Your sump pump is the heart of your home’s waterproofing system. It it fails to run as it should excess water cannot drain effectively and will build up in your basement, causing a flood. It is therefore important to maintain your sump pump by following the maintenance guidelines provided by the manufacturer. The most common cause of basement flooding is the malfunction of your sump pump system.
The reason that your sump pump runs poorly or not at all could be due to a couple of things. It could have a burned out motor or a broken control switch. However, the most common cause of a malfunctioning sump pump is blockage due to debris and dirt. The inlet screen will become blocked by debris, dirt and grime which will hinder the pump from draining the sump and this leads to an over-flow. You should see to it that you clean out your sump pump on a regular basis. If your pump runs frequently due to climate or a high water table, you should do an inspection and a clean out every three months. In normal conditions, a once-a-year inspection and clean out should suffice.
Be sure to wear rubber gloves because it is a messy job. Remove the dirt and debris from the pump. Once you have most of the gunk out, use your garden hose to flush the pump. If the float rises and triggers the pump, all is good. Taking the time to inspect and clean your sump pump is well worth it because a flooded basement can cost thousands of dollars to clean up. If items like the floor, walls, support beams and furnishings are wet your out of pocket expenses could become expensive if you lack the proper type of homeowners insurance coverage.
If you do discover that your home has become flooded due to a malfunctioning sump pump, you will need to spring into action quickly. The easiest route is to call in a flood restoration company. This is the obvious solution if you have insurance coverage because these professionals will arrive on the scene quickly with industrial strength equipment such as pumps and dehumidifiers. Otherwise you will have to foot the bill yourself and get to work. You can rent the equipment you need from a local rental company.
Be certain that the electricity and fuel service is turned off before entering your basement. Recruit a small army of friends to come and help you as there is a whole to do. Once the majority of the water is pumped out a wet/dry vac will need to be used to suck up as much of the remaining water as possible. Then your mop brigade needs to clean up the rest. Next comes the need for a few box fans and a dehumidifier. The drying out process will take at least 24 hours so in the meantime clean up and dispose of items that are damaged beyond repair.
It is in your best interest to keep that sump pump of yours humming happily around the clock. Take good care of it and it will work hard at safeguarding your home against a basement flood.