Your home is an important part of your life. Not only do you (and possibly your family) spend lots of valuable time there, your home is a financial investment. If you are thinking about having some waterproofing work done, it is only natural that you want the best.

How can you make sure that your basement waterproofing work is in the best hands possible? Try asking your basement waterproofing contractor some questions. These five questions will make it easy to tell if your contractor is a good one, even if you don’t know much about basement waterproofing yourself.

1. Are You Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?

Companies in many fields use the phrase “licensed, bonded, and insured” to prove that they are trustworthy. This phrase actually means three very different things.

Licensed: The company is licensed to do what it is supposed to do (such as waterproof your basement). Licenses are often given for specific states, so make sure that your waterproofing contractor is licensed for your state. Only licensed basement waterproofing contractors will be able to obtain building permits for larger jobs.

Bonded: A company has a sum of money set aside through a bonding company. This bond will be used to pay any legal damages that may be filed against the company. For example, if an unsatisfied customer sues a basement waterproofing contractor for damages and wins, the money would come out of the bond. In this way, the bond acts as a form of insurance that the company will not go bankrupt because of a suit.

Insured: Insurance is similar to a bond in that it protects a company from financial ruin. Two common forms of insurance for basement waterproofing contractors are liability insurance and workers compensation. Liability insurance protects companies from lawsuits, while workers compensation provides medical and financial help to workers injured on the job.

2. When Did You Open?

This seems like common sense, but experience is very important, especially for basement waterproofing contractors. Some basement waterproofing problems can be hard to fix, and more experienced contractors will be able to draw from past incidents to figure out what to do. Established basement waterproofing companies will also know the best products, equipment, and methods to use for your specific job.

3. Do You Have References?

One of the best ways to get to know a company is to speak to former customers. Ask your waterproofing contractor for a list of references to speak to customers directly. The responses you get that way will be more accurate than the glowing testimonials on the contractor’s website.

4. Do You Have a Guarantee?

A guarantee or warranty is a way for you to be sure you get your money’s worth. Some basement waterproofing contractors even have a lifetime guarantee, so if anything ever goes wrong with your repair, you can get it fixed again free of charge. Transferable warranties are even better, since they will benefit the next owner of your home if you ever move.

5. Do You Offer Free Inspections?

Many of the best basement waterproofing contractors will inspect your basement and recommend a solution for free. The reason this system works is that these contractors are able to provide the best solutions to waterproofing problems and are confident that once they explain the solution, you will want it.