No home waterproofing measure is going to last forever. The waterproofing measures you install in your basement can wear out over time, especially if you forget to schedule your annual home inspections. Unfortunately, worn-out sump pumps can cause more harm than good. Pumps with missing or damaged parts won’t keep moisture from getting into your basement, exacerbating any damage that may already be in place.
A Sump Pump in Your Basement
Sump pumps provide immediate protective services for localized parts of your basement. Similar to interior drains in make, these pumps don’t rely on gravity or drains to drive water from your home but rather use electricity to do the same work. More specifically, sump pumps force water out of localized parts of your basement via discharge pipes. That water will then back out into your yard far away from your foundation.
A basic sump pump does its job well, effectively removing unwanted water from your property. There are certain accessories you can equip your sump pump with, though, if you want to take it to the next level. These accessories can include:
- Sump liners
- Airtight lids
- Sump stands
- Backup batteries
- FreezeGuard™ Discharge Line Protections
Basement Damage to Watch For
It’s not always easy to know when something’s gone wrong with your sump pump. There are some signs, however, that can give related damage away. These include but are not limited to:
Your sump pump comes into contact with a significant amount of water while it’s doing its job. As a result, even a damaged sump pump is going to be relatively damp. While mold spores do not travel into your home courtesy of groundwater, they can thrive once they have access to a regular source of moisture.
The lone good news about a mold infestation is that it tends to give itself and a broken sump pump away. Unfortunately, all types of molds—allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic—can cause respiratory problems in residents who are exposed to them for an extended period of time. While you and the professionals in your area can follow your nose to a damaged sump pump, you may also want to remove your family from the premises while professionals clear your home out and repair any damage that the moisture in the area has facilitated.
Cracks Near Your Joints
As water makes its way into your home, it generates a force known as hydrostatic pressure. This pressure acts against the molecular integrity of your basement’s floor and walls, making them weaker due to high levels of stress. As such, a home with a damaged sump pump often sees cracks develop in its basement door frames, windowsills, and joints. Superficial joints may not indicate significant structural damage, but let those cracks go for too long, and the damage you’re dealing with may rapidly put the stability of your basement at risk.
Standing or Pooling Water
Standing water inside and outside of your home is never a good sign. If water is refusing to evaporate or drain, then it usually means that the surrounding environment is oversaturated with this kind of moisture.
The concrete that makes up the slabs of so many homes tends to absorb water at a faster rate than its sturdy reputation suggests. Mineral-rich soil does the same. If these materials end up over-saturated with moisture, that means that your home’s structural supports are facing a prolonged assault from moisture and the effects of hydrostatic pressure. Standing and pooling water both add to that pressure and put any furniture or belongings you have in your basement at risk for damage.
Repairing a Damaged Sump Pump
When it comes to repairing a damaged sump pump and removing moisture from your home, reach out to the professionals in Kansas City, Moberly, St. Louis, and Springfield, MO. Do not try to do this work on your own. Instead, when you call in the professionals, you can walk alongside them as they go through the steps of first inspecting and then repairing any damage that your sump pump has suffered from. These steps include:
- Checking the sump float
- Cleaning the sump pit
- Testing the check valve
- Cleaning the impeller
- Checking the power source
There are several sump pump accessories, including liners and lids, designed to limit the amount of debris that can come into contact with your sump pump’s inner workings. That said, these accessories are not infallible. Most of the time, if something’s gone wrong with your sump pump, you can trace the damage back to some manner of debris that your pump caught while doing its job.
In these cases, professionals may choose to proceed in one of two ways. If your sump pump is under warranty, professionals may have the opportunity to reach out to the manufacturer and secure either the damaged part or a full replacement on your behalf. If the sump pump is out of warranty, professionals may take the opportunity to replace the damaged part in question on their own.
Alternatively, you do always have the option of replacing a sump pump that’s suffered from damage in full. What you prefer to do should depend entirely on your budget as well as on the kind of protection you want your basement to benefit from in the future.
