Installing a sump pump in your home can help you control the amount of water or moisture that makes its way in and out of your basement. The experts at Innovative Basement Authority will walk through your home with you, conduct an inspection, and recommend which sump pump solution works best for your situation.
Using a Sump Pump
Sump pumps prove effective in homes that need localized waterproofing. These pumps direct water back out of your home as it comes indoors. Instead of allowing the water to settle in the ground again, a pump will contain the water and release it at a more controlled rate. This means you won’t have to overwork the pump you’re using by having it remove the same amount of water from your home repeatedly.
Several sump pumps available to you through Innovative Basement Authority come equipped with features to improve their performance. These can include:
- Alarms – If your pump fails to turn on during a storm or flood, then alarms affiliated with the system can start to go off to let you know that something is wrong.
- Sump Liners – Sump pump liners help keep the inner workings of your sump pump secure, even after long-term exposure to elevated levels of moisture or excessive standing water.
- Airtight Lids – The water that makes its way into your home isn’t always the cleanest. An airtight sump pump lid helps keep those unpleasant smells—and additional humidity—from reaching the rest of your home.
- Sump Stands – Sump pump stands help separate your pump from its liner, meaning that any debris a liner pulls away from the pump will not come into contact with the pump’s sensitive inner workings.
- FreezeGuard™ Discharge Line Protection – Exterior sump pump discharge lines can start to freeze as the weather takes a turn. The FreezeGuard™ discharge line attachment allows water to continue to drain from the line, even if it freezes or becomes blocked.
Battery-Backup Sump Pumps
Most sump pumps work when plugged into a wall outlet. Unfortunately, this means that your sump pump may stop working if the power goes out around your home. The good news is that you can use a battery backup sump pump to stand in for your normal sump pump for a few hours if necessary.
Battery-backup sump pumps, as the name suggests, operate on battery power after your home’s power goes out. You can attach these sump pumps to traditional pumps and use them both as a secondary device and as an alarm system. Battery-backup sump pumps will alert you if something has gone wrong with your standard sump pump.
However, these pumps can drive up to 40 gallons of water per second out of your home for at least four hours after your power goes out. This means that even if it continues to rain in your area for a while after you lose power, you shouldn’t have to deal with standing water or flooding in your basement or crawl space.
Installing a Battery-Backup Sump Pump
You can install a battery-backup sump pump at the same time as a standard sump pump. Alternatively, if you find you’re interested in one later down the line, you can work with our specialists to research compatible options that may fit with the pump you already have in place.
Note that you should not rely on a battery backup sump pump outside of emergency circumstances. While these pumps are effective, they cannot stand in for a traditional pump over extended periods of time. If you’re looking to invest in affordable home waterproofing measures and don’t want to commit to a traditional sump pump, you can speak to our team about other protective measures.
Other Waterproofing Solutions
As you’re determining how best to protect your home from an influx of unwanted moisture, you’ll have the option to waterproof the exterior or the interior of your home. Exterior home waterproofing measures can include piers, underpinning, or exterior drainage tiles. Interior waterproofing measures, alternatively, can include dehumidifiers, vapor barriers, and full space encapsulations.
Sump pumps pair well with about all the waterproofing measures you have available to you. These pumps, as mentioned, tend to help you protect a concentrated area of your home instead of your full basement or crawl space. With that in mind, you can pair your sump pump with an interior drain, for example, to benefit simultaneously from comprehensive home protection.
Annual Home Inspections
Scheduling annual home inspections allows you to keep track of the weaker parts of your home. This way, you can invest in any necessary repairs before unwanted moisture makes its way indoors.
These kinds of inspections let you keep a closer eye on the sump pump you’re using. As such, you can determine what kind of repairs your sump pump might need before it stops working. Conducting this kind of regular maintenance doesn’t just serve you well in an emergency, but it also allows your sump pump to remain in tip-top shape for a few years longer than it would otherwise.
Contending with Drainage Problems Around Your Home
Your home can start to show signs of stress and water damage for a multitude of reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Hydrostatic pressure – As rainwater gathers on the ground outside of your home, it can come into direct contact with the materials making up your foundation or structural supports. Because this water makes it difficult for those materials to maintain a consistent temperature, those materials can begin to expand and contract on a molecular level. If those materials are overexposed to this kind of rapid change, they can start to crack from the stress of that exposure. The force of water as it works against the rest of your home is known as hydrostatic pressure, and it can cause most of the leaks and cracks that appear throughout your basement.
- Root damage – While tree roots don’t work maliciously against your home, they can disrupt the structural integrity of the soil beneath your foundation. In doing so, trees planted too close to your home can cause your foundation to start sinking prematurely. In the meanwhile, the structural supports in your basement can begin to crack, making it easier for moisture to get into your home.
- Pests – Termites, carpenter ants, and other insects like to chew away at the structural supports throughout your home. If given the opportunity, these critters can leave gaps behind them as they work, thereby allowing unwanted moisture into your home. However, digging animals, like rabbits and groundhogs, can also disrupt the soil beneath your home. As your foundation and structural supports settle into the space that these critters leave behind them, your floor can begin to buckle, and rainwater can make its way into your basement on a regular basis.
- Poor building – There are times when a contractor fails to take the grade of your lawn or the quality of materials into account when building your home. In these cases, it could merely be the quality of your home that has made it easier for moisture to make its way indoors.
Sump Pump Systems
Sump pumps are known to be among the most effective home waterproofing measures. They are, however, better suited to some homes than others.
- When to Install a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are hardworking waterproofing measures designed to help control moisture levels in a specific part of your home. These systems best suit homes that see concentrated seepage or flooding.
With that in mind, you will want to take advantage of a sump pump if water tends to appear in only one part of your crawl space or basement. You can often follow diagonal cracks or mold clusters to these spots, as these symptoms tend to indicate localized damage.
- When Not to Use a Sump Pump
While sump pumps are good at what they do, there are times when you may need alternative home waterproofing measures to keep your home watertight. If, for example, you’re seeing wide-spread flooding throughout your crawl space or basement, you may want to consider investing in a French drain instead of a sump pump. French drains cover a larger portion of your home on a superficial level, allowing you to pump out water as it spreads. Sump pumps, comparatively, can only control a small portion of your basement.
In a similar vein, vapor barriers and dehumidifiers can work in tandem to help high-moisture homes dry out. If, for example, you haven’t seen standing water in your home, but you are contending with unwanted moisture on a regular basis, installing a sump pump may be overkill when compared to the other waterproofing measures you have available to you.
Sump pump failure can not only cause damage to your basement, but it can also adversely affect the rest of your home, too.
- Constant Flooding
Coming across frequent floods pooling in your basement can be more than a pain to deal with. It can also signal the fact that there is major damage that you might have overlooked. Leaks and cracks do not spring up out of thin air. They are often signs of much deeper damage within your basement or even the foundation itself.
Constant flooding can also invite other unsightly issues into your home as well. All that moisture can create stains known as efflorescence along your basement walls or floor. These streaks are not toxic, but they can be difficult to remove and spread quite fast. Mold and mildew spores will similarly spread around your basement and the rest of your home if you are not careful. Inhaling these spores can result in awful allergic reactions such as burning eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, skin rashes, and more.
- The Clay Bowl Effect
Your sump pump should keep your basement completely dry no matter what. Unfortunately, if it fails, then your foundation could face grave consequences. This might be due to the clay bowl effect, a common construction mistake that contractors will make when building a home. When contractors first lay down the foundation, they will dig a large hole where they plan to place it. Once the foundation is laid down, then the contractor will backfill the soil in the extra space left around the foundation.
This then makes the soil far looser and can easily wash out during a storm. This can cause the foundation to settle or crack, leaving your basement more vulnerable to flooding in the future. Of course, if you have a sump pump system installed, then this flood will be redirected away from your home. However, if your sump pump has failed, then your basement will flood. Therefore, you need to get a sump pump that will continuously work to protect your home no matter what.
Many homeowners have tried to install sump pumps in their spaces on their own. While you do have the option to take this kind of task on, it’s not always in your best interest. The truth is that installing a sump pump without professional guidance can often cost you more than reaching out to work with the professionals in your area.
- Losing Money on Materials and Workload
The contractors serving eastern Montana, Minnesota, and North Dakota have the tools that they need on hand to help you install a sump pump in your basement. If you want to try and take on this type of work on your own, you may have to go and seek out these tools on your own. Combine the cost of these one-time-use tools and the materials you need to install a sump pump—including the pump itself—and you may find yourself blowing through your repair budget in little to no time at all.
That cost comes before you must consider how much work a DIY installation involves. In most cases, you have to do a bit of excavation if you want to have a sump pump in your crawl space or basement. Taking on that kind of work without help can drag out an installation project until weeks have passed, and you don’t feel any closer to finishing the job.
- Losing Money on Additional Repairs
It’s always possible for something to go wrong in the middle of your installation job. In some cases, you may make a mistake during your installation that makes the damage already done to your home worse. In other cases, you may accidentally cover up the symptoms of more significant water damage, allowing said water damage to fester in the weeks and months to come.
In short, if you want to save money on a sump pump installation or on any kind of home waterproofing effort, it is financially in your best interest to at least request a home inspection and a free services quote from area professionals. DIY work can turn out to be expensive if you’re not sure where to start.
When to Reach Out for Professional Guidance
While you can install a sump pump as soon as you move into a new home, you may not be thinking about what kind of waterproofing protection your new space needs at that time. You will, however, want to consider bringing this kind of waterproofing measure into your home if you think your home is likely to take on water damage at some point.
If you’re considering installing a sump pump in your home, keep an eye out for the following interior problem signs:
- Warping door frames
- Fogging windows
- Water Leakage
- Old water spots
- Mold clusters