A leaky basement is one of the most frustrating problems a homeowner can face. Water problems are often difficult and can be costly to correct, but expensive waterproofing is not always the answer.
Services offered to some consumers have been ineffective or inadequate for the correction of basement water problems. Guarantees given by some contractors are vague and confusing.
Law protects consumers
Sellers of basement waterproofing services are required to do the following under Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.09:
Provide you with a "seller's analysis" which describes the water problem and the specific methods and material to be used in correcting it before finalizing any contract.
Provide all guarantees in writing.
Read these guarantees carefully because many exclude common conditions, such as dampness on basement walls.
Before advertising the usage of effective methods the seller must have experience in using the method and the method must be generally recognized by the industry.
Basement waterproofing services using a pressure pumping method can be sold only if the need or effectiveness of this method is established by the waterproofing company, verified by an engineer's analysis, and provided to the buyer prior to the sale.
If you decide to use a basement waterproofing service, make sure the seller complies with all the requirements above.
If you believe a seller has violated any of these regulations, you have remedies. You can file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection or you can go to court. In court you may ask to recover double the amount of any money lost, plus court costs and the attorney's fee. Contact an attorney to discuss a court remedy in your situation.