Foundation Repair Contractor Ads

Selling fear

I have noticed over many years that many repair contractors rely heavily on fear to get you to make an appointment. 

The latest pitch stressing fear goes like this:

If you see what they call foundation repair signals, you need to make an appointment today because it will only get worse and more, maybe much more, expensive to correct.  

I consider this to be highly misleading. Emergency foundation repair is almost unheard of. You do not have to rush to a decision.

It is also misleading in other ways as well. The fact is that there is no such thing as a foundation repair signal or foundation repair warning sign. Drywall irregularities, door issues and cracks in brick veneer may be due to foundation distortion, but always remember that every so-called foundation repair signal and every foundation repair warning sign may be due to a host of different possible causes including such benign causes as age, creep, poor workmanship, minor framing irregularities, etc. 

If the ads make you concerned, you should contact a Professional Engineer who specializes in diagnosing distress and damage due to expansive soil movement, not a pier salesperson.      

Selling celebrities

Nolan Ryan is one of the greatest baseball players that ever played the game, but his athletic skills do not make him a reliable source of technical information regarding foundation repair. Celebrity ads should be taken with a large supply of salt.

Just because Nolan Ryan is a spokesman for Olshan Foundation Repair doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. Be realistic: a 98 mph baseball does not a foundation expert make. 

Over-promising results

It would be unrealistic to expect a repair contractor to use an advertisement to explain all the advantages and disadvantages underpinning your foundation. The purpose of contractor ads is to persuade you to call and make an appointment. In the normal course of events, the pier sales representative will look at your house, point out irregularities that you never noticed in addition to those you already know about. 

Rather than accepting what a pier salesperson at face value, read the warranty and the agreement or contract. In almost every case, it will be apparent that there is no promise to solve your problem. Nothing about drywall cracks, brick veneer cracks, or door issues. Basically, you pay your money with no promise that you will receive anything in return.  

The leveling mindset

Remember also that repair contractors have a leveling mindset. Their job as they see it is to find low areas and lift them to make the slab surface more level. Making the slab foundation more level may, I repeat may make the foundation more stable. But, it really is like rolling dice. Sometimes you win. More often you lose.


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