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Why You Need a Sump Pump for Your Home

Sump pump in a basement

If your home has a crawlspace or basement foundation, it is susceptible to flooding and water damage. Basements typically flood due to weather events like rainfall or melting snow, as well as plumbing issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to have the appropriate equipment to drain water away from your home. This helps prevent moisture and mold problems, protecting your property from potential damage.

If you have a crawlspace or basement, a sump pump is essential. Particularly in homes prone to flooding, installing a sump pump can safeguard your property and prevent future damage. In this guide, we will explore the causes of flooding, the function and importance of sump pumps, the various types available, and strategies to prevent basement floods. Additionally, we’ll discuss the lifespan of sump pumps and their necessity. By the end, you’ll be well-informed about sump pumps, enabling you to effectively protect your home from water damage.

Why does flooding happen in basements and crawlspaces?

The water table reflects the underground water level, which fluctuates with weather conditions and seasonal changes. During dry weather, the levels drop, whereas heavy rainfall or melting snow can elevate them. Additionally, poor drainage, such as clogged gutters or blocked storm drains, can cause groundwater levels to rise.

If your home has a basement or crawlspace, be prepared for potential flooding. These types of foundations are located on the lowest floor of the home, below surface level. When the water table rises above the foundation level, your basement or crawlspace may take on water. Gravity causes water to drain to the lowest available space, and hydrostatic pressure can force groundwater through cracks in the walls or other openings. Without a system in place to remove the excess water, flooding is inevitable.

Another reason you may experience flooding is due to plumbing issues, which can cause major damage. For example, if you have a burst pipe on the upper level of your home, water will flow to the lowest level and accumulate if there isn’t a way to remove it. Even if you have floor drains installed in your basement, these pipes can clog and get damaged which can cause them to fail to drain the water away from your home.

The Purpose of the Sump Pump

Sump pumps are used to remove water from low areas of your home such as a basement or the crawlspace. It is usually installed in the lowest spot in your foundation to collect water and pump it out of your home to protect against flooding and water damage.

Why is it important to install a sump pump?

Remember, a sump pump placed directly on the floor won’t protect your basement from flooding. Water will accumulate at that level, causing damage. Instead, position the sump pump below floor level to remove water before it reaches your home and damages your belongings.

The sump pump, also known as the sump basin, is a hole excavated below the flat foundation. Its primary function is to collect water that infiltrates the room, directing it to the lowest point. Positioned inside the sump pit, the sump pump efficiently expels water before it overflows from the basin and floods the basement floor. In a crawlspace, the ideal dimensions for a sump pit are approximately 17 inches in width and 16 inches in depth. For a basement, the sump pit should measure around 18 to 24 inches wide and 22 to 36 inches deep.

Why you need a sump pump in your home

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system.

Different Categories of Sump Pumps

Most sump pumps have the same components such as a pump, a motor, a switch, and a discharge line. You should investigate different options before purchasing one, however overall, there are two basic types:

  • Submersible sump pumps have a specifically packaged motor and pump that needs to be installed down inside the sump basin. This type of sump pump is submersed in water. It can handle solid matter as well as large water volumes. Submersible pumps are more costly to repair and does not last as long as some other options on the market.
  • Pedestal sump pumps have a separate motor and pump. This type of pump is not able to handle large volumes of water or solids, but they can last you a long time and cost less to purchase.

Preventing a Wet Basement with a Sump Pump

When there is a particular level of water in the sump pump, it will trigger the pressure switch or the float arm to activate the sump pump. The motor will allow the sump pump to have power so that all the water can be moved out of the hole through discharge lines to a safe spot that is away from the home. Usually, sump pumps drain water 10 to 20 feet away from the foundation of the home.

Why is a sump pump needed?

You will need a sump pump only if you meet these factors for your home or land. To figure out if you need a sump pump at your property, here are the things you need to think about:

  • If you have a home or a business that has a basement, it is always recommended to get a sump pump. Even if you haven’t had a wet basement in the past or even moisture issues, you are always at risk of having a flood. A sump pump will save you from this type of water damage.
  • If you plan to buy a home with a finished basement or plan to get your basement finished in the future, you will need to invest in a sump pump to prevent water damage. Having a sump pump will help save you from the expenses of water damage that may not be covered by insurance.
  • If you have a crawlspace at your home or business, a sump pump can help with moisture issues to avoid high humidity and mold growth.
  • If you have a specific type of soil at your home or business, you may need to consider installing a sump pump. For example, if you have soil that has a high clay content or does not drain well, it can allow water to flow to a low spot instead of dispersing it outward. Sand soil will drain water quickly and away from your home.
  • Depending on the slope of land around your home, you may need to have a sump pump installed. For example, if the ground slopes toward your home, basement flooding is more likely than if it slopes away from the home.

How long do sump pumps last?

How long your sump pump will last for you will depend on various conditions. If you have it installed, serviced, and maintained by a professional over the years of owning it, it will last you many years. If your sump pump works frequently for long periods of time, it will wear out quicker than a sump pump that doesn’t get used as often. Usually, sump pumps last about 7 to 10 years.

Is a battery backup for your sump pump needed?

If your sump pump fails and water floods your basement, your homeowner’s insurance likely won’t cover the damage due to equipment failure. Sump pumps can fail for various reasons, including clogs, power outages, or extreme weather conditions.

Installing a battery backup for the sump pump provides extra protection against basement and crawlspace flooding. Typically, this backup system is paired with the main sump pump and activates when the main pump fails. For instance, during a power outage caused by a storm, the battery backup ensures the sump pump continues to operate. This equipment acts as an additional layer of insurance beyond your standard policy.

Professional Water Damage Restoration

Have you experienced water damage at your home or business? ServiceMaster by Replacements is here to help! Our expert technicians are equipped to handle all types of water damage swiftly and effectively. From standing water to flooded basements, we possess the tools, equipment, and expertise to clean, dry, and restore your property to its original condition.

Call us as soon as water damage of any size strikes. For all of your disaster restoration needs in New Jersey, contact us at (732) 842-6917 or fill out a form on our website.