after a while of perusing the forums and finding out that most wet basement problems can be solved with a simple downspout diversion to the road, I decided to contact some "professionals" in order to get their take on things.
We just bought a new house last week and walked into musty smells, and some puddles on the floor, nothing that seemed too serious.
after setting up an appointment with a company called Everdry, the man arrived the next day, with a bag of testing equipment. He went straight to the basement with three things: a camera, a small hammer, and a swab test.
He immediately began taking pictures of cracked walls, ugly looking wood, and rust on our heater. He hammered at walls to show us that it crumbled very easily. He swabbed a spot of what he suspected to be "white rot" on a joist, and the test, by turning a deep purple color, confirmed his guess.
He then took us upstairs where he proceeded to print off every picture he took, on his portable printer, flipped through a large book with diagrams of poor basements and systems used to remedy them, etc. He recommended some cheaper options for the fix, which he didn't recommend, and then, he recommended a "customized solution for our situation" which involved trenches around the perimeter, a 40W exhaust fan, and a sump pump.
For $18,000. But then he knocked it down to $16,000, but only if we would sign up right away. We ended up refusing, he came back the next day with his manager and offered $13,000, "a deal we will likely regret not taking down the road".
Companies that use high pressure sales/scare tactics have no respect from me, and I hope people don't fall for these traps when there are much more accessible solutions.
I'll be starting a thread soon about our project, with pictures, certain to be ongoing, and a handful!