If you’re trying to waterproof your crawl space, it’s a good idea to have a sump pump on hand. A sump pump is a great tool for crawl space waterproofing, which is one of the reasons it’s so important for many homeowners to use it. If you’re looking for a sump pump opportunity in your home, the good news is that most crawl spaces can utilize a sump pump to pump out water that might accumulate in the space. Here’s what you need to know about adding a sump pump to your own home.
Why Might You Need a Sump Pump?
First and foremost, you should learn a little bit more about why you may need a sump pump. Most homes can benefit from a sump pump in their crawl space. Here are the top three reasons a sump pump can be beneficial to your crawl space.
- Recurring Water Concerns
Do you have regular water concerns in your crawl space? If so, you might need a sump pump. There are many reasons you might have recurring issues with crawl space flooding, especially when that flooding doesn’t come from weather events. For example, you might have waterproofing concerns or pipes that tend to burst.
These recurring water concerns can be much more of a frustration if you don’t have a crawl space sump pump. It’s important to remember, however, that you can’t just install a sump pump and not tackle the underlying concerns. If there are underlying waterproofing issues, you may need to fix those problems before you put in a sump pump.
- Living in an Area Prone to Flooding
Many areas can have more flooding problems than other areas. If you live in one of these areas, you may need to make sure you’re managing your crawl space flooding in a brand new and completely different way. That’s because flooding is always going to harm your crawl space.
In many areas, you’re supposed to allow floodwater to run through your crawl space essentially unimpeded by way of flood vents. This allows you to avoid the huge buildup of pressure that flood water can cause in your crawl space. However, if you’re going to do that, you also need to make sure you have a sump pump in the crawl space so you can maintain the dryness of your crawl space.
- A Preventative Option
Lastly, some people just choose to get a crawl space sump pump as a preventative measure. Even if you don’t have issues with your crawl space, you’ll still want to make sure that your crawl space doesn’t have any reason to have health problems. A crawl space sump pump can be a great preventative measure for waterproofing problems of all types.
It’s important to remember that this preventative option doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your crawl space’s current existing problems. You can have a crawl space that’s healthy and still install a crawl space sump pump “just in case.” It’s all about preparing for the worst, even if you’re hoping for the best.
What Are the Important Components of a Sump Pump System?
What is a sump pump system? You may not have known this, but when you install a sump pump in your home, there are often more than just one or two system components. These are the most important components you may have in your sump pump system.
- The Sump Pump
First off, the actual sump pump is going to be the centerpiece of the system. The crawl space sump pump utilizes a mechanism that allows water running over the sump pump to go into the sump pump system, then have the system pump it out, typically running out into your yard far away from the crawl space and the foundation.
The sump pump itself does need plenty of strength so that you can pump out any amount of water, no matter how much it builds up in the crawl space. Your best bet is to look at the “gallons per hour” or “gallons per minute” metric, which allows you to see how the sump pump will perform when it’s under heavy amounts of stress. There are also some models which have special features that you should pay attention to. For example, the SafeDri™ has a unique lid that connects to the CrawlSeal™ liner for an airtight seal that keeps water out, making them perfect for each other.
- A Sump Alarm
Although this is technically optional, a sump alarm is an important element of your crawl space sump pump. The alarm sounds when there’s water in your crawl space, typically when the water is above a specific level. That means your sump alarm will tell you when the sump pump isn’t doing its job fast enough, for whatever reason.
When you have a sump alarm in your crawl space, you can maintain the crawl space more effectively because you’ll know when the sump pump isn’t enough for the space. A sump pump is an effective tool for maintaining the low level of water in your crawl space, but you may need more than one pump or an extremely strong pump for a very large space.
- A Battery Backup
Another technically optional feature is a battery backup for the sump pump. However, if you want the best sump pump for your crawl space, it’s important to know that a backup sump pump is your greatest option. That’s because a battery backup allows the pump to keep working even when you no longer have power.
It’s common for extreme weather events to negatively affect the power grid, shutting off your electricity. That means if you don’t have a battery backup, you may have an issue with water pooling in your crawl space until the power comes back on. Especially if you’re installing a sump pump in your crawl space because you live in a flood area, a battery backup should be a necessity.
Crawl Space Sump Pump
So, what does a crawl space sump pump do to help you remove water from the crawl space as a whole? There are a few elements of the crawl space sump pump that you might want to know about as you search for information on these devices.
- Level to the Crawl Space
One of the most important aspects of a crawl space sump pump is that in the crawl space, the sump pump is level with the ground. It’s sunken in slightly and should have a defined area for the sump pump pit in your crawl space. This needs to be covered with an airtight lid to prevent debris from collecting (and unsuspecting repair people from falling afoul of the sump pit).
The positioning of a crawl space sump pump is incredibly important to its ability to effectively gather and remove water. If your crawl space is very large, for example, or has an unusual layout, it may be necessary to install trenches or drains that direct water to the sump pit to ensure there are no pools of standing water left behind. This can also be aided by grading the floor of your crawl space.
- Activates at a Certain Level
Crawl space sump pumps activate automatically to ensure optimal efficiency. Once the water in the crawl space gets to a certain level, the crawl space sump pump will activate. From there, it will start to pump the water out through the discharge line. That removes water from your crawl space and takes it out of the house entirely. This is achieved with a special floating switch that is attached to the pump on a floating arm. This rises and falls with the water level. This means that you do not have to check your crawl space for water or manually activate and deactivate your sump pump to prevent damage (either to your home or the pump itself).
Crawl space sump pump maintenance is certainly important. If you’re going to have a sump pump in your crawl space, you need to make sure that you’re maintaining it. How can you maintain your crawl space sump pump?
- Remove Debris Regularly
One simple thing you can do to maintain your crawl space pump is to make sure there’s no debris in or around the sump pump. Debris, even small amounts of it, can be extremely damaging to the crawl space sump pