A high percentage of homes will, at some point, experience some form of dampness or water damage in the basement, whether the damage is from flooding, a faulty appliance, a pipe leak, or some other unforeseen circumstance. Homeowners should be concerned about the potential for water damage and take steps to keep water out or minimize the impact and residual problems water damage can cause – damage to furnishings and belongings in the basement, dampness that leads to rotting, rusting, and mold, and indoor air quality that is less than optimal.
Perhaps the most important first step a homeowner can take to prevent water in the basement is to install a sump pump. Whether your home rests in an area where the water table is high or drainage is poor, installing a sump pump is not only a wise investment, it also gives peace of mind. The benefits to installing a sump pump are many. A sump pump:
- Is the first defense against flooding and water damage
- Helps prevent against the growth of mold and mildew
- Protects your foundation from excess moisture and water damage
- Keeps your basement dry
- Is a benefit when selling your home, as potential buyers want to be assured the basement does not flood
What does a sump pump do?
A sump pump is typically located at the lowest point of a building, which is usually the basement. The pump can be installed either beneath or above the floor. A float switch turns the sump pump on when water (ground water, flood water, water from a burst pipe, etc.) accumulates into a specially created pit and reaches a certain level. Once the pump kicks on, it pumps the water and transfers it outside and away from the structure.
A dependable sump pump will reduce water damage and the potential for mold. A pump can also save you the frustration, expense, and inconvenience associated with the clean-up that must occur after a basement has been flooded.
What should I look for in a sump pump?
Congratulations on your decision to install a sump pump. Some models come with an alarm that alerts you when the water in the pit reaches a certain level – which can occur if the water enters the pit at a rate faster than the pump can remove it. For additional protection, use a battery backup or generator with your pump so you know the pump will continue to work even during a power outage.
Another recommended choice of sump pump is one that is water-driven. This type is common in urban homes and offices. A water-driven pump is connected to a main water supply so the water that flows through the main provides power to the pump.
Tips to keep your sump pump functioning properly at all times
Depending on the type of sump pump you have, you can expect it to work anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more. But, you want to be certain your pump is working properly at all times. Only then do you minimize the risk of flooding in your home and damage to your belongings and the structure itself. Testing your pump regularly is critical. A good time to test is, for example, the same time you change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Make sure the check valve is functioning properly. Look for jammed switches. Check for clogs or frozen water in the discharge line that could block water from being properly pumped out.
The professionals at Sovereign Construction Services are experienced in basement construction and renovations. They understand the value in installing and using an appropriate sump pump for every property. Owner Steve Rush brings his years of expertise to every job he completes and is available for consultations. For more information, call Steve directly at 610-639-2986.