In Saskatchewan, where our head office is, many houses have basements and rely on sump pumps to keep the basement dry. The basement sump pump’s job is to pump ground water from a sump pit that extends below the concrete slab. When water reaches a certain level in the sump pit, a float-activated switch turns the sump pump on, and the water is pumped to the exterior.
I grew up in a house with a basement sump pump and soon learned to appreciate its strengths and limitations as a means of keeping the basement dry. Under normal conditions, the sump pump worked fine and the water stayed below the basement slab floor. But we learned the hard way that sediment and debris could collect in the open sump pit and cause the pump’s intake to clog. So the water level would continue to rise, eventually flooding the basement. Sometimes the pump would burn out from running continuously, adding expense to the aggravation of cleaning up the mess. The other problem we had was an obvious one: A bad storm would knock out our electrical power at the same time it was dumping loads of rain. The sump pump couldn’t operate, so once again the basement would flood.
These memories came back to me recently because of what happened to many houses during our weekend sudden blizzard with over 18 inches of snow and loosing power for almost 6 hours.
As long as a sump pit and pump are installed professionally the issues listed above will not occur. With a professionally installed pit the pump should not clog with debris and the majority of pumps last for several years without burning out.
We highly recommend checking your sump pump to make sure it is working once per month in the spring and summer months. I made a habit of checking ours monthly when I change our furnace filter. Right now after the 18 inches of snow melting fast theres no need to check to see if its working as it cuts in once every hour or two.
With todays technology you can also pay a little extra to have a battery power backup installed in the event that the power goes out, common occurrence during a bad storm.
When contemplating wether or not to get a sump please keep in mind that water tables are constantly fluctuating. We frequently hear from our customers that they have been in the house for several years and never had this problem before. Don’t become another statistic. Insurance typically won’t cover seepage from high water table so make the right choice and protect your biggest investment your home.
If you do not have a sump pump we highly recommend you contact us now 1-888-909-MOLD (6653) and we can arrange to have one installed for you before it is too late.