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Will a Sump Pump Fix All of My Basement Water Problems?

Will a Sump Pump Fix All of My Basement Water Problems?

Will a Sump Pump Fix All of My Basement Water Problems?

Sump pumps are small devices that pump water out of the basement to a drainage ditch. A sump pump will fix a lot of your basement water problems, but not all of them. It depends on the nature of the problem.

What a Sump Pump Will Do

The main job of a sump pump is to remove basement water that builds up in your home. Water seeps into the basement through foundation cracks and leaky pipes.

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It doesn’t just come in when there’s rain. It can seep through the ground and put pressure on the walls of your foundation, forcing itself through the cracks. If you live in an area with heavy snow, you’ll also find lots of puddles as the impacted snow melts and the water comes in.

Water follows the path of least resistance, and that means it all ends up on your floor. With the proper drainage system in place, it all drains down to the lowest level and that’s where you’ve got your sump pump. A rubber floater or similar device tells it there’s water and it kicks into gear, pumping the water out and away.

During a storm or period of heavy rain, it works overtime to keep your basement from flooding. The sump pump gets all of the water out and also protects your home from foundation damage and mold infestations.

What a Sump Pump WON’T Do

Although we consider sump pumps part of basement waterproofing, this is actually wrong. Sump pumps don’t do anything to prevent water from entering your house. It’s no replacement for proper waterproofing in the form of a vapor barrier or sealant. It’s part of the drainage system that leads water away.

A sump pump also won’t do anything about moisture buildup in the basement. Even without leaks or flooding, high humidity levels affect indoor air quality and create mold growth. The only way to control basement moisture is through proper waterproofing. Good ventilation and dehumidifiers also help.

Your sump pump also won’t do anything about mold that’s already growing. Mold commonly grows behind drywall, on ceiling materials, and in other out-of-the-way places. The only way to cut down on mold growth is to control the basement’s moisture. However, a sump pump will help by keeping standing water off the floor, which is another opportunity for mold to grow.

Choosing a Sump Pump

If you have trouble with flooding or water on the floor, buying and installing a sump pump will help. Before you buy, you should take a few things into consideration.

Submersible vs. Pedestal. Submersible sump pumps sit in a small hole in the floor while pedestal pumps are on a platform. Pedestal pumps are easy to install because they don’t require any construction work, but they’re not as effective as the submersible kind.

Manual vs. Automatic. Most recent models are automatic. They kick in whenever they detect water. However, there are also manual sump pumps that you have to turn on yourself. These are not as convenient but they’re quite a bit cheaper.

Horsepower. Sump pumps come in a range of horsepower. When choosing one, decide how much power you need based on how much water you’ve got. If you have serious flooding problems, go with a more powerful one. You can ask your waterproofing contractor after they’ve had a look at your basement.

Head Pressure. Pumps come in different head pressures. This is the pressure that it uses to pump the water into a drainage pipe and get it out of your house. Measure the length from the pump area to the drainage pipe and use this when buying your pump. The standard is 10 feet. Each pump’s packaging will tell you its specs.

Finally, it’s a good idea to have a backup energy supply if you’re using an automatic pump. You might have a power outage during a heavy storm when you need it most.