Don’t Forget About the Sump Pump!
A properly waterproofed basement is going to have a sump basin, where moisture in the basement from sources such as condensation, ground run offs and underground water will be channeled to by the perimeter drains of the waterproofing system.
It will also have a sump pump to pump out the water collected to a proper disposal area. These two components are vital in the prevention of water damage to basements, plus all the related problems of excess moisture around the house.
It is not uncommon for people to forget about their installed sump pump system. When was the last time you had yours cleaned, serviced or even checked? Typical recommendations say that sump equipment need to be maintained at least once a year, and this is only for a typical installation where water damage conditions are minimal. In areas where you have the sump pump running every now and then due to bad weather or a higher water table, the frequency of maintenance should be higher.
Rarely used systems may have some component failures that will go unnoticed up until that time of great need, like say a severe rainstorm or a hurricane. The backup systems for the sump can also fail at their time of need simply because they went unchecked for long periods of time. For the avoidance of dire and potentially damaging basement water situations caused by a failed sump system, always remember to check on it.
When carrying out maintenance of your basement waterproofing system, you should clean the sump basin and pump by removing dirt, sand, gravel and other kinds of debris that might be hampering the efficiency of the system.
Such kind of obstructions can greatly affect the ability of the pump to drain out the sump, leading to overflows. They will also force the pump to overheat as it works harder to overcome the impediments, leading to its shortened life.
If your system has the automatic sump pump that has a float switch, make sure it is also cleared of any obstructions that will jam it, and cause it not to switch the pump on or off when necessary. If you don’t have a float guard installed, you should consider getting one to prevent such situations.
Remember to test your system to make sure the pump is working okay because if it not, you will have to call in a qualified technician.
Jerome Fokas is the President of Select Basement Waterproofing, and has more than 15 years of professional basement waterproofing installation and ownership experience.