Sump Pumps: Keeping High Water Out of Your Living Space
Flooding can cause damage to your basement or crawl space, and some homes are very prone to it. If you’re wondering how to keep your basement dry, your best bet is to install a sump pump. The EPA amended the clean water act in 1987 in part to stipulate that many homes at risk of flooding are required to have a sump pump.
We know your pain! All winter you’ve been watching the snow piling up on your lawn, inch after inch. Although spring is finally here, that does not mean the water is going away. It’s melting, and it’s flowing into the street and down the storm drain, hopefully.
If you don’t live on a hill that slopes away from the house, water may be entering your basement. If you don’t have a proper drainage system for your basement like a sump pump, how will you keep your basement dry? How do you avoid the potential of serious water damage?
Basement Waterproofing with Sump Pump Systems
In addition to causing damage that will cost you money, water in your basement can be hazardous to your health. Flooding creates a setting for mold and mildew to grow. According to the Center for Disease Control, mold and mildew can cause a variety of health problems. It can be the catalyst for respiratory issues. On the lighter side, you may only experience coughing or wheezing, but it can potentially cause more serious problems like asthma.
How Does Water Enter Your Basement?
Before we talk about how to keep your basement dry, let’s talk about what makes a wet basement.
- Water may enter over the footer of your foundation.
- Depending on the construction of your foundation, water may be entering between your foundation wall and the basement floor.
- Cracks created by hydrostatic pressure may also allow water through.
Water in your basement could be due to the natural flow of water around your home. If it is caused by damage to the walls of your foundation, it’s a good idea to get it repaired.
How Sump Pumps Keep Your Basement Dry
A sump pump is installed into what’s called a sump pit. It is a literal pit dug into the floor of your basement. This creates an even lower point for your basement’s flooded water to naturally flow into. This pit is typically about two feet deep.
The sump pump sits inside. When the water reaches a certain level, it touches the float switch or float activator. Because water puts more pressure on the activator than air, it knows to switch on and start pumping water.
Most pumps are centrifugal pumps. This means that they use the centrifugal force created by a spinning fan to suck water into it. The water is forced through a system of pipes out of your basement to a place where it can safely drain without reentering your home.
Most pumps are one of two designs: submersible or pedestal. Submersible pumps are, you guessed it, submerged in water in the pit. Pedestal pumps sit above the water line and use a small inlet pipe to carry water up and out of the pit.
Do I Need a Sump Pump?
Chances are you already know if you need a sump pump. Either your state government requires the installation of a sump pump, or you are simply proactive at keeping the contents of your basement dry. Keep in mind, that if you’re thinking of buying or building a new home, look up your local government’s regulations regarding sump pumps for your home.
If This is Ringing a Bell, Don’t Wait
The best time to have a sump pump installed or replaced is in the fall. This is because the ground is usually dry, and you’re getting ahead of the winter snow that eventually turns to spring wetness. But if you’re reading this and thinking about the streaks of water dribbling through your basement walls, don’t wait.
Water damage can turn into mold, which can turn into structural damage in your house and health problems for your family. If you have a leaky basement, there’s no reason not to call a professional you can trust. You don’t want to end up making your video of what happens when your pump fails. Be sure to give us a call, we might just know a little bit about how to keep basements dry.