Do You Really Need a Sump Pump?

Photo of a flooded basement without a sump pump

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Basement flooding is more common than you might think. Even the White House has had problems with flooding in the basement.

You may wonder if you need a sump pump. Hopefully, you’ll never need one.

That’s a best-case scenario. However, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you could benefit from owning a sump pump, you’ll most certainly be glad you had one.

For five fast facts about whether sump pumps are necessary, keep reading.

Fast Fact 1: Sump Pumps Are for Emergencies

You may want to justify sump pump cost. Instead, think of it as a form of insurance.

Imagine that your home has a fire sprinkler system. The system is great for when there’s a fire.

However, it would prove quite upsetting if you need to use it every day. If your stovetop caught fire every time you used it, you would fix the problem rather than relying on the sprinkler system.

In many cases, businesses and homeowners install sump pump systems to protect their properties from extreme weather. Most homes do not require a sump pump for daily use. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

A small percentage of property owners may need a sump pump for daily use. For example, if your home was accidentally built on a floodplain, you may need to use a sump pump every day.

In another scenario, you might find that your basement floods regularly because of poor drainage from a neighboring property. However, these are extremely rare occurrences.

Exactly What Is a Sump Pump?

You might ask, “What is a sump pump?” A sump pump is a straightforward piece of equipment. It’s a small device that removes excess moisture from your basement.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump is located at the lowest point of your basement floor in a basin. There, it will draw water into a filter trap. The trap will then direct water outside your basement and away from the foundation through a discharge pipe.

A sump pump is a temporary fix for an extreme situation. It enables you to manage an excess of water in your basement.

However, you should never rely on a sump pump to continually pump water out of your basement. If your sump pump runs continually, there’s a leak somewhere in your plumbing.

If your basement floods regularly, the water is most likely traveling along the footings under your walls. Those footings hold up your home. In this case, the water is most likely undermining the stability of the soil around your footings.

A sump pump cannot isolate the footings of your home from water. Furthermore, every time your sump pump turns on, it’s possible that your house is settling. Accordingly, you’ll want to address the issue that is causing water to run into your basement.

Fast Fact 2: A Sump Pump Might Indicate Leakage Issues

You should exercise caution if you’re purchasing a home with a sump pump installed in the basement. Firstly, it’s important to check for potential water damage that occurs before the installation of the pump.

Typically, this kind of damage is a top reason for installing a sump pump. However, the homeowner may have had any damage repaired.

You’ll also want to check for structural damage. Flooding can wreak havoc on the structure of a home. Large amounts of flooding can greatly compromise the integrity of a structure.

A sump pump can stop most water from entering a basement. However, gaps in your home structure will allow water to pass. In these areas, the structure of a home will endure irreversible damage.

Fast Fact 3: Sump Pumps Do More Than Remove Water

There’s more to sump pumps than defending your basement from flooding. In fact, they offer many benefits. For example, you may need a sump pump for insurance purposes.

Furthermore, a sump pump also protects wallcoverings. Likewise, it will prevent paint from peeling due to moisture.

Sump pumps also protect metal appliances. These appliances may include your washer, dryer or freezer that you’ve stowed in the basement. It will protect these metal items from corrosion.

Furthermore, a sump pump prevents fungus. It will also stop mold and mildew.

More importantly, a sump pump will prevent infestation by termites and other insects. Also, it will help to keep your foundation intact.

With a sump pump, you’ll find that your basement is warmer and drier all year-long. Furthermore, a sump pump will give you peace of mind. No matter the weather, you won’t have to worry about precipitation flooding your basement if you have a sump pump installed.

Fast Fact 4: You’ll Probably Know If You Need a Sump Pump

You may wonder if you need a sump pump. In most cases, you’ll know if a sump pump is a must. There are a few cases where a sump pump is especially important.

For example, your home may have water problems. Your basement may have flooded in the past.

This problem most likely persists unless you’ve had major renovation work completed. For example, you might need to replace your foundation after flooding. If so, it would make good sense to install a sump pump to prevent future damage.

You also want to consider the location of your home. For example, your basement might experience groundwater flooding from rain or melted snow.

There are a few instances where groundwater is more likely to rise to the level of your basement floor. For example, you might live on a flat plot of land with poor drainage.

Alternatively, you might live on a low-lying plot that rests below the local water table. You may even have a flooding problem if the soil around your home drains poorly.

Fast Fact 5: Sump Pumps Require Maintenance

If you install a sump pump, it’s important to ensure it works properly. Resultantly, you’ll need to test it periodically.

During the test, you need to make sure all parts of the pump work correctly. However, there’s no need to wait for a storm to test your sump pump. Instead, you can use a 5-gallon bucket of water.

Slowly pour the water into the sump pump basin until it activates and starts to drain. While the sump pump is running, observe whether all parts are working correctly. It should shut off quickly once the water drops below the shut-off level.

Also, sump pump water lines can freeze. However, this typically only happens if the sump pump water lines aren’t installed at the correct depth.

If you’re purchasing a home with a sump pump, you’ll want to consult with the owner about this matter. It’s important to make sure that the sump pump is installed correctly.

Add-Ons for Your Sump Pump

You may also want to consider investing in a backup battery system for your sump pump. Heavy wind or lightning can knock out the power during a storm. With a backup battery system, however, you’ll know that your sump pump will always have power.

When It’s Time for a Sump Pump

You may have a finished basement or use your basement for storage. You’ll want to protect your investment if your basement is fully finished. Also, a sump pump is vital for protecting the items that you store in your basement.

However, like most things, sump pumps don’t last forever. Resultantly, you might expect to replace a submersible pump once every ten years. However, a pedestal pump might last 25 to 30 years.

If it’s time for a new sump pump, you want to think about the best time of year for the job. For example, fall is a good time for installing sump pumps in the north. If you live in a rainy southern area, however, you’ll want to install your sump pump before the rainy season begins.

You may consider making sump pump installation a DIY project. Installing a sump pump is certainly possible—if you have the right skills.

Firstly, you’ll need the strength and ability to perform demolition work. You’ll also need to know how to work with concrete. Furthermore, you’ll need to have experience in plumbing.

If you’re not well-versed in these areas, you’re most likely better off hiring a reliable professional. An expert installer has the experience and tools to do the job right the first time.

Trust Us to Protect Your Home!

Now you’ve learned five fast facts about whether sump pumps are necessary. If you need expert installation for your sump pump, you’re in the right place to find the best contractor around.

Crawlspace Medic is an honest and dependable service provider. We train our experts in professional crawl space and basement work.

Furthermore, we warranty all our work and repairs. Also, we offer customized, long-term solutions. We can even provide you with a long-term maintenance plan for your basement and crawl space needs.

Contact Crawlspace Medic today at (866) 799-9252 or connect with us online to learn more about our inspection, repair and maintenance services.

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