Basement Blues

Preface: I don’t know how one can go into politics without becoming a politician; likewise, I don’t know how one can go into sales without becoming a salesman. I guess I can’t fault the guy for being a salesman – it’s like the old “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” thing. I’m just full of useful analogies today, aren’t I?

This leads me to our appointment with the salesman today. Things got a little bit emotional for the first twenty minutes or so the salesman was here, and I must admit I did ambush him with a bad attitude to begin with. I’d been stewing over this for a whole day, corresponding with the ex-employee, doing more research, learning about alternative methods. In the meantime, he had no clue that I felt this way, and never saw this coming. He got defensive, I got defensive, and it was ugly for a while. The facts don’t shine through much when everyone’s upset and each has his or her own agenda. (This is why I hate political discussions, LOL).

But then, mercifully, we calmed down and all talked. We pretty much hit a dead end when we tried to get a yet lower price, though he did agree to take off an additional $200 for an online coupon I’d found online yesterday, something they normally only apply to an undiscounted price (who knows…). In all, we’re paying over $2000 less than what he originally quoted us.

He took time to straight-out explain the stand-by thing and it did make sense when he laid out the scenario. Customers who want to pick the date the crew starts will pay the premium price, while those who agree to be flexible to within a 24-hour notice time period will get a break on the price. He said the majority of their customers are 2-income professionals who want to know a definite timeframe because they must arrange for someone to be home while the work’s being done, so it’s a financial incentive when a customer’s willing to be flexible. From a business standpoint that does make sense. Having jobs available at short notice keeps their crews busy, plus those customers can get the work done more quickly than they might otherwise, and they save some money.

As for the work itself, the other company we’d considered was B Dry, but they do not guarantee against dampness on the walls, only that there will be no water seepage. They basically drill holes at the base of your basement walls and channel that water into a drain around the perimeter of the basement. The drain is not even cemented over, from what I’ve been reading. What good would that do us, considering we’re finishing the walls? EverDry, however, does guarantee we will not have dampness on the walls.

The EverDry salesman said that EverDry does charge a premium price, but they also guarantee against a lot more. He said EverDry could do the same job B Dry proposes, and beat their price, but it would not solve our problem. And after all the reading I did yesterday (my eyes are still uncrossing), I can see this.

They’ll come out and install the EZ-Breathe ventilation system, included in this package, next week (after our 3-day back-out period is over) and get it to work on pulling mold spores, moisture, etc. out of the basement and house, and then we’ll be on stand-by following our return from Louisiana. I’ll be posting updates, of course! It’s like I told him, if I am happy with the work and the results, I will spread the word. I’m not one to only say something when things go wrong; I believe good work should also be recognized and rewarded.

4 thoughts on “Basement Blues

  1. June 23,2004 Just searching the net for people who have been burned by EZ Breathe and Ohio State.
    We are in a dispute with them now. $12,000 later we still have a wet basement!

  2. Hello and thank you for your information on Everdry. I received a call from Everdry offering to do a free estimate. This call was out of the blue, although I have had water problems. Before the man came, I searched on the web at work and did not find any complaints. I only read that Everdry is pricy. I have since joined Dave’s Garden in order to read responses there. I just found some responses from some people who did not have such good experiences with Everdry. I sincerely hope that your experience is a good one.
    I am not sure if you would like to have the web site info where I found the dissatisfied customers. It is http://www.thecomplaintstation.com/cgi-bin/datacgi/database.cgi/Forum/Topic/TopicID=2195/firstrecord=0/finalrecord=14

    The Everdry sales person was to come back yesterday evening to make a better offer. However, he called to say that he was running late. I rescheduled for Tuesday. After reading the responses which I just found, I think that I will decline their services at this time. I, like you, do not like the high pressure sales and the pressure of a better deal if I commit right now. I think that if you have a good product and really want to serve others, that good business practice is the best advertisment there is. Word of mouth will keep you busy. That is how I feel. I am a mechanical engineer. In listening to the Everdry salesman, a lot of what he said made sense. He was not able to answer me when I asked him where the air comes from which is exhausted from the Easybreath fan. Since the fan only exhaust and does not bring air in, that air comes from your house. That means it must come into your house through openings. If you have openings in your basement, it probably works good to ventilate your basement. If these openings are closed, the air will come from any cracks or doors where it can enter. This may mean cold air entering during the winter months. I do think that the fan is a better idea than using a humidifier. A humidifier only removes humidity. A fan will change the air in the basement at a continuous rate.
    The other thing which I was not sold on completely is with the combination approach, which seems to be the most common one used by Everdry, the lower portion of the wall is still not waterproofed. I see their point that water from the top will be prevented from entering because of the outside waterproofing. Water from the bottom will enter the sump pump and therefor not rise to the level of the wall. I would think that water from the top could run down the top portion where there is waterproofing and find the lower portion of the wall, where it could enter.

