'Completely Dry'
Main Line Waterproofing provides long-lasting solutions for keeping basements dry in homes throughout Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties
by Bob Craig

For nearly 14 years Montgomery County homeowner Jill Rothschild dealt with the hardships of having a chronically wet basement. After Hurricane Irene flooded the East Coast—and, for one last time, Rothschild’s basement—in 2011, she decided to make the headaches go away.

“After Irene, we decided it was time to finally waterproof,” says Rothschild. “Our basement had to go through demolition, placement of a new French drain around the entire perimeter and then reconstruction of a finished basement.”

Rothschild is part of a growing trend, as a significant uptick in rainfall over the past few years has resulted in a spate of chronically flooded or excessively wet basements. In addition to Hurricane Irene, another recent storm that soaked the East Coast—2012’s Superstorm Sandy—urged homeowners such as Rothschild to address the issue.

In her case, she turned to Main Line Waterproofing to provide a long-lasting and cost-effective solution. Located in Ardmore and owned by industry veteran Herb Fry, Main Line Waterproofing is a full-service provider of basement waterproofing, foundation repair and mold and mildew treatment, among other related problems. Whether it’s due to a hurricane or something less severe, a wet basement is evidence of a serious problem. With the summer drawing to its inevitable close and more precipitation likely on the way in the lead-up to winter, it’s the perfect time for homeowners to prepare their basement for seasons to come, according to Fry.

“A lot of people wait until we have a hurricane and call after [the damage hits],” says Fry, who founded his company four years ago. “Don’t wait until you have a hurricane and start to panic. … If you’ve had issues with water in your basement in the past—even small ones—the water will come in easier each time. The problem will only get worse.”

Main Line Waterproofing traces its roots to a similar business, Herb Fry Waterproofing, run by Fry’s father since its inception in 1976. Grounded by the standards he learned while growing up in his father’s business, Fry has amassed a team of professionals who are more than qualified—and passionate—about giving their clients the best possible service. “We are kind of an extension of [my father’s] company, but we changed the business plan,” Fry explains. “We wanted to provide service in a smaller geographical area. This way we can offer the best customer service available.”

With Main Line Waterproofing, Fry’s business goal was simple and straightforward: to achieve superior work and service with less cost to his customers throughout Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. “If you operate in a local area, you can take care of a lot of things more quickly,” he says. “There’s less travel time and we can cut down on the overhead and pass that savings on to our customers.”

Main Line Waterproofing covers the entire realm of basement repair. Services include common basement-waterproofing solutions, mold remediation, exterior waterproofing, epoxy crack repair, crawlspace encapsulation, dehumidification, wall repairs and sealers and basement window installation, as well as sump pump and pit installation.

The company also offers basement finishing services. “The basement environment is different than other parts of the house,” says Fry. “You’re contending with something that’s more than appearances.” As a basement-waterproofing company Main Line Waterproofing understands the requirements for the specific needs of the environment and is better able to address it than even the most talented carpenters.

The most common form of basement waterproofing is the installation of a pressure relief system, also known as an interior French drain, which is effective in eliminating water coming through the walls or the floor/floor wall joint. In the process of this installation, the basement flooring is removed in order to lay down perforated pipes. Next, the pipes are covered with stone and a drainage board before the floor is re-concreted. Well-installed pressure relief systems, Fry assures, are an effective and long-lasting solution to water-logged basements.

Although some people associate the Main Line with affluence and indulgence, Main Line Waterproofing offers consistently reasonable prices, which Fry considers a major point of difference when compared with some other firms. Furthermore, he believes a commitment to customer service, from start to finish, places his team head and shoulders above the competition. “We take a lot of measures to make sure the house is clean and put everything back the way it was,” he says. “This is the dirtiest job to do in someone’s home. … I really feel that the cleanup is just as much a part of the job as the installation. That’s just another added service that we can give to our customers.”

A wet basement has the potential to ruin a homeowner’s walls, floors/carpets and belongings, as well as a home’s very foundation, but there are also associated health risks—namely, mold and dust mites, which can contribute to asthma and allergies. An estimated 40 percent of the air in one’s home is generated by the basement, according to Fry, and airborne mold spores can have a negative effect on air quality. “If the air in your basement is bad, it will circulate through the entire house and you’ll breathe it in,” he says. “Having a lot of humidity and wetness in the basement causes a rise in dust mites, and they have harmful consequences as well.”

Evan McCaskey and his wife recently purchased a new home in Narberth. After significant flooding damage from Tropical Storm Lee in their previous home, the McCaskeys sought out a reliable waterproofing company for their new home and, lo and behold, discovered Main Line Waterproofing. “In contrast [to other waterproofing companies], Herb came across as very trustworthy, straightforward and knowledgeable, and came with examples to illustrate the process,” McCaskey recalls. “His price was competitive and once we agreed to move forward, he was very accessible for all of our questions and requests.”

Likewise, Jill Rothschild, the homeowner who sought out Main Line Waterproofing in the wake of Hurricane Irene, is pleased with her decision. “Our basement has been completely dry since, even during this very rainy summer,” she says. “I would recommend Main Line Waterproofing to anyone with a wet basement.”

Main Line Waterproofing
67 Greenfield Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
610-857-7140 | www.mainlinewaterproofing.com

Photography by Rob Hall