- What is the number one thing consumers should check for when hiring a basement repair business/contractor?
A: Consumers should look into the standard checks the same as you would with any construction company, the top five we recommend would be:
- Check for how long the company has been in service, are they a company of 2 years (did they start in 2013 floods?) or are they a company of 25 years? (Basement Systems Calgary has been in service for over 24 years)
- Check for Customer testimonials on the web? Check to see the comments made about the company and look for testimonies from customers that have had systems or repairs installed for more than 5 years.
- Check to see if the company is with the BBB and if they have a A+ rating. Make sure to check how long they have been registered with the BBB under that name? Also check and see if there is more than one company with the same name listed with the BBB (example company ABC or company ABC Est. 2010 both the same company so what one does the work and what one carries the warranty?)
- Check to see what type of warranties the company offers and see if the company has a service department to maintain the maintenance needed on pumps to keep basement dry. If a company has no service department how can they have a warranty?
- When you call you should expect someone to answer, if you get a voicemail or have to leave a message how important is your call?
- What can go wrong if a consumer ends up with an illegitimate contractor or even a scammer posing as a trustworthy business?
A: Most companies today use old technology to repair basement waterproofing problems, they end up going to the hardware store to buy tar/ sealants, or pumps or weeping tile and they try and fix a problem that people have been doing the same way from over 50 + years. The problem is if they have tried this method once already and it dint work why would you spend money to try it again? Example if you have weeping tile around your home and now the home is leaking because the weeping tile failed why would spend money to repair the problem with the same approach that has been proven to fail?
When you talk to the company see if they have custom products made for the issues/problems you are experiencing, see if there is a warranty with those products and see if they have referrals in your area of people that have had that solutions installed and see if you can talk to them and the most important get everything from the company designing a repair in writing and copy of the warranty before you make your decision.
- Are there any kind of specific licensing or industry credentials for basement repair businesses/contractors?
A: Unfortunately there is no kind of licensing or credentials to be a basement repair company, we wish there were more regulations ourselves. Basement Systems Calgary has a certification program that was created for our staff to understand why basements leak and the best ways to repair the problem. We have patented over 40 products to help us make the best decision and to have the ability to offer in most cases lifetime warranties against water in your home. It takes up to 3 months for a designer to be trained and certified to come out and get a waterproofing system designed for your home and it takes up to year for a foreman to be certified in the installation to install a waterproofing system and both must pass a exam to get certified.
- What advice do you give to consumers who are facing extensive home damage (i.e. flooded basement) and are in need of immediate assistance? (Sometimes people hire the first contractor they can find if it's an emergency without asking questions/doing research, or go with the lowest quote, which may not always be the best bet)
A: Follow the 3 simple rules to panic repairs:
- Patients: If a company can come out within the next business day or even in today’s times, the next week you should be questioning why? Basement repairs companies depend on weather for their career and if a company is not busy today there is probably a reason why? Basement Systems Calgary is booked out on average 2-3 weeks for a designer to come look at your home and we have 10 full time designers looking at homes.
- Due Diligences: When a company does come to your home they should be doing an inside and outside inspection, they could be using tools like a infra red camera (to see water behind the wall) or a hygrometer (to measure humidity) or even lasers (to measure if the structure has moved or bowed) and this inspection can take up to ONE HOUR. Also make sure they take the time to explain to you what they found and what it means, they should also be able to give more than one option for repair. You must make sure they are capable of doing the due diligence to find the problem and you must do your due diligence to make sure what they are saying and why it’s important and how they can fix it. At Basement Systems Calgary we book a 3 hour window for our meeting with a homeowner and our designer.
- Get 2 Estimates: Make sure you get two estimates or at least two different opinions as this will eliminate storm chasers it will also show you what company has the best approach. Don’t always take price as the deciding factor as in, if a cheap repair is offered it probably is cheap for a reason, most cases that reason is because it is a cheap product that MAY or MAY NOT fix the problem. Most cheap repairs also have a cheap warranty to go along with a cheap price. Fix it Right, Fix it Today, Fix it for Forever and only PAY ONCE. The problem will not go away without professional help, make sure the professional is going to be here tomorrow to continue that professional help.