Last year, when we were having the heavy rains, I noticed there was some water coming into our basement … not a lot, but enough to be worrying. Ginny and I did a bit of investigating and found that water was pooling near the foundation of our house. We figured it had to do with our less than efficient gutters & downspouts.
So, later that year, we had the gutters replaced … we had leaf guards installed, oversized down spouts, the works. Everything seemed good. Water was being routed away from the house.
Well, earlier this year … when we were having the heavy rains during the brief warm spell, I noticed we were getting water in the basement again. Clearly this is not good.
So I start looking for foundation water proofing companies. I put in a request at servicemagic.com and got 3 contractors interested in giving us a quote, although only two bothered to call us.
The first company was Everdry … the guy came out, looked at the basement, did a mold test (I know there is mold, hard to avoid when you have water coming in). He said we needed a complete basement drainage system. This meant digging up around the entire foundation of the house, putting in additional drain tiles, sealing any cracks, then coming into the house, breaking up the floor around the perimeter of the basement, putting in drain tiles in the basement, adding a battery backup sump pump (their own make), and a basement ventilation system. More on this guy later.
Total cost: $11400.00
The second guy, who was a one man show, came out … looked around, asked what the other company said, scratched his butt a lot, and told me that he could probably fix the problem, but he would have to break open the interior wall to find out for sure. He left without giving me a quote.
Well, one quote isn’t nearly enough for this kind of problem … especially when the quote was so high.
I posted the problem in DSLReports home improvement forum to see what other people’s experiences were. One guy said Everdry was a good company, another guy suggested I also contact Permaseal.
As I’m definitely getting more than one quote, I give Permaseal a call to schedule a estimate.
Phil from Permaseal came out, looked at the basement, noticed the mold, asked if our sump pump ran when we it rained (it does), then did something kind of amazing, he went outside with a flashlight to look at the foundation near where the water was coming in. Guess what he found? A crack! What an amazing concept.
He told me that we didn’t need a complete basement drainage system … as our sump pump ran when it rained. What we needed was to have the crack repaired.
He went on to describe our options … we could have the crack sealed from the inside, which was much cheaper, but we had to tear down the paneling in our basement near the crack. That cost around $350.
Alternatively we could have the crack sealed from the outside … and all we would loose is a bush (which we don’t particularly like anyways). This cost more … $950.
I was kind of amazed at the price difference compared to Everdry … and I explained that the other estimate was significantly higher. He proceeded to describe exactly what Everdry was suggesting … and explained that he could provide that kind of solution, but it was overkill for our problem.
I did mention that Everdry’s estimate included a battery backup sump pump … which I did want to get … but I specifically wanted a Zolar Aquanot II. At which point he went into his briefcase and brought out a info sheet on that very same sump pump … and said that he could provide that too, and it was the only backup sump pump they sold. His price, $1075, was also lower than most of the plumbers that I had gotten quotes from.
I told Phil that I was still collecting quotes … and he said there was clearly no rush, as we weren’t flooding badly. He wrote up the estimate and left.
I still wanted three quotes … and our friend Jill had indicated she had a good experience with US Waterproofing. So I called them and got a estimate scheduled.
The day the guy from US Waterproofing was supposed to come out I got home a bit early … and waited … and waited. Around 8:30 that evening he called and said he had been delayed and would need to reschedule. He said someone would call the next day to make a new appointment. Nobody called the next day, or the day after that, so I wrote them off.
Ginny and I decided we would just go with Permaseal and get it fixed.
I called Phil and asked about putting the deposit and final payment on a credit card, which he said was fine, and we setup an appointment to get the repair finalized and scheduled.
I promised more about the guy from Everdry … initially I liked the guy … although he never did go outside to look at the foundation. But very quickly I got annoyed at him … after he described the repair procedure, he went into high pressure mode. He kept telling me that we didn’t need to get any more quotes. His solution was the best out there. Nobody could give us a better solution. He also talked about his “Scheduling problem” … and if we signed a contract that day, he could give us a $1000 discount on the spot. The final straw, in my mind, was when he said (and I paraphrase a bit): “You don’t need anymore quotes, you trust us, you trust our process, just go with us”. Um, excuse me, but I don’t know you, your company, or your process … I have no basis for trust.
Phil’s sales tactics were much more laid back. No pressure, no hype, no rush. Here’s the problem, here’s our solution, here’s the cost, think about it, call me if you have any further questions.
Oh yeah, Everdry insisted that my spouse be present when they did the inspection … I suspect that they try to impress a sense of urgency that the ‘woman of the house’ would be more suseptable to (they clearly don’t know Ginny 🙂 )
Suffice it to say, we’ve got an date set to get the crack sealed and the backup sump pump installed.
I’ll try to grab some pictures as they are repairing the crack.
Nice story David. I like that you named names. Permaseal advertises alot on WGN radio. I think they really know basements, that’s for sure.
I like you tried to do the right things about the moisture in the basement. Unfortunately, it went on for some time before I noticed it was in my office closet…black mold set in and that stuff just doesn’t come out even with Kilz painted over it.
Our solution was to hire out a foundation specialist I got on recommendation from my very knowledgable neighbors.
He surveyed the footers and from inside the home where I showed him the leak that caused the mold and damaged carpet said I bet your foundation is cracked. Sure enough it was and $4,000 later it was repaired.
News flash!!!! Permaseal did a terrible job in my basement they installed the floor system First they drilled right threw the anchors holding up the wall Now i got sagging walls they left this ugly rubber strip almost like a baseboard around that just ugly I get angry just thinking about it and the mess is horrible we have to paint everything. We are disgusted
Permaseal huh? pffft! At least 40 customer complaints within the last 36 months,and MOST are NOT resolved.
Dunno how you’re reading that page, but the ratings from the BBB look pretty good. The overall rating is Satisfactory. I don’t see ANY indication that there are unresolved complaints.
Anyone can file a complaint with the BBB – about anything. How a company resolves the situation is what matters to me. Sorry – in the customer service industry and some people are just impossible to please!
Everdry was definitely pricey for your situation, but was right for us. We’re in Toledo (http://everdrytoledo.com) and talked to Nick – no pushy sales tactics though!
How has it held up?
Jake: No problems at all. Quite happy with the foundation fix. Sump pump install I’m not super happy with though. We need to get a major drainage overhaul around our house anyways.
I like the warentee from Perma seal, my dad had everdry and he still has leaks and he has to pay $24 a year to have his warentee. That is bad buisiness practice to have the customer pay to be warenteed each year.