With heavy rainfall and high chances of flooding making their way through the Lehigh Valley area lately, many homeowners are stressed, and rightly so, over the risk of water damage in their house if the basement becomes flooded. Lots of people who don’t already have a sump pump installed are considering it for the first time, and wondering if it’s the right choice. If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone, and we here at Schuler have your back! Here’s what you need to know about adding a sump pump to your home, and how it can help you deal with any potential basement flooding you might encounter.
What is a Sump Pump?
Whether or not you’re familiar with the appliance and how it works, you’re probably wondering what in the world a sump is, and you would need to pump it. The answer is actually pretty simple– sump is just another word for pit or basin, and the term sump pump refers to a pump that clears water out of a pit, in this case, one in your basement. A system is established to allow floodwater in your basement to collect in this pit or in several like it– French drains tend to be a common method. The sump pump then drains the water from the pit into the municipal drain system or a well, creek, or grassy area a ways away from the foundation of the house.
How Do Sump Pumps Work?
Most of the time, as water collects in the pit where your sump pump is located, the pump will activate automatically without you needing to do anything. It does this by using a float activator, like the one in your toilet, or a pressure sensor. If you have a manually operated pump, you may have to go down and turn it on yourself, but this type of pump isn’t common because it’s a pain to use!
Most sump pumps are submersible pumps, which sit directly on the bottom of the pit. However, you might also have a pedestal pump, which is raised off the bottom of the pit by the pedestal. Submersible pumps tend to be quieter and more powerful, but pedestal pumps are cheaper, longer lasting, and easier to clean.
How Do I Know If I Need a Sump Pump?
If your house doesn’t already have a sump pump, you may be wondering whether it’s worth it to install one, and if it’s something that you should be seriously considering. There are a few factors that play into whether or not your home needs a sump pump– for starters, a house with a basement or crawl space is the kind that could benefit from this addition. It might also be a good idea to install one if you live in an area with a particularly high risk of flooding, or if the area around your home has poor soil drainage and is vulnerable to flooding from excess groundwater.
How Do I Use a Sump Pump?
Unless you have a manual sump pump installed, using one of these tools is very set-it-and-forget-it. As water starts to accumulate in your basement, the pump will automatically activate and keep things from getting out of hand. A sump pump does require some minimal upkeep– for example, you should double check that the pit is clear before an incoming storm, check the pump for corrosion and other damage, and clean it every so often. Outside of that, you can simply enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected against basement flooding!
What Should I Do If My Basement Floods Without a Sump Pump?
If you don’t have a sump pump installed in your basement and you start accumulating water, you’re in for a stressful period of time. The most important thing, once you’ve shut off the electricity and gotten any valuables to safety, is to try to keep the water levels at bay, which could mean using a hand pump or pool pump if you have one on hand, using a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the water, or if all else fails, calling in the professionals to help you deal with the rising water levels and resulting water damage. You can contact Schuler Service to discuss emergency services that can help you.
Of course, this problem can be avoided altogether by simply having a sump pump installed in your basement before you encounter a flooding problem! If you’re interested in learning more, you can contact the team at Schuler Service today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.