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The Questions We Get Asked the Most (FAQs)

If you prefer companies to beat around the bush, then this page isn’t for you.

Four men standing in the foreground and the Better Basements & Waterproofing trailer in the background.

Are you tired of feeling confused?

By the time you’ve reached this page on our website, it should be clear that we value honesty and transparency in all we do. We don’t believe in mind games or scare tactics. Our goal is to empower you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on how best to address the water intrusion issues you’re facing at home. We will also shoot straight with you on what sets us apart from our competition. In that vein, here are real answers to your most frequently asked questions .

Freguently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Pre Estimate Questions

My basement is wet! Can you fix it?
Absolutely. Let us take a look and tell you how. We pride ourselves on timely and fair evaluations with a high focus on value.
I think this is the first time it has happened, should I waterproof?
Probably. There are several factors to consider. i.e.. is it finished or not, what type of foundation do you have, ect... Generally, your tolerance for water in your basement should be low. One of the big reasons is that we can likely fix it so why risk the negative side effects?
If you have to pull flooring and finished material out because of water in your basement then the cheapest time to waterproof is right now. Why? It would be significantly less expensive in the long run to waterproof now then have to remove finish materials a second time, just to waterproof then.
We often find that it has happened much longer and more frequently than people realize and/or are ready to admit. Like most issues in life these things don’t fix themselves and they do not get better on their own.
How much is this going to cost me?
We have been able to waterproof portions of our clients basements for as low as $4,000.00. Large basements can run into the $20,000s.
Factors for cost are purely based off linear footage (size), unique challenges, and access (how easy it is to get in and out). Nothing seasonal. No arm twisting. No mind games.
Do you offer financing?
Of course! This is usually a surprise expense. Most people don’t have a line item on their budget for “basement flooding”. We offer 3rd party financing and have heard good things about the experience.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. Every basement comes with a 10 year guarantee with the option to extend an additional 10 years, up to 20 years total.
Not all warranties are created equal, and many companies now only warrant against the material failing, NOT against your basement being wet… which is the whole point, right?

Do you install “waterproof” paint?
No. We believe “waterproof” paint creates a false and fleeting sense of security. Waterproof paint products may work for your goals. We strongly advise against applying a paint and thinking it is dry enough to finish the basement. You waterproof a basement correctly by removing the water. Not by painting over it or trying to make it more difficult to come in.
Can I do just 1 wall of my basement?
Possibly. The majority of our clients do not waterproof the entire basement. Why? Value. If your basement is finished it is less expensive to solve the known problem areas first in hopes of preventing other problems elsewhere. We have a very high success rate with this value driven approach.
If you are already removing finish material it may be the right time to waterproof the entire basement. This is a conversation and math problem we would love to have with you.
My garage is leaking, can you waterproof it?
Absolutely! Waterproofing a garage can be quite expensive for the intended use of the space. If your bedroom was getting wet then the cost is more justified. It is often the right decision for many of our clients that have below grade garages.
Do you provide basement finishing?
No. And we shouldn't. And you’re welcome.
We are REALLY good at one specific thing. Keeping your basement dry. And we have built our business around just that.
We are not interested in being a jack of all trades and master of none. We have also seen that offering too many services can lead to things that are not in the best interest of the clients.
We are waterproofers.
Do you do exterior waterproofing?
Not anymore. This is a must for new construction. In most cases it can be more expensive and harder to guarantee than starting your drainage on the inside of the basement. If you are a good candidate for exterior waterproofing we will let you know and have a strong referral partner.

Post Estimate Questions

How long does this take?
Completely dependent on the job.
The average “full” basement is 100’-140’. A crew of 4 can usually get this basement dry for forever in 5 solid working days.
Smaller sections under 40’ can often be completed in 2 or 3 days. Around 11am on the first day, your Foreman will have a solid understanding and timeline of the job. It is in the clients best interest and ours to do it correctly the first time. We will not cut corners in hopes of shortening the project.
There are “waterproofing” systems that advertise quick and ease of installation as a selling point. That is not a feature, this is long hard work if done correctly.
The other guy said your system clogs
First of all, it is not “our” system. There are 10’s of thousands of interior French drainage systems installed by hundreds of contractors every year across the United States and this form of waterproofing has been practiced for over 50 years.
Many that make this baseless claim are selling a new “proprietary” system. There is also nothing even special about their non-working proprietary system. There are usually 5 other systems just like theirs with the same claim and different patent # because they changed the shape and color slightly. These companies often need to install “our” system after theirs has failed (this is an official solution in many “warranty” contracts)… all this at an additional cost to you.
That is not to say your concern is not valid. But these issues have been worked out and addressed over likely millions of feet of installation and a serious understanding of construction sciences by people WAY smarter than us!
Our drainage placement video and warranty video would be helpful here.

