Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you’re really getting with a warranty as it pertains to
home improvement projects? The primary goal of a warranty is to provide you with peace of
mind that if something isn’t right with the work performed, the company doing the work will make
If you’ve hired professional contractors for different reasons, you’ll notice that the language
behind their warranties is full of disclaimers and protection for the company itself and less for
the consumer. But there are some basics that you should be aware of, especially when it comes
A limited warranty is just as it suggests – it provides limited coverage, usually for a limited period
of time with numerous conditions that must be met before the warranty can be enforced. Longer
paragraphs usually mean more loopholes for denying coverage.
Lifetime warranties sound great, especially when you’re spending thousands of dollars to keep
your basement dry – an expense a lot of homeowners never take into account when buying their
home. The dirty little secret that most people don’t realize is that when it comes to basement
waterproofing, the issues most common after an installation are not covered by even a lifetime
Issues like the sump pump not working. That has it’s own warranty, with most only being good
for 3-5 years. That comes from the manufacturer, not the waterproofing company.
The lifetime warranty provided by waterproofing companies cover two things:
1. Any part of the system that’s related to improper or incomplete installation. In other
words, the labor is covered for a lifetime. That might include improperly mixing the
concrete so it doesn’t cure correction and starts cracking within a few months to couple
2. It also ensures that you as the homeowner will call them first when something does go
wrong. That gives them the ability to upsell you after a few years because now you need
another solution for a problem that didn’t exist before. Remember how aggressively they
leaned on you when they first sold you the system?
Here’s the dirtier secret most waterproofing companies don’t want you to know:
YOU’RE PAYING FOR THE WARRANTY TO HELP OFFSET THEIR COSTS FOR FUTURE
SERVICE CALLS THAT NEVER HAPPEN.
That’s right. 90% of waterproofing systems have no failures over the course of your lifetime.
What fails are sump pumps, which are usually not covered under the contractor’s warranty..
Only 10% of properly installed waterproofing systems ever have a true failure that would justify
the enforcement of warranty coverage – and those types of failures occur most often within the
first year after installation.
So before you get all starry-eyed by a company offering a lifetime warranty, ask them how many
service calls they have to make for warranty related work. Then read the detailed fine print
about what you’re actually getting.