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April Showers….Bring Basement Water Issues

April Showers….Bring Basement Water Issues - The Beacon

04-2015

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By: Cathy

April Showers….Bring Basement Water Issues

As a gardener I do believe the old adage, April Showers bring May flowers; however, as a homeowner, the showers can bring lots of other things as well. For one thing, it brings me a lake in the backyard that I don’t have the rest of the year. Beginning in early spring, I start using a pontoon boat to bring my dog in from his outside kennel in the barn, making sure that my life preserver is securely fastened. Normally a good swimmer, I am always mindful of the backyard undercurrent, just waiting to sweep me out from under the privacy fence with the rest of the debris.

After the water subsides, sometime around May, I am left with what can only be akin to a swamp. Don’t believe there are gators in Indiana? Come to my yard. I swear there were two reptilian eyes just surfacing out of the muck yesterday. It also doesn’t help that I have a Great Pyrenees dog, which is basically white and the size of Shetland pony romping through the mud. For those who don’t own this particular breed, one of the characteristics is that their long white fur does not hold dirt, in the house that is. Once it dries (and believe me, this only occurs when they are indoors), they shake vigorously and the dust and filth goes flying everywhere.

Anyway, with the water comes issues, not only for me, but for many homeowners with basements. If you find that water is seeping in or pooling in your basement what should you do? The BBB recommends 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.

A properly applied waterproof barrier may prevent the water from seeping through the wall, but allow it to seep deeper into the ground until it finally comes through at the footer or basement floor. Thus, it is critical that a knowledgeable and competent contractor evaluates the problem.

If you find that you need a professional contractor, how do you find the right company? You want a company you can rely on to detect the problem accurately then do the job right. And most importantly, you want a company that will deal with you honestly. Use the checklist provided below when comparing companies:

-Determine how long the company has been in business.

-You should understand what method of waterproofing will be used. If you have a preference, you should seek out the companies using that method.

-Visit the business location if possible. Is it professional and organized?

-How much experience does the company have in this type of work?

-Will the workers be employees of the company or temporary labor?

-Will there be supervisors on site?

-Is the company able to give you references? Once you have the references, contact the people to see what their experiences were.

-The FTC’s Trade Regulation Rule states a consumer has three business days to cancel a contract of $25.00 or more signed at a private residence, and for $130 or more signed at a motel, convention center, or other temporary location. This cooling off period applies to cash as well as credit transactions. The seller is required to provide the buyer Notice of Cancellation papers at the time of the transactions.

-Indiana law requires that consumers be given a contract, orally or in writing, for any home improvement project costing more than $150.00. Your BBB suggests contracts be in writing in order to alleviate any possible misunderstandings later.

-Contractors and tradespersons are required to be licensed in Vanderburgh County. Consumers may wish to verify licensing by calling the Building Commissioner at 812-436-7880.

Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy a wonderful, albeit rainy Spring season! For more information you may contact the BBB at contact@bbb.evansville.org or 812-473-0202.

 

This article was written for and appeared in the Evansville Courier & Press, dated April 19, 2015.

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Cathy

Cathy is the President and CEO of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau.