We had water come in our cold room walls and ceiling one winter. We hired Joe to recommend what needed to be done, waterproof our cold room from the outside, and resurface with flagstone. Also to resurface the flagstone on our porch and waterproof it. He assured us he had done a lot of waterproofing, as we had only used him for stone masonry before, with good results.
Joe provided a signed estimate which detailed procedures and materials, and a two-year warranty. One day we came home, and the site was backfilled. I could see neither the edge of a vinyl membrane nor any parging/tar, etc. When I asked Joe about that, he told me he decided not to use vinyl water membrane as agreed to, he used something he said was “even better”.
The work was completed in July. Just 4 months later, in October, water started leaking into our cold room again in the same locations as before, walls and ceiling. When Joe came over to see the problem, he became defensive, and told us that the leak could not be because of the work he did, or materials he did not use, such as the vinyl membrane listed on the signed estimate. It must be something else causing it. He gave us reason after reason of what it could be, each more unlikely than the last. Bottom line, he accepted no responsibility for the failing waterproofing. Not only was water still coming into our cold room in the same spots, but there were now net new problems too:
1. Water forms a sizeable pool on our porch. Instead of waterproofing and resurfacing our porch as promised, Joe only removed a few stones, painted something on and put the stones back -- unevenly. Now there is now a recess in the middle of our porch which causes a pond of water to accumulate in the summer and ice in winter.
2. Water now runs toward our driveway steps and ices. We asked that the flagstone surrounding our cold room be sloped away from our house and steps and towards a hedge. Instead, Joe sloped it toward our driveway steps which are now covered in ice and dangerously slippery in the winter.
3. Water leaks in a new area of the cold room. Joe had previously excavated the landing adjacent our cold room to rebuild a stone retaining wall. There had been a vinyl membrane against the cold room wall, which seems to have been discarded when his crew did the work. That wall now leaks into our cold room too, and never did before.
When Joe came back to investigate, after our cold room started leaking again in October, he promised not to “leave us high and dry”. He came back one day to do some caulking and cover the landing with a tarp. We never saw or heard from him again.
Joe was great -- until something went wrong. Then nothing was his fault, and our two-year warranty wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. We are out of pocket $7,000, and have to pay someone else to redo the waterproofing and resurfacing properly.