Just about every week there is a new homeowner writing in our Fix It Forum for advice on keeping a basement or crawl space waterproof.

This recent Fix it Forum post about water in the crawl space — coming up through the vents — made me look for tips in hiring a professional to handle the job.

As when hiring any contractor to work on your home, it’s important to follow certain steps when hiring a waterproofing expert to avoid getting scammed or swindled. Fortunately, the good folks at basementwaterproofingpro.com have put together a handy list for homeowners to follow when looking for a suitable basement or crawl space waterproofing expert. Some of the advice is common sense and can apply to any home improvement contractor, e.g. “ask for references” and “check the Better Business Bureau.”

But two steps on their list that stood out were:

1) “Look at their equipment,” and

2) “Watch for the type of backfill used.”

I like the first one because a contractor with well-maintained equipment indicates (hopefully) an eye for detail and pride in one’s work and profession.

The second tip caught my eye because it is a subtle detail that few homeowners probably consider, or even know to consider. According to the site, trenches dug around the home should be backfilled with “clean #57 limestone,” which provides great drainage. Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors have been known to substitute slag for limestone, which can give off a sulfurous smell and eventually solidifies, preventing proper drainage.

Two good tips to consider when hiring a waterproofing expert.

Have you had to deal with water in your basement or crawl space? Tell us about your solution.

Credit: Basement Waterproofing Pro