When it comes to finding a waterproofing contractor, many homeowners have no idea if the advice they are given is honest, says Andy Black of Blacks Waterproofing. Most homeowners have never had to use a waterproofing contractor, so if a situation arises where one is needed, they have no experience in selecting one contractor over another. Black has over 35 years of hands-on waterproofing contractor experience, and has seen time after time, scared homeowners being sold solutions that are either overpriced or worse, the wrong solution for the problem. Black bluntly states, “People are just not used to honest people coming out anymore. They meet these salesmen that are getting paid a commission and they want to write the job up as high as they can, and give them things they really don’t need.”
Waterproofing issues often arise because of cracks in the outer walls of the house, but not all cracks are indicative of a serious foundation related problem. Oftentimes the problem can be permanently solved by sealing the crack. Black has spoken to thousands of prospects, many of which became clients. He says, “I’ve seen what a lot of waterproofers are pitching. A lot of the other waterproofers still want to dig up the outside of the house. Instead of just fixing the crack, they want to sell the customer a $3,000 to $4,000 drain system, where they cut the slab, install the drains and do a wall board. They don’t want to do the small repairs, but instead want to turn it into a big job.”
One repair technique that is getting a lot of press these days, is crack injection. Crack injection repairs normally start in the $600 range, and often are the only repair necessary to permanently fix the problem. Black shared, ” One case I’m aware of locally, another company wanted to charge the customer $16,000 to waterproof the basement, and all these people had was a large crack that ended up being a $1,200 repair, using the crack injection technology.” Another benefit of the crack injection technology, is that the material injected into the crack lasts forever, looks good and should come with a lifetime warranty.
Here are some tips from Black, on selecting a waterproofing contractor:
1. Get references from all waterproofing contractors. Make sure they are an established company, that has been around for a long time. Black states, “There are people that get their income tax refund back and they go into business. They think they are waterproofing contractors.” You don’t want to hire a company that is not going to be around in 6 months.
2. Watch the contractor carefully when they initially visit your house, and see if they take time to investigate the problem carefully. You ideally want an actual waterproofing contractor looking at your problem, and not a trained salesman. One disadvantage of going with the large national contractors, is that you almost always get a sales representative and not an experienced contractor looking at the problem. Black states, “Most people that call a waterproofing company are not going to get the owner of the company out there. I go out a lot of times, when another company cannot find the source of the problem, and I’ll stay until I find out what the problem is, and figure out the best solution to fix the problem.”
Black goes on to say, “A powerful example of this, occurred with a woman in Marietta, GA. She called me out to look at a wet spot on her basement carpet. It had not rained in a couple weeks, but the moisture was consistent. After investigating the problem, I discovered a clogged drain in her air conditioning condensation system. The shocking part was, she had had a couple large basement waterproofing companies come out, and they did not take to the time to discover the real problem, and simply tried to sell her a basement waterproofing job. These are the times when doing the right thing builds tremendous credibility and leads to future referrals and ultimately helps your business grow long term.”
3. Check to see if the company has a good track record with the local Better Business Bureau or other local home improvement review sites.
Black’s motto is “If I give them a good product at a good price, then when their neighbor or a relative has a wet basement, they are going to contact me to come out for the big jobs.”
More information on Andy Black and Blacks Waterproofing is available at: http://BlacksWaterproofing.com. Andy Black can be reached by phone at (770) 489-2901.