Metro-East News

Local homeowners flood waterproofers’ phone lines

Many basements and crawl spaces were flooded by the recent heavy rain that soaked the metro-east.
Many basements and crawl spaces were flooded by the recent heavy rain that soaked the metro-east. Photo provided

The historic rainfall that flooded local rivers and creeks also led to a deluge of house calls for metro-east area waterproofing and home foundation repair businesses.

“It is a record breaker,” said Tim Meyer, metro-east territory manager for Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair in Caseyville.

Meyer said Helitech received more than 500 phone calls on Monday, Dec. 28 — the most he has witnessed in his 18 years on the job.

“It’s obviously increasing our volume quite a bit over our annual averages,” he said. “All of our estimators are getting booked out two or three weeks.”

In Collinsville, Woods Basements Systems set a record for service calls for the month of December. Marketing manager Dave Thompson said the company made 171 service calls on Dec. 28 that cost many homeowners a lot of time and money.

“We’ve by far passed any previous classified business volume,” Thompson said. “It’s been unfortunate; I wouldn’t want to wish this for anybody.”

It has also been a record year of business for Woods, its 29th overall. Thompson, who has been there since day one, said the record rainfall during the spring and the weekend after Christmas kept their staff busy. He said many of the callers said they were able to keep water out of their basements after near-record rainfall last June, but they had leaks this time.

It doesn’t negate their responsibility to keep water away from the house. They also need to clear gutters and down spouts and have clean drainage. You need to clean out your gutters more often than just the springtime.

Dave Thompson, marketing manager for Woods Basements Systems in Collinsville

Thompson also said with each house call, customers are advised to make sure they regularly clean out their gutters and down spouts to provide enough drainage for rain. He said that homeowners need to do their part to help ensure that their home is on solid ground.

“It doesn’t negate their responsibility to keep water away from the house,” he said. “They also need to clear gutters and down spouts and have clean drainage. You need to clean out your gutters more often than just the springtime.”

Meyer said, “We are really encouraging people to check out and maintain these aspects in their house. If they have sump pumps, they need to make sure they are functioning and keep their gutters cleaned out.”

The Illinois Department of Insurance is also reminding homeowners and renters that flood insurance is available in nearly 900 communities across the state, both in or out of the mapped flood hazard areas. Consumers should call their insurance agent or company to find out about flood insurance in their neighborhood area.

Illinois residents with questions can call the Department’s Insurance Consumer Hotline toll-free at 1-866-445-5364.

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