Basement Waterproofing Contractors & Warranties - 7 Things to Consider
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When making a decision on hiring a basement waterproofing contractor, most homeowners consider reputation, process, price and warranty. Why an entire blog post dedicated to understanding a basement waterproofing warranty? Because it is one of the most misunderstood things in our industry.
One common misconception is that a warranty is the same thing as a guarantee. While both serve as protection for the consumer, there is a big difference. A guarantee is an assurance that if a product or service doesn’t work, it will be replaced, typically at no charge. A warranty, on the other hand, acts more like an insurance policy. It basically is a promise to provide service if something goes wrong.
Let’s put this in the context of basement waterproofing. If you contract a basement waterproofing contractor to repair a foundation crack or install a drain tile system, you get a warranty, not a guarantee. So if it fails, you don’t get your money back. Instead, you are given a promise that the company will come back and take care of the problem.
This might be obvious to some of you - especially for those who went to law school or are frequent watchers of the People’s Court or Judge Judy. But now let’s talk about the not-so-obvious:
A warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it. If they go out of business (like most of our competitors have over the past 10-20 years), your warranty means nothing.
Companies often use a warranty as a marketing tool to “one up” their competition. If they are a lesser known company, or even worse, have a poor reputation, this sales tactic is probably the only thing keeping them in business. You may be in your house longer than they actually stay in business!
Do not be afraid to question a contractor on how long the company has used a certain process. If they have only used a process for five years, how comfortable are you with their “lifetime warranty”?
Make sure to read the fine print. Every company has a clause that basically says “We are not responsible for damage to property caused by water seepage”. Remember this is not a guarantee. If you need to use your warranty, the repair didn’t work, so pick a company with a good reputation and many years of experience to solve your problem the FIRST time.
The Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List are great resources for consumers. Understand, however, that neither organization has any legal authority to force a fly-by-night company to honor their warranty.
A lawyer is always a last resort, but there is no guarantee you will prevail. Anyone who has first hand experience with our court system understands how exhausting and expensive a lawsuit can be.
Tony Soprano is just a fictional character on HBO; he can't make things right for you!
Bottom line: basing a purchase solely on a warranty is a recipe for disaster. Hire the right company with the best solution and everything else will fall into place.
Just so you know, we offer a lifetime warranty on residential drain tile systems and crack repairs. Our business continues to grow year after year. “Lifetime” really means something when you’ve been in business since 1957.
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