It has been one hot summer here in Idaho Falls. This means more watering for our lawns and gardens to keep them from scorching. Sometimes all the excess water we are using to combat the heat, can build up around our home’s foundation and greatly increase the risk of water damage in our basements. One of the best lines of defense our homes have to keep water out of the basement is a sump pump.
A sump pump’s sole purpose is to remove excess water from your home. The sump pump protects your home from heavy rains and rising waters by moving water from the basement out of your home. The sump pump is held in a hole or basin carved below the main surface of your basement floor. The pump has valves that sense water levels in and around the basement and when those levels get too high it will pump the excess water out of the basement and away from your home through a discharge line, or an effluent, to a designated drainage area. Typically, the drainage area is a creek or pond or neighborhood drain. It is important that the drainage area is far enough away from your home and an area where the water will not be able to flow back. It is also important to choose a sump pump that has enough horsepower to adequately pump the water out of and away from your home. When your sump pump works correctly, it is a great defense from water damage. Sometimes though, your sump pump can fail causing devastating flooding.
The most common cause of sump pump failure is a power outage. Sump pumps require power to function correctly, so when the power goes out it could mean trouble. Don’t worry though, there are a few things you can do to combat this problem. First, you can install a backup generator in your home. After the terrible windstorm last year left many of us in Idaho Falls without power for up to 36 hours, it was a good reminder of just how beneficial a backup generator is. It can kick on when the power goes out and supply your sump pump with the power it needs to keep pushing water away from your home. Another option is to purchase a battery-operated sump pump as a backup that can take over when the power goes out. Either way, it is a good idea to have a secondary system in place that can continue to pump away water in the case of a power outage.
Another cause of sump pump failure is lack of routine maintenance. Because they are located in the basement, sump pumps are easily forgotten and neglected. You can always test your sump pump to ensure it is working properly by pouring water into the sump pit. Once the water reaches a predetermined level, the pump should turn itself on and begin removing the water. Make sure that the water is able to be removed, and the discharge line is clear and that the pit does not have excess gravel, rocks, or other obstructing materials in the way.
Keeping your basement, and the rest of your home, dry this summer is our number one priority at Restore Rite. If you need a water damage company, whether from sump pump failure or any other cause or source, we are here for you.