surfaces in the basement “sweat”, particularly walls, floors, and cold water pipes? Insulate the water pipes. Repair any leaking plumbing and remove moisture sources such as line drying laundry in the basement
For more advice you can trust from your local BBB on avoiding scams and fraud, go to www.bbb.org