Your quote was the most!
We often hear our quote was the least. Our prices don’t fluctuate between estimators, seasons or availability. Nor does our price change based on what we think the client will say yes to. One price to solve the problem the first time.
Sometimes quotes can be difficult to read. Possibly on purpose. To compare basement quotes you will need to compare linear footage (where they are saying the system will go) what the guaranteed results will be, and how they intend to deliver those results.
We are not the cheapest, nor are we the most expensive. But we do deliver an exceptional customer experience and we are confident that you will not have to go down this road again.
And no we don’t price match.
Do your quotes expire?
Yes, a quote is good for 60 days beginning the day the client first receives it. If your quote has expired and you decide to schedule the service we can likely do so with a few questions over the phone. If we can verify that material, labor and general overhead prices have not increased the price will stay the same.
Can I stay home?
Absolutely! It is your house. We don’t recommend it though. Day 1 we strongly encourage you to not be present. The initial removal of the floor is incredibly disruptive and loud. The following days are not quiet either, but significantly more tolerable.
Do I need to be home?
No! Leaving for work and going about your day is typical. This is a large project and many clients even go on vacation for the duration of the project.
Does your system need maintenance?
With the exception of the sump pump(s), no. Sump pumps should be replaced every 7-10 years. Pumps that run regularly are actually less prone to failure. Yes, pumps that run more often seem to last longer.
Relatively speaking, pumps are a minor expense. We do offer service contracts but like extended warranties, they are not a big push of ours. The majority of your system is drainage and is maintenance free.
Do you offer battery back-up systems?
We do. If your home is prone to power outages this is likely a good idea.
Where will pump discharge go?
Your estimator may have already discussed pump discharge placement with you. Whether or not they did, the foreman will discuss this with you again before any decision is made.
Discharge is attached to downspouts if they are proven to be functioning properly or pop-up emitters that can be hidden discreetly. There are several options and this is a minor detail. A quick image search of “NDS Pop-Up Emitter” will give you lots of examples.

Pre Estimate Questions

Water in a crawl space is normal.
Normal, as in to be ignored? Absolutely not. We steer clear of scare tactic type sales, but the truth is that water in a crawl space leads to mold, wood rot, rodent infestation, sinking foundations and humid living spaces.
This only happens during the rainy season so it’s ok…
Luckily it doesn’t rain in the Northwest much. And that heavy rain was a “fluke”.
How much is this going to cost me?
We have been able to waterproof client’s crawl spaces for as low as $4,000.00. Larger footprints can run into the $13,000 range. Factors for cost are purely based off linear footage (size), unique challenges, and access (how easy it is to get in and out). Nothing seasonal. No arm twisting. No mind games.
The good news is that crawl space drainage has an extremely low failure rate and every crawl space comes with a money back guarantee. There is a lot of peace of mind in crawl space waterproofing. We will get it dry.
Do you offer financing?
Of course! This is usually a surprise expense. Most people don’t have a line item on their budget for “crawl space flooding”. We offer 3rd party financing and have heard GREAT things about the experience and rates.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. Every crawl space comes with a 3 year guarantee with the option to extend an additional 7 years, up to 10 years total.
Not all warranties are created equal, and many companies now only warrant against the material failing, NOT against your crawlspace being wet… which is the whole point, right?

Do you provide crawl space encapsulation?
Yes. Do you need it?... We have our own opinions on that.
We have found that the majority of homeowners that ask for an encapsulation, do so because they have been told they need an encapsulation.
Typically, those telling customers they need an encapsulation do so because of an aggressive commission structure. Not because the home needs it.
We believe that a crawl space encapsulation truly begins to make sense in other regions of the country with high humidities (not here), block foundations which hold high amounts of moisture (not here) and areas with lower labor cost that make installing them less expensive and more valuable (definitely not here).
We have performed our typical crawl space waterproofing system in crawl spaces with humidity levels as high as 78% and have reduced those levels to as low as 53% within hours of the work being completed. We do this every day. Without encapsulation.
So do we offer encapsulation? Yes. Are we okay telling you that you need an encapsulation when we believe that you do? Absolutely. Does every home need a $15k-$40k service? We do not believe so.
Can you clean out my crawl space?
Absolutely. A clean out typically includes removal of all debris, removal of the vapor barrier, repairing of any damaged vent screens and installation of a new vapor barrier. Unlike crawl space encapsulations, we do recommend this. New vapor barrier should last 20-30 years.
Is crawl space really 2 words?
Yes.
What is crawl space waterproofing?
Crawl space waterproofing involves the removal of the existing vapor barrier and any debris. Installation of a perimeter drainage system (french drain under your house), that ends at a sump pump to discharge all the water collected. This entire system lives under a new vapor barrier.
Do all crawl spaces need waterproofing?
No. Unlike basements, when a crawl space floods a second time after deciding not to waterproof on the initial flooding, the additional cost that is added is typically nominal. So sometimes a “wait-n-see” makes more sense if the diagnosis is not abundantly clear.
In a crawl space it can be quite easy to look at evidence of previous water intrusion, soil saturation and wood rot to determine if moisture is an issue or not.
Crawl space waterproofing is a time proven solution with an extremely high success rate.
How often should I replace my vapor barrier?
A properly installed vapor barrier should last roughly 30 years. As long as there hasn’t been rodent infestation or other one off situations that disrupt it. Many vapor barriers can be completed for around $2,500 and that includes vent well screen repairs and an overall evaluation of the health of your crawl space.
Will I notice a difference in my home if I do a crawl space service?
In your crawl space you sure will! In your home, other than the peace of mind that it provides it is not common to notice in the living spaces. If your crawl space is experiencing severe flooding then it is more likely that you will notice.
Issues of moisture that are not addressed can, and likely will, result in damage to your home later on. Damage that you will notice in the home and that your pocket book will notice too.
Do you do radon systems?
No. There are dozens of contractors that focus specifically on the installation of radon systems, just like we specialize in waterproofing. We strongly believe that specialized contractors are hyper focused and generally deliver an exceptional product. You will benefit from calling one of them. No, we do not have a referral source for this at the moment.
Do you do pest control?
No! But we have exceptional referral partners.
I got a quote without drain rock in the trench…
This is not a reputable contractor. This is someone looking to avoid the most expensive part of the job. Do not let a “contractor” install a pipe in your crawl space caked in mud without some sort of rock. Either NDS EZ Flo or ¾”- 1 ½” clean crush drain rock or river rock only. And if you do, just give us a call in 3 years when the trenches are washed out and it is flooding again, we promise to never say “I told you so.”

Post Estimate Questions

How long does this take?
Rarely do crawl spaces take more than 2 days, although some do. Many crawlspaces can be done in 1. Most of our crawl space crews have 2 or 3 techs.
Can I stay home during this?
Absolutely! It is your house. Many do. Crawl space waterproofing is not disruptive to your daily life. The majority of the work is done under the home by our courteous tradesmen.
Can I leave during this?
Oh yeah! Leaving for work and going about your day is also typical.
Does your system need maintenance?
With the exception of the sump pump(s), no. Sump pumps should be replaced every 7-10 years. Pumps that run regularly are actually less prone to failure. Yes, pumps that run more often seem to last longer.
Relatively speaking, pumps are a minor expense. We do offer service contracts but like extended warranties, they are not a big push of ours. The majority of your system is the drainage and is maintenance free.
Where will pump discharge go?
Your estimator may have already discussed pump discharge placement with you. Whether or not they did, the foreman will discuss this with you again before any decision is made.
Discharge is attached to downspouts if they are proven to be functioning properly or a “pop-up emitter" that can be hidden discreetly. There are several options and this is a minor detail. A quick image search of “NDS Pop-Up Emitter” will give you lots of examples.
Is a sump pump noisy?
We install upwards of 1,000 sump pumps a year, which pump 1,000,000’s of gallons of water and we have had less than a handful of clients ever complain. Pumps are pretty quiet now. They are buried a few feet into the ground and surrounded by gravel. They also have a lid and are under the vapor barrier. We do avoid putting them under bedrooms if possible, but your crawl space ultimately dictates where it should be placed.
Can you just reuse my vapor barrier?
No. There aren’t many parts to a waterproofing system. Your drainage, your pump, and your vapor barrier. All play a vital role. Even if your current vapor barrier is brand new the cost to fold it back, then to work carefully enough not to damage it and then reinstall it would be the same as installing a new one all together. A new vapor barrier should last 20-30 years.