How to Protect Your Home From Flood Damage
Anyone who owns a building that has a space constructed below grades, such as a basement, cellar, or crawl space, needs a sump pump. If you have a basement, you may think that a sump pump is a waste of money because you have never experienced heavy flooding in your area or the foundation of your house is rock solid.
However, people spend thousands of dollars each year — not on sump pumps, but on cleaning up, repairing, and replacing their treasured belongings and expensive building materials in water-damaged basements because they did not have a pump.
If you have a finished basement with furniture in it, even a few inches of water can be an expensive nightmare. Tearing down water soaked sheet rock and ripping up carpet and padding is no picnic, not to mention the irreplaceable keepsakes, antiques, family photos, and important papers that may also suffer water damage.
Sump Pumps Protect Your Family’s Health
Another result of water flooding or seeping into your basement is the physical harm it can do to its occupants. Living with black mold, mildew, and a musty odor can cause health issues like asthma and other serious respiratory illnesses.
Sump pumps also protect against sewer backups that can run down to the basement level. Furthermore, they remove the groundwater that can cause fissures in the foundation. Pumps also air out basements keeping humidity low and thus keeping molds and mildew at bay.
Your basement may never have flooded, but it is best to have a sump pump before the need occurs and it’s too late. Maybe you have delayed getting a sump pump because you do not know what type to purchase.
Sizing And Maintaining Your Sump Pump
Before purchasing a sump pump, you must determine the size of your sump pit. Many new homes already have a sump pit in place. However, if your home does not have a pit, you can pay a professional to dig one, which is expensive, or you can devote a weekend and dig one yourself.
Then measure the diameter of the sump pit. If the pit is less than fourteen inches wide, you may use a sump pump that makes use of a mechanical float or diaphragm switch. If the diameter exceeds fourteen inches, you can choose from the diaphragm, mechanical, or tethered float types of switches.
There are a number of quality pumps on the market like pedestal sump pump and backup pump from which to choose. No matter how good the quality of the pump is that you select, regular maintenance will be a necessity. Quarterly maintenance is the norm with annual maintenance the minimum. Manually engage the float to ensure the pump motor kicks on and visually check for any debris that may have gotten into the sump pit or collected around the float and switch. If you have a battery-powered backup pump system be sure to inspect the battery cells and add electrolyte to the proper level if it has evaporated over time.
A sump pump is an extremely valuable tool in protecting your home and its occupants from suffering the effects of water damage. It’s a good idea to have a backup sump pump system in the event of a power outage or in case you need to perform emergency repairs on the main A/C sump pump.