Spring & summer come in like a lion, and it brings plenty of rain with it. Many parts of the country have felt the sting of flooding in the last few years, especially in flood plains where banks overflow and rainwater simply has nowhere left to go on already saturated ground. If you’re concerned about your basement flooding with the heavy spring rains, then investing in a sump pump is a great idea.
Why Do Basements Flood?
Basements can flood for many different reasons, and it’s important to consider all of them when trying to determine whether a sump pump is right for you.
- General flooding – When a river comes out of its banks after heavy rain, it can quickly climb beyond flood level and end up on your property. If it reaches your home’s foundation, the pressure can allow the water to seep through the walls and into your home.
- Heavy, persistent rainfall – Even if nearby rivers and streams haven’t flooded, heavy rainfall that continues over the course of several days can be just as detrimental. Over time, the ground becomes saturated and it cannot hold any more water, so that water begins to move. Often, it ends up moving up around your foundation and into your basement.
- Rising water table. Water exists to a degree under the ground below your home. As it continues to rain, and the ground continues to saturate, the water table can rise – eventually reaching your basement walls.
- Failing or insufficient gutters. Believe it or not, your gutter system even plays a role in keeping your basement free from water. If your gutters are overflowing, if you do not have enough downspouts, if your downspouts are clogged, or even if your downspouts do not drain the water from your roof appropriately, flooding may occur.
How Can a Sump Pump Help?
In all of the situations listed above, water that enters your home will find its way to the lowest point. When you install a sump pump, the lowest point in your home becomes the sump pit, or the pit where the sump pump (or its pedestal) sits. This is also where the pump will remove the water before moving it to a different spot on your property far away from your home where it can drain away in the opposite direction.
Most sump pumps are automatic, which means the pump motor triggers via a float mechanism. Once the float arm reaches a certain level, the motor kicks on, the pump removes excess water, and then the motor kicks off once the float goes back to its usual position. Manual sump pumps also exist, but these don’t provide the same peace of mind to homeowners – especially if they are away from home when the flooding occurs.
Sump pumps are an added expense for homeowners, but if you have a basement, you should view it as an investment instead. A single significant flooding event can cost thousands of dollars, but by investing in sump pump installation, you can prevent this damage and save money in the long run.