After searching on HomeStars for reputable waterproofing companies to deal with the multiple cracks in my basement, I narrowed it down to three companies. I then checked out each company's website and phoned each one of them. I soon decided that it was Mario from MMT Waterproofing who I would first call for an estimate.
(I had also done my research and KNEW that so-called polyurethane/epoxy resin crack-filling was NOT the answer - only waterproofing from the outside really works.)
For the first phone call, Mario was totally professional and took the time to explain carefully and clearly his services. He didn't try to hustle me off the phone like some contractors do. He was polite, friendly and courteous. I thanked him and he asked me to call him again if I had any more questions.
So the next week, I called him over to my house for an estimate. He came down to the basement, taking off his shoes (this is important!). He looked carefully at every crack and hole in the basement walls and explained carefully the reason why they were leaking and why mold was growing there. He then explained what should be done about them. Digging around the entire foundation of the house and waterproofing the foundation walls from the outside was the complete answer, but we let Mario know that we were on a budget. So, he suggested that we repair just the areas with cracks/holes from the outside. He also took a look at our biggest crack (and biggest problem) and showed us how someone tried to repair it with a polyurethane filler that subsequently failed.
We thanked him and he didn't try to pressure us into making an appointment for the actual service.
Then, approximately two weeks later, we decided to have Mario and MMT Waterproofing fix only one crack (the most severe one) and see how well a job he did (we were being cautious, as we had bad experiences before). So, I called him up and we made an appointment. I must also mention that he totally remembered me and the layout of my house. He took the time to again explain what he would do.
Finally, the day arrived when Mario's team would come to do the work. They were slated to arrive at 8:00 a.m., but Mario phoned to say they would be approximately 30 minutes late, due to having to finish up another job from the night before. Calling when you're going to be late tells you a lot about someone's character!
They then arrived at the time they said they would, and they dug beside the house where the crack was for a steady two hours and once down to the footing, reported to us that our weeping tile was actually still good. Then, they cleaned the foundation wall where the crack was, applied their stuff (not sure exactly what all the various things were, but it included some black tar and of course, the waterproofing plastic sheathing). Then, they put gravel down at the bottom, filled the dirt back in, and put more gravel at the very top. I must also mention that we had a tonne of bricks piled up right where they were to dig, and they neatly removed them and piled them up somewhere else.
The next day, Mario came back to collect his cheque and thanked me again.
It has been about a month since MMT Waterproofing did their work to my basement and we've seen some medium-volume rain and the wet rain-snow of Dec. 9, 2009 (the first snow of the year), and it's been dry as a bone! I'll have to see how it is in Spring when everything starts to melt!
Just based on the service alone, I would recommend Mario and MMT Waterproofing to anyone out there. In fact, I will probably need his services in the future to completely fix the rest of the basement cracks (when the budget allows). In terms of actual technical skills, I can say that the job they did was A+ (based on my own research of what should properly be done).
Thanks Mario and the MMT team.
Update: It is now April, 2010 and the basement has remained completely dry! Normally, there would be a huge pool of water once the winter snow melted... but it's completely dry. MMT did a good job, that's for sure.