Archive for April, 2014

  • 29 April 2014

    An Unpleasant Task

    A while back we tried to help a homeowner with a big problem. Their home, built on a slab, had significant water issues, the under slab heating ducts were filling with water. Our standard fix for this problem is to dig up the heat ducts, install a draintile system and install new, water tight, heat ducts. This is an expensive job — made even more expensive by the fact the homeowner would have to move out while the job was being done and then have to remodel. Understandably, the homeowner wanted a less expensive solution which we provided. The catch with this solution is it rely’s on the original contractor installing the heat pipes at a downward slope to the furnace area of the home … and we can’t be responsible for their work. You can guess where this is going and we’ve decided to post the whole story here as a cautionary tale.

    By clicking the links below you can read the homeowners original complaint on Angie’s List, then view the section of the contract where we plainly wrote “no warranty”. Below the links you can read our response to the Angie’s List complaint.

    Things like this aren’t easy on anyone involved. We feel for the homeowner, but at this point our hands are tied.

    ~Mike

     

    AngiesListComplaint

    ContractNoWarranty

    STANDARD WATER RESPONSE TO COMPLAINT:

    When our salesperson, Todd, was out to the home he found the members heat ducts were filling with water. He went over the options with included an entire drain tile system and new heat ducts that would cost in excess of $20,000. As this is a finished home the owner would also have to move out during installation and deal with remodeling costs afterward that could run another $30,000.

    Understandably the member wanted less expensive options, so our salesperson suggested a double deep basin next to the furnace in an attempt to drain water from the ducts. He informed the member this procedure would not stop water from entering the heat pipes but should drain them if the heat pipes were installed properly.

    Code requires heat pipes slant down toward the furnace. Unfortunately, not all contractors ensure they are installed correctly. Our salesperson explained there would be no guarantee or warranty whatsoever as Standard Water could not be responsible for the way the heat pipes were installed by the original contractor. This was also written plainly on the front of the contract which can be viewed on our website blog.

    Apparently, the ducts were not installed correctly by the original contractor; the member observed standing water and asked Standard Water to come out and do something. While I sympathized with the homeowners plight, I explained there was nothing left to do but remove the heat ducts, install drain tile under them and replace the current ducts with water tight heat pipes.

    The member became very upset saying he wouldn’t spend that kind of money and demanded we do something. I apologized again, explained there could be no warranty on a job like the one we did for him and reminded him we offered a solution with a warranty good for the life of the foundation … which he rejected. The member then threatened me, to which I replied it was his right to sue us if he feels he’s been wronged.

    In the end, we did the job the member requested after fully informing him of all the options and limitations. Even now the member rejects the only option Standard Water can provide that would both solve his problem once and for all and offer a warranty good for the life of the foundation. This being the case there is nothing more we can do.

     

     

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  • StandardWaterFloodedHouse

    Wet basements are more than just an annoyance.  A wet basement floor can cause damage to your home, belongings and furnishings, costing you time, money and even possessions. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements, which can seem outrageous when you consider that many preventative actions are of the do-it-yourself variety. Waterproofing.org put together a fairly comprehensive list of tips for homeowners, and we’d like to share some of the more effective ones with you below.  As basement waterproofing professionals, we can attest to their effectiveness in ensuring your home stays dry.

    • Slope your ground away from home – Lawns that are flat or slope towards your home can drain surface water downward against basement walls.  To solve this problem, slope the ground away from the outside foundation approximately one inch per foot, and extend the slope for at least ten feet.  If a large area of land slopes toward the house, work to redirect surface drainage using a drainage ditch or depression.

    • Clean, repair and install gutters and downspouts – Non-existent gutters – or gutters that become clogged – allow roof water to form puddles and wet soil against basement walls.  If you haven’t already, install gutters and downspouts.  If you already have gutters and downspouts, keep debris away by manually cleaning them.

    • Avoid planting dense shrubbery around basement walls – Dense shrubbery block ventilation around basement walls.  Make sure if you do have dense shrubbery, to trim it so that soil gets more sunlight and dries quicker.

    Of course if you’re having larger problems that preventative actions can’t solve, contact a basement waterproofing professional for help.

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  • This was an interesting job as we were replacing an existing system that had a number of problems at a home in Roseville, MN.

    First, as you can see, the sump was full of rust. But if you look closer you’ll see an illegal drain at the bottom of that sump. Also, the discharge pipe was made of galvanized metal which can rust and corrode. Not only that but the pipe ran straight up from the sump pit in the middle of the room which is pretty inconvenient to finish around; plus, it was noisy.

    We installed our rigid PVC drain tile, surrounded by washed rock that keeps the dirt out, and put our patented Diamond Drainage Board in place. We then installed our Service Marked Seamless Discharge pipes against the wall to keep them out of the way and allow for easier remodelling. These pipes will never rust, crack or break; there are no seams or fittings to leak; if they ever freeze the pipes are flexible enough to expand with the ice while maintaining their water tight integrity. With our Seamless Discharge you really do have peace of mind.

    Janice, the homeowner, was pleased with our crew and, when asked to grade their performance either Good, Fair or Poor actually wrote in Excellent. She gave us 5’s across the board for Quality, Responsiveness, Punctuality and Professionalism and, in her closing comments said Standard Water was … “timely, respectful of me and my property, clean, personable and cost effective.” … and went on to say this was … “a positive experience.” If you have a basement water problem you’d like to talk about – call or email us anytime. We look forward to talking with you.

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  • 01 April 2014

    Integrity

    Leadership Signpost Showing Vision Values Empowerment and EncouragementIntegrity. It’s a big word to us. We think integrity means doing the right thing even if it results in not getting a job. To be clear we are in business to do business. All of the people associated with Standard Water Control count on that business to sustain their families, so it’s important to bring in enough work to do that.

    However, we don’t believe in manipulating people just to get money out of them. We’ve seen too many examples of contractors taking advantage of customers this way and it ends badly for all concerned. Since it’s bad for business we train our salespeople to let people know if we are not the best answer for them. This is good for business as people are extremely happy to deal with a company that isn’t out to take advantage of them. Often they’re so happy, they tell everyone they know … as evidenced by this review, left on Angie’s List, by David from White Bear Lake, MN.

    March 19, 2014

    “We did not choose to go with Standard but only because the service they provide was more than we needed. My reason for writing this review is — after surveying our situation and [discussing] what we might do to correct it — the representative was forthright and honest that the minimum [amount] of work they would do would be more than we needed. He thanked us for the opportunity to come out for the estimate and gave us many thoughts on how to proceed with our issue. It’s refreshing to have a vendor be some completely honest even when they know that they will not get the job. High marks in my book for that!”

     

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