Basement Waterproofing Contractors-- Mid Atlantic Water Proofing STEER CLEAR

I recently had Mid Atlantic come to my house for an estimate. I live in Westchester county NY, north east of Manhattan. I have a typical 4 bedroom two story colonial house, 40 yrs old, on top of a large hill, good drainage, etc. The basement is cinder block, and shows some signs of efflorescense on all walls about 6-10in from the floor up. One wall in particular will leak water onto the floor after a heavy ground soaking rain for many days. Normally the basement is dry, but some moisture is present in the spring-summer time. So I was at a home show recently and accepted their free, no hassle in home inspection. I am an engineer by trade and am fairly knowledgeable concerning home improvements and projects. I expected the sales pitch, but was curious. I got the usual pre visit pitch where they insisted both home owners be present ( ie my wife and I) other wise they would reschedule. So i complied. A gentlemen shows up, sits down in the kitchen and goes through a 3 inch binder of who they are, how great they are, where they have been written up, etc. and the great companies they have done work for. One interesting item I noticed was he kept bragging about how they wre written up in Consumer Reports, the article he showed me was from 1974 ! Also a bunch of pictures and fancy graphics about different solutions. OK, now the fun part begins, we go into the basement with a flashlight, and he does a quick 1 minute inspection. Takes out a rubber mallet, and starts hitting the walls and floors, and each time he gets a slight hollow sound, he would go " wow, hear that? thats a big water gap that has created a huge hole in the ground". Then he wants to walk outside. Now, its 8 PM at night, dark, several inches of snow on the ground, and I have a deer fence around the perimeter of my house for the winter. He looks quickly and says "Now I see the problem! Lets go inside, I have just the solution for you." So i get the standard pitch about the large drainage ditch that must be dug and two sump pumps, etc. the custom pipe, etc. Tallies up a price of $20,000 for 165 linear feet. Before I could throw him out, he notices that I am not going to shell out 20 grand, comes up with the best story yet. " I have a crew of guys that are stuck now at a large site, and they dont have work for the next two weeks, and let me make a call to see what I can do on the price." He makes a call to someone, seemed like a great acting job to me, and whamo, drops the price to $14,800 with a free $1000 pump! I have since hired an engineer, and states my problem is nothing more than the ouside needing to be re-graded and re route the drainage pipes. I also had another company in today, similar pitch, but more honest, and a price of $6500 for the same basic job. I found way too many complaints on the internet concerning these guys. Be careful, and I hope this helps someone in the future.
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Yep--sounds very familiar, except that we also got Polaroid pictures of the "problems." MidAtlantic in my area (DC suburb) has one solution to all problems: dig a drainage ditch on the inside of the house, connect it to two sump pumps, let water pour in, pump it out. They do not do any work involving re-directing water away from your house. We tossed the salesman out (which took effort) and got the "special reduced price" because of a crew that just became available (wow! imagine that!) the next day, followed by lots of voice mail messages offering to lower the price even more. We hired MEI-Morrison to do outside drainage and have had no problems since, even during a couple of very bad storms that I think would have caused problems in the past.
MEI-Morrison also does inside drainage but told us we probably won't need it so didn't recommend it for our house.
If anyone does decide to go with Mid-Atlantic, I suggest waiting for the the third offer and bargaining them down from there.
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I had the exact same experience, right down to the fake phone call and the "exceptional" price break. The guy was a sleaze ball and took 2 full hours of my time. I had a really hard time getting rid of him. I wouldn't hire that company if they paid me for the privilege of working in my house!.

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