    I am interested in your project. I did find many more good reports on Everdry. I think that I will try to grade the yard and do some other work at this time.

    I appreciate your information and hope that your basement will stay dry.

    Kelly

  3. I feel I’ve gotten soaked by Everdry! This past winter, I contacted a waterproofing firm and was given an estimate for eliminating a problem of water pooling in one area of my basement floor. I was not given a firm quote–I was told it would be $8,000 initially but it could run more once the concrete steps were removed and holes were drilled into the floor. What the cost would be was unkown so I shied away and called Everdry. The perfect sales team came. A man who was the “authority ” on water problems and a woman who could relate to the anguish another woman goes through not knowing much about waterproofing! (I think they saw “sucker” written all over me.) They gave me a report that indicated I had step cracks, that my foundation had settled and I had no drain tile (among other problems). They explained how I could choose to have only the outside done, or only the inside done, but they recommended I have the best and do the inside AND outside. It all seemed logical at the time and they were so nice to offer to lower the price if I was “on call” and get the work done when an opening occured in their schedule. My jaw dropped and the blood drained from my face when I heard the bottom line— $12,000! They were so sympathetic that I might not be able to get that kind of money, that they mentioned they worked with a finance company and could they use my phone to see if I qualified for a loan. The saleman called from my kitchen phone and waas happy to tell me I would qualify. The office would call the next day to confirm. Wow, what a relief. They really take care of their customers! I expressed concern about how the system would work if I had large areas of concrete that met the foundation–no problem–they would seal the outside cove. I was assured several times that the area would be cleaned up and they promised complete satisfaction. The job was completed, the E-Z Breathe was installed (they told me I wouldn’t need to use my costly dehumidifier in fact I could get rid of it–I did and this summer my basement was so humid I had to buy a new one. While my E-Z Breathe was running Ithe dehumidifier pulled out 7 quarts of water in a 24 hour period! On the internet I found information saying the E-Z Breathe did the work of 7 dehumidifiers!) and everyone was happy—–well until Milwaukee experienced a good amount of rain in late spring.
    The EXACT problem occured. My newly installed sump pump was dry, my floor wet! I called and demanded to know why the problem wasn’t solved. A trouble shooter came out and had the audacity to tell me that the system was working because three walls were dry! The same three walls that were dry to begin with!!!! The outside crew had been careless causing damage to my flagstone window wells and patio, slopping tar on my siding and not grading the area properly (they mounded dirt up against the foundation never attempting to slope it away from the house). They didn’t satisfy me by the work they did so after they left, I read the seller’s analysis again and noticed they were to seal the cove where concrete met foundation. I called them back and pointed out the areas that might need attention. As I did that, I saw that mortar had fallen out of the bricks that made up the above ground foundation at the EXACT SPOT where the water was getting into the basement. I left to go to an appointment and when I got home, I saw they had not filled the gap! They never called to reschedule to return and do the work, so I took it upon myself to fill the hole with cement. After it dried I tested the area buy running a hose on it for 4 hours one day and 3.5 the next. The basement floor was dry!!!! I spoke with Everdry’s top man and he still claims the system they installed works and provides insurance that the other three walls will be EVERDRY! I hired an engineer who specializes in foundations and he has given me a report indicating “the one size fits all” system was not the answer to my problem. With all that, I wonder if I should hire an attorney and pursue Everdry, represent myself in small claims court ($5,000 limit), contact the Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection or notify a local consumer advocate that might give my problem some exposure through a piece on TV, OR all of the above! Any suggestions?

  4. If you’ve had experiences with Everdry, good or bad, please post. Keep the comments coming – this is what the web is for. After we had them do the work, I saw horror story after horror story about the company. I’m just glad our experience has been a good one (except for the sleazeball salesman, high pressure and high price). Our waterproofing has worked thus far, despite a couple of very rainy springs since the installation of their rip-off system.

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