There is no worse feeling than stepping down into your basement and hearing, “swish, swish” under your feet. With New England’s ever quickly changing seasons, mountains or snow melt and furious April showers, it is absolutely essential to have a sump pump in your basement. No one wants to have to deal with the costly repairs and headaches of cleaning up a wet basement. Although there are some houses that will never experience moisture problems, they are the lucky few and far between. So, whether you have lived in your house for 20 years or are just buying a house there are a few things that you should look for that are signs that you need a sump pump:Signs That You Need a Sump Pump
- If you have a finished room or rooms in the basement
- No matter if your house has ever flooded before or where you live if you have finished rooms in your basement you need to install a sump pump. No one wants to have their precious possessions, furniture and expensive electronics ruined by flooding or even by an excess of moisture. Make sure that you have a sump pump installed before you finish rooms in your basement.
- The basement has flooded before.
- If you are buying a new house make sure that you ask the real estate agent or seller about previous flooding. Also, you can ask the home inspector if they see signs that the basement has had water damage previously. If a basement has flooded before during snow melt or rain storms there is a good chance that it will again.
- Your house is on flat land and water gathers there
- Pay attention to the grade of the house and where water might pool. You will want to install a sump pump in the lowest point of the basement.
- The current sump pump is over 10 years old
- Most sump pumps are designed to work effectively for up to 10 years. If your basement has a particularly high degree of moisture or has flooded in the past odds are that your sump pump will only work for about 6 years. Make sure to replace it before the 10-year mark and if you are purchasing a home make sure to find out how old the existing sump pump is.
- The sump pump runs too long
- Your sump pump should only run for a few minutes to clean up any moisture/ water build up. If it is running longer than this it could mean that your sump (water reservoir) is too small for the amount of moisture in the basement or the pump itself has a malfunction.
- The sump pump turns off and on
- If the pump tends to cycle on and off all of the time it means that there is a malfunction in the pump and you should have a plumber look at it or replace it.
The Sump Pump’s Three Levels of Protection (Understanding What A Sump Pump Does)In order for your sump pump to function at optimum level you not only need the pump and the sump, but also a battery backup and a high-level alarm. These three levels of protection will keep your basement dry and mold free.Level 1: The PumpThere are two types of sump pumps that you can choose. Make sure that you choose a high-quality model and the type that is best for your home.Pedestal: For this type the pump is mounted on to the sump and is completely visible. This type of pump is easier to get to and costs less, but also lasts for less time. Submersible: For this type the pump is submerged in the sump and sealed. This type is harder to get to and more expensive than the pedestal, but it has it lasts longer.Level 2: The Battery Back UpA battery back up should be installed with all sump pumps. This will allow for the pump to continue to work during storms when the electricity goes out. This is very important because it is often at these times that you will need the pump to continue to function. Level 3: High Level AlarmHigh level alarms monitor the water levels in the basin. These alarms have sensors and will alert you when the basin (sump) is full or approaching full. These alarms should be mounted high up on the wall so that if there is a flood they are not shorted out by the water. Your basement flooding or collecting moisture is an experience that is frustrating, costly and potentially harmful to your health. There is one easy way to mitigate this type of disaster which is to install a sump pump in your basement. To make sure that you install it correctly and in the right place have a professional, like an experienced home inspector or plumber advise you. It is always better safe than soggy!