Basement Sump Pump Issues
Sump pumps are often your first and last defense when it comes to keeping your basement dry. They work best when coupled with an interior drainage system and do the heavy lifting in effectively removing any leaking water from your basement.
The Sump Pump Basics
Sump pumps prove effective in homes that need localized waterproofing. These pumps direct water back out of your home as it comes indoors. Instead of allowing that water to settle in the ground again, however, a pump will contain the water and release it at a more controlled rate. This means you won’t have to overwork the pump you’re using by having it remove the same burst of water from your home over and over again.
These pumps, unfortunately, cannot cover the whole of your basement without help. As mentioned, sump pumps are designed for localized care. If you’re concerned about widespread flooding or seepage in your basement, you can talk with area experts about installing an interior drain. Alternatively, you can pair a sump pump with other basement waterproofing measures for improved home protection.
Sump Pump Accessories
Sump pumps are more than just their base unit. Depending on your interests, you may be able to bring home a sump pump that is rife with extra goodies. These can include:
- Alarms – If your pump fails during a storm or flood, attached alarms will go off and let you know you’ll need to invest in repairs ASAP.
- Sump Liners – Sump pump liners help keep the inner workings of your sump pump secure, even after long-term exposure to high levels of moisture or excessive standing water.
- Airtight Lids – An airtight sump pump prevents any debris that the pump catches from making its way throughout the rest of your home.
- Sump Stands – Sump pump stands separate your pump from its liner. This means the debris that your sump pump catches won’t muck up the bells and whistles needed to keep your pump functional.
- FreezeGuard™ Discharge Line Protections – Come the coldest months of the year, your sump pump’s exterior discharge lines may start to freeze. FreezeGuard™ discharge line attachments allow the sump pump to continue pumping water out as it normally would but give this water an alternative exit of the line is frozen or blocked.
You’ll have the opportunity to decide which, if any, of these accessories and others you’re interested in at the time you have your sump pump installed or upon inspecting it with an area professional. You can also discuss the merits of installing a battery backup sump pump with a contractor in your area.
If you’re concerned about the cost of home repairs, you may be tempted to forgo professional installation or repair assistance in favor of your own work. On paper, this may seem like a good idea, but in reality, it isn’t. DIY sump pump installation and repair can cost you far more in the long run than working with area professionals. Any mistakes you make during the installation process will stay with you long after you’ve finished installing your pump.
Losing Money on Materials and Workload
Installing and repairing a sump pump is no simple matter. If you try to do this work on your own, you’ll not only have to purchase your preferred pump without industry discounts but also pursue any parts you think may have been damaged by the weather in your area. You’ll also need to bring home the tools and materials that you’ll need to successfully complete an installation, including enough piping to cover the discharge lines the system needs.
The professionals serving your area, comparatively, have the tools they need on hand to help you install a sump pump in your basement. They also have access to manufacturers who can provide them with any parts that may have been damaged by winter and spring weather. In short, professionals will be able to procure the tools and materials they need to do their work at a fraction of the cost it will cost you to do the same—so why not let them do the hard work for you?
Making Mistakes on the Job
There’s always a chance for you to make a mistake while installing or repairing your own sump pump. These kinds of mistakes aren’t harmless. Instead, if you do mess up your work, you may add to the damage that your basement is already contending with. You may even cover up the symptoms of more significant water damage by accident, allowing said water damage to fester in the weeks and months to come.
When you’re faced with these kinds of problems, you’ll likely find yourself reaching out to a professional for guidance. Unfortunately, these repair costs can end up being higher as they factor in the removal of any DIY efforts you previously invested in, not to mention the repair of any structures you accidentally damaged in the midst of your work.
No waterproofing measure that you install your home is going to work forever. Stress and strain will cause these solutions to give out sooner or later. However, you can extend the lifespan of your sump pump, for example, if you stack it with other available waterproofing measures.
Effective Waterproofing Pairs
It’s never a bad idea to install multiple waterproofing measures in your basement. You can discuss interior and exterior waterproofing plans with the experts in your area and base your needs on the condition of your basement. For example, interior damage can be met with both a sump pump and an interior drain.
There are few home waterproofing measures that pair poorly with a sump pump. Even so, it can be intimidating to look over your list of potentials to try and find the best place to start. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with area professionals. The contractors working in your area can recommend specific installations based on the damage you’ve had to deal with in the past.
Annual Home Inspections and Your Sump Pump
You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your sump pump just to get ahead of potential damage. Scheduling annual home inspections allows you to keep track of the fragile inner workings as well as those parts of your basement that may be especially vulnerable to damage. If you’re able to get ahead of the worst of your home’s damage, then you may be able to spare yourself the expense of repairs in the long run.
Don’t feel as though you have to wait for your home to take on damage before you reach out to the professionals. Get into the rhythm of walking through your home with area contractors. As you build up your relationship, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the state of your basement. Area contractors who are familiar with your sump pump, as well as your home’s quirks, will also be able to advise you more effectively should something go awry in your home.
Waterproofing Your Basement
Sump pumps aren’t the only tools you can use to protect your home from leaks. You can stack home waterproofing measures to ensure your basement stays as watertight as possible. Some of the best waterproofing measures to install in your basement alongside a sump pump include:
Interior Drainage System
In order to keep your basement dry and for the sump pump to work at its best, you need an interior drainage system. A series of specially designed and perforated pipes will be placed just below your basement floor to intercept water that leaks inside the walls and floor. This water is then channeled to the sump pump system so it can do its job of properly removing the water.
Most professionals recommend vapor barriers for your crawl space instead of your basement. However, if you’re facing significant leaks in your basement, or if you want to cover one or two walls near your sump pump, vapor barriers can get the job done.
Vapor barriers are made of super-dense plastic that’s designed to keep water and most gases out of your home. They’ll do a lot of work keeping even a hint of moisture from getting into your basement.
Another way to help curb unwanted moisture and humidity in your basement and home is to invest in a reliable dehumidifier.
While typical dehumidifiers are fine for bedrooms and other small areas, they are not suitable for the moisture that can plague a basement. You need a powerful, yet energy-efficient dehumidifier that also can self-drain into a sump pump system or condensate pump so there are no buckets or reservoirs to have to worry about emptying.
Insulation does more work protecting your basement from damage than you might anticipate. As you’re shopping for insulation to install, consider the different ways that waterproof insulation may help you prevent unwanted moisture from getting into your home.
For starters, the insulation you install in your basement does a lot of work maintaining the basement’s temperature. In keeping the temperature consistent, the insulation limits the impact hydrostatic pressure can have on your concrete and other sensitive structural materials. Similarly, waterproof insulation can create a hydrophobic barrier between your basement and the outdoors, ensuring moisture doesn’t enter your basement in the first place.
While a waterproof solution won’t work in your favor forever, it is a good preliminary waterproofing measure to take advantage of if you’re just getting your feet under you. Make sure to work with area professionals and replace your insulation on a regular basis, or at least to look it over for signs of water damage.
Contacting Area Professionals for Guidance
Are you concerned about the state of your sump pump? Reach out to the professionals serving Kansas City, Moberly, St. Louis, Decatur, and Springfield, MO. You can schedule a free home inspection at your leisure and determine whether the damage you’ve spotted in your basement can be traced back to a sump pump failure. If it seems like a part isn’t working as it should or your pump was installed incorrectly, you can rely on area contractors to see your pump replaced in little to no time at all. You also have the opportunity to invest in additional home waterproofing measures as detailed by a professional and free services quote.
Don’t let your sump pump have a negative impact on the safety of your basement. Reach out for an inspection and repairs as soon as possible.