In A Pandemic, Is It Safe to Have a Contractor Come to My House?
We recognize that this is an uncertain time for everyone. At Acculevel, we’re worried about the wellbeing of our employees, loved ones, and customers. Like any responsible family-owned company, we are following the CDC recommendations.
We’ve provided every employee with hand sanitizer, instructed them not to shake hands and maintain safe distance as much as possible. We also have a detailed statement about our response, if you would like more information.
This health crisis has led us to brainstorm new alternative ways to meet with customers and evaluate homes. Please consider these, and ask any contractor or service provider if they can similarly accommodate you.
Do I Have to Meet Directly With the Contractor?
In all likelihood, a contractor will still need to come out to your home, to evaluate the issue. But they do not have to meet you face-to-face. You should be able to request a video conference instead. At Acculevel, we use Zoom as our primary source for this.
There are several ways you can use an online meeting:
- Before the home visit, so you can describe the issues you’ve noticed. You will need to use this call to show the area of concern to the contractor if it’s your living space.
- An example would be cracks in the drywall around window frames in your home. The cracks are in your kitchen, but the source of them is under your home in the basement or crawl space. As a result, the contractor would only need to see the floor joists and foundation, not the kitchen.
- During the home visit, there are additional measures that can be taken to limit contact with contractors. Contractors can use a video chat to show you what they see without you being near or with them. Most homeowners rarely go into a crawlspace; if the internet service allows, the contractor may be able to give you a virtual tour while diagnosing the problem area.
- If the issues are in your basement, consider a virtual visit beforehand to explain what you’re experiencing. Give the contractor directions from the front door to the basement stairs, then excuse yourself to a different part of the house during the visit. The contractor can enter your home, go directly downstairs, then call you to “show” you what issues they find.
A message from our founder, Andy Beery
How Can I Get the Estimate Without Risk to Myself?
An ethical contractor will always put their estimate in writing. Traditionally, Acculevel project managers have written up their findings and left the documentation with the customer before leaving. Since the average virus can live for a few hours (or up to a few days) on a surface, this is no longer the best practice. The preferred alternative now is electronic documentation, where the estimate can be emailed to you.
Acculevel is using DocuSign software to provide a written estimate. This also allows you to sign your estimate, which turns it into a contract, and return it to us- all without close or direct contact.
How Can the Work Be Done Safely While I’m At Home?
A contractor should only need access to the area(s) where repairs need to be made. Virtually all foundation and waterproofing repairs are done below the home’s primary living space. The contractor should coordinate with you, to strike the best balance between completing the work efficiently and safeguarding your health.
The contractor may also do a follow-up video call to show you the work in progress. If it is something you will be able to view yourself after the crew leaves, that won’t be necessary. But if it’s in your crawlspace, or an underground repair like piers, a live video-call can be the best solution. You could also request pictures of the work during and after repairs. At Acculevel, our crews photo-document their work. Below are two examples of this process.
This photo was taken by an Acculevel crew member after the encapsulation was completed.
This photo was taken by an Acculevel crew member during pier installation.
Do You Need Foundation Repairs or Waterproofing?
Find an experienced local foundation company, and make an appointment. When you make this appointment, ask the contractor about the alternative methods we’ve described. Make sure they offer these or similar options; you should not have to decide between protecting your health and your home.
Before you sign a contract for any service, you should always verify the company is reputable, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
If you live in Indiana or the surrounding areas, contact Acculevel. Established in 1996, we specialize in foundation repairs and interior waterproofing. We will schedule an estimate with you, and one of our experienced project managers will contact you to make further arrangements. Our goal is to recommend the best course of action for you, in a way that keeps both you and your home strong and healthy for years to come.