My guess is you’re reading this because you’ve finally had it. The most recent rainstorm or rapid snow melt caused another flood in your basement. You’re tired of your wet, damp, leaking basement, and want to make sure you hire the pick of the litter when you start to interview basement waterproofing contractors. I don’t blame you, as it’s a very expensive proposition, and you want the job done right the first time.
Hiring a basement waterproofing contractor requires you to be on top of your game. You can’t make your decision based on hope – hoping that he solves your problem. That, by the way, is the most common mistake made when an autopsy is performed on a job gone bad. If you don’t do your research into the real root of the basement leak, the actual dynamics of what’s causing the leak and what are the basement waterproofing systems that work and don’t work, you could spend thousands of dollars and not get the result you’re looking for.
Typically you may hear this advice when starting to vet contractors who fix basement leaks:
Make sure they are licensed
Check with the Better Business Bureau
Ask for references
Go online searching the company’s name followed by the word “problems”, “complaints” or “nightmares”
These are not bad ideas at all, but it’s just the start. Here’s the problem I have with the first three items on the list. I see bad drivers on the road everyday. My guess is they have a valid drivers license. The Better Business Bureau is great, but they may not have received a complaint yet about the contractor you’re about to hire. Do you think any contractor is going to give you a list of people he didn’t satisfy? But I love the last item. Be sure you take all sorts of time doing exhaustive research online searching for the contractor’s name, your city or town, and all sorts of other relevant search terms to narrow the results you get back.
If you’ve never been in an interview with a contractor, especially one that has a professional sales team, you really need to be careful. If the contractor or salesperson comes over when you’re still emotionally dealing with the sopping wet basement, you could be highly vulnerable to powerful psychological tricks. One of the most common ones, and this one is used heavily by replacement-window salesmen, is the Today-Only price. This method happens when a salesman says something like, “Mrs. Smith, your wet basement is the worst one I’ve seen in years. I’m really sorry about all your ruined possessions. My company can take care of this. My calculations show that we can do this job for $5,000.00. However, if you authorize us to do the work right now by signing this contract, I’m allowed to give you a discount of $700.00. My boss has authorized this for today only. If I walk out your door, the price will be $5,000.00”
This statement by the waterproofing salesman will almost always trip two psychological triggers in your head. The first one is reciprocity. He’s ‘giving’ you something – the discount – and you subconsciously feel obligated to give him something in return, like your signature on the contract! The more powerful of the two is the second trick, that of scarcity. If you don’t sign the contract, he takes away the discount. Scarcity drives consumers insane.
To shield yourself from these mind tricks, you just have to do your homework and discover the real truth about basement leaks and how best to stop them. All of that information is here on this website. Be sure to stick around and discover how to keep your basement bone dry, often with no work being done on the inside of your home!