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The decision (and purchase) has been made! In an earlier post (“Appliance Upgrade Research: Chest Freezers”), I checked to see if the chest freezers listed on the EnergyStar site were still offered by each of the manufacturers

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Contractors: Vulcan Basement Waterproofing

Submitted by on July 14, 2006 – 6:23 pm8 Comments

Vulcan Basement Waterproofing arrived at 9am this morning to start (and, I was told) complete the job of installing a water overflow system. The crew of about 7-8 guys dug a trench (at the cost of some damage to wall sheetrock),  installed the gravel surrounded pipes leading to the sump pump and installed the sump pump.

During the course of jackhammering through the concrete basement floor, the Vulcan crew hit PVC pipes that consolidate wastewater for the entire building before it enters the sewer trap (before exiting the building). Granted, I didn’t know the pipes were located in the work area — but Raj (the foreman) assured me that their plumber (Pete the plumber) would be out in a few hours to finish the job (at no additional cost). The rest of the crew put a fresh concrete floor in above the gravel/pipe and took off.

Flash forward 5 hours — like an idiot, I phoned in the credit card info for payment just before the crew left (ignoring the whole Never, never pay for a job unless it’s totally done rule) — as of now, the plumber still hasn’t arrived so showers, toilets, sinks, dishwashers… anything that uses water is totally out of commission. The people at Vulcan tried calling him and were shot directly to voicemail, I tried calling him, got through and asked for an ETA. He said anywhere from 5pm to 6pm (it’s now 7:30pm), as of now I’m guessing that he’s a no-show and on a Friday night, it’s looking like Monday will be the first chance I get to talk to Vulcan’s billing dept about this.


Pete the Plumber did come back late last night (10:00pm) to at least get the showers & toilets up and running. He came back this morning to finish the job of putting down gravel & then cementing over the gravel. Before leaving, he said that we should consider replacing the caps on the sewer traps with PVC screw top ones. Wait… one of the reasons why I went with this “solution” was because Vulcan Basement Waterproofing said that their system could handle any overflows from the trap. Pete corrected that thinking by telling me that this system was designed to keep water from coming up into the basement from the floor/walls — if I wanted to reduce the chances of the sewer traps popping and flooding the basement, I could raise the traps three feet and that should take care of some of the problem.

Shit.. I might have just blown a couple grand on something that doesn’t fix the problem it was supposed to. Think I’ll be calling the Vulcan “Manager and Chief Estimator” (Allen Caplan) that priced and scoped out this project to find out how this system addresses the problem I contracted Vulcan Basement Waterproofing (Flushing, NY) about.

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  • Dee says:

    So was the problem ever resolved by Vulcan Basement? I ask because I have an appointment this weekend for an estimate because I get water in my basement. I’m a single female parent and I don’t want to get the wool pulled over my eyes in trying to get my basement waterproofed.

  • Thurmus says:

    The original problem that they were called in for was resolved with a $23 gutter extender that re-routed water away frmo a problem area.

    As far as a resolution with Vulcan, none was ever reached. I paid for work that didn’t need to be done or address the problem I was having. Their rep’s recommendation was nothing more than a con. The damage the the drywall in my basement caused by what looks like someone unable to control a jack hammer (further compouned by the concrete dust from the french drain/sump pump installed) was an additional cost that I had to deal with.

    I know options may seem kind of limited, but please look for other estimates before going with Vulcan. Get the recommendation from Vulcan and then check the BBB as well as your town’s department of consumer affairs for companies that do similar work.

    Best of luck,
    – T

  • unhappy says:

    I was also having basement flooding issues and called Vulcan to take a look thinking that they are basement waterproofing experts. After I spent thousands of dollars on them my basement still leaks. I have to fix it myself which will probably cost me $200.

  • Thurmus says:

    Overall, the work they did was ok, however because they totally failed to address the problem they were contracted to, I have not reccommended Vulcan to anyone since having the work done (they don’t appear on my “Contractors Used and Recommended” page for a reason).

  • alia says:

    Do not hire this company. Not in NY and NJ. Their salesman lied to me about my finished basement stating that the walls did not have to be taken down in order they do the work. As a result, they could not get close enough to the foundation to drill the weep holes. In places they did get close, they didn’t drill them there either. The person from the company that came to inspect the work told me they have some good teams and some not so good teams. Do you want to take the chance? I ended up hiring another group to do the work. Ended up costing me twice what it should have (10K!!).

  • Randy says:

    As an employee of vulcan waterproofing I just want to say that I naver worked for a company that has been customer service oriented.They have a seperate department that handles everything pertaining to the work.In this department a work manager is on call to answer any questions that come before or after the work is completed.Sometimes the company does as many as eight waterproofing jobs a day! in addition they have been in business in the same location for over forty years and been serving the new York and new Jersey area continously for over fifty years!! To me that is an excellent track record.

  • Thurmus says:

    An excellent track record would include:

    1) not duping potential clients into signing up for work that doesn’t solve their specific problem – this wasn’t the case in my experience with your employer.

    2) a clean BBB record

    Vulcan can boast neither one of these. If you’d like to see additional Vulcan real customer testimonials, check angieslist.com or just google for Vulcan.

  • Litgirl says:

    This place is a rip off!! I worked for their Buffalo office years ago…what a joke! I can’t believe they still exist! Just keep relocating! Anyone out there even thinking of contracting with them is going to be sorry! They were run out of Buffalo on a rail, leaving a long list of very unhappy ripped off people.