How do you choose a crawl space encapsulation contractor?
Crawl Space Warranty and Satisfaction Guarantee
The first thing I would say is to make sure that whoever you choose, they have some kind of warranty or guarantee. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. So in other words, all of our customers have been 100% satisfied, because they have paid us. We don't ask for money until they're 100% satisfied.
How we do that, is we either take the homeowner down in the crawl space and show them the work that we've done, or we do videos, or pictures, because not everybody can get down into the crawl space.
Bonus Tip: make sure that your crawl space encapsulation professional shows you proof of what they have done if you can't get down in the crawl space.
Crawl Space Service Agreement
A second tip I would recommend is that you make sure that the crawl space encapsulation company that you're hiring offers some sort of service agreement. This doesn't mean you have to take the service agreement. But keep in mind that a lot of things that we do to fix crawl spaces are mechanical, like dehumidifiers, and sump pumps, and fans. And just like a vehicle, they require maintenance.
If you took your new car and let's say the engine blew up, and you went and said, "Hey Mr. Car Dealer, I bought this car from you and the engine blew up," and he would say, "Oh, well when's the last time you had it maintenanced?"
"Oh, I never had it maintenanced."
"Well, your warranty is void."
The same thing applies with every mechanical device. If it's not maintained properly, it could void the warranty. If you're unable to maintain the mechanical devices down there properly, make sure you have a crawl space encapsulation company that can do that for you. Because it's the heart and soul of the system.
Standing water gets addressed by sump pumps, and humidity gets addressed by dehumidifiers, and soil gasses get addressed by fans. So make sure that your company offers a service agreement.
How Long Has The Crawl Space Company Been In Business?
We found a statistic that when we heard it, we could hardly believe it. According to the Better Business Bureau, in the past 50 years, home improvement contractors (not just crawl space people, but home improvement contractors in general) are responsible for 10 million complaints. 10 million complaints over 50 years. That's a complaint every two and a half minutes, basically.
If you're hiring someone, you can check them out. Check out their Google reviews, Facebook reviews. Some parts of the country are big on Yelp and Angie's List. Look at the Better Business Bureau. When you do this, make sure you do a fair assessment of these reviews as well. We've had people write bad reviews about us that aren't even our customers. As of May 2019, Crawl Space Ninja is complaint-free with the Better Business Bureau.
But back to the Better Business Bureau statistic. 10 million complaints for home improvement contractors. You know what the saving grace for me was? I found out that 80% of those complaints came from homeowners that chose the cheapest price. That's right. Let that sink in. 8 million of the 10 million complaints are from people that always went with the cheapest price.
Now, we are hardly ever the cheapest. And many times we're the most expensive, but we charge just enough to make sure that we're going to be around long enough so that if you have a problem, we're going to be around to help you with that problem, even after your crawl space has been encapsulated by us.
That brings us to our next statistic from the Small Business Administration. Did you know that 96% of all contractors, 96 out of 100 of all contractors actually go out of business within the first two years? That is amazing. So when you're choosing a crawl space contractor, make sure you choose someone who's backed by a company that's been around.
We got started in 2005. We have made it through the recession, and every year we've always had some form of growth. We're expanding. We are franchising. We just opened our Johnson City location up in Johnson City, Tennessee. We're servicing Asheville, North Carolina, Abingdon, Virginia. We're down in Cleveland, Tennessee, serving Chattanooga, Northern Georgia, Signal Mountain, Saudi Daisy. And guess what? We're heading to Nashville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama, and we've got our first franchise in Smyrna, Georgia.
We're going to get locations out there. Then next is Charlotte, then Atlanta. So we're expanding. We're expanding because we do a great job. And that we make sure that you are 100% satisfied. That's part of our expansion.
So make sure when you're choosing someone to work on your crawl space, perhaps look at those companies that's been around a little longer than two years. Because they just defied the Small Business Administration statistic about closing. 96%, I can't believe that. It's crazy.
Proper Crawl Space Contractor Insurance
One of the last things I want to talk about, and probably this is the most important. Make sure you choose a crawl space contractor that has the proper insurance.
There's something that's called ghosting insurance. Ghosting. It's ridiculous. You see this a lot with contractors. I'm not trying to beat up on contractors, but it is what it is.
What that can happen is that some contractors can actually go and get a certificate of insurance. They pay the initial fees, they get this certificate, and then they stop paying for the insurance. That way when they come to your house, they say, "Hey Mrs. Jones, I've got my certificate right here." But if you call the insurance company, they say, "Oh, well XYZ stopped paying for that policy, so he's not insured." But you didn't take that next step. You didn't call the insurance company to see if that certificate is actually valid. So make sure you call, okay?
We actually offer you to be put on as a certificate holder. That way you can call the insurance company, be placed on as a certificate holder, so that you have validated that we have proper insurance.
Speaking of proper insurance, if you're working in a crawl space, it's very dangerous. It's extremely dangerous to work in a crawl space. So just having handyman insurance doesn't cut it. You've got to have crawl space encapsulation professional insurance. And normally it's in the form of some kind of insulation or mold insurance. Which is way higher than handyman insurance. So make sure they have insurance, and make sure they have the proper insurance to work on your crawl space.
Those are just a few tips to make sure that you choose the right crawl space encapsulation company for your home. Why lose everything that you've worked so hard for by not making sure you hire somebody that's been around a while? You don't want to invest good money in a company that doesn't know what they're doing, or that hasn't been around long enough to make sure that they keep on doing what they're doing. Or that isn't properly insured.