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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Do Some Basements Have Sump Pumps?

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

photo of a sump pump in a basement Sump pumps can provide basement flooding protection for your home.

When you're looking to buy a home or a rental property and you notice a sump pump in some basements and not others, you may wonder why that is. Some may even worry that it means the basement is always flooding and will cause major problems in the home. However, this is usually not the case. Here, we will go over why some basements have sump pumps.

What Do Sump Pumps Do?

Sump pumps help prevent basement flooding and groundwater seepage. A small pump is installed in the lowest part of the building after a sump pit is constructed. The sump pits collect groundwater, and when water levels rise high enough it activates the float switch which turns the pump on. Then, the water will be pumped out of the sump pit through the discharge line and be let off away from the home.

There are different types of sump pumps, including submersible pumps, pedestal pumps, and battery backup pumps for when the power goes out. All are extremely helpful in removing excess water from your basement. Consult your local basement waterproofer to see which would work best in your home.

Reasons Why Basements Have Sump Pumps

  1. Home is in a flood zone. You don't want to have to pay thousands of dollars to remove water from your basement over and over when you live in a flood zone. Installing a pump can help protect your basement when your area floods.
  2. Basement under the water table. When your basement is located below the water table, it is much more likely for you to be dealing with groundwater seeping in to the basement after heavy rains. Hydrostatic pressure pushes water through the walls of your basement.
  3. Looking for basement waterproofing. A sump pump is a great option when you want to somewhat waterproof a basement, especially when it is finished. You can't completely waterproof a finished basement, but installing a pump should help prevent any flooding or moisture from ruining all of your belongings.
  4. Located in an area of heavy rains or snow. Even when your basement doesn't have any of the above reasons to install a sump pump, living in an area where there's usually heavy rains or snow is enough of a reason to install one. Even when not in a flood zone or under the water table, increased levels of groundwater can still cause your basement to flood.
  5. Taking proactive steps against mold or water damage. If you constantly struggle with basement flooding, you're likely worried about water damage or mold growing and spreading in your home and want to take steps to prevent these issues.

While the presence of a sump pump in a basement likely indicates that there is a risk for flooding - it's not necessarily a bad thing. Sump pumps are effectively and are usually more than sufficient to prevent flooding when properly installed, used, and maintained. So, if the home you're looking to buy has a sump pump in the basement - don't fear. Be happy that a thousands-of-dollars waterproofing system has already been installed in your home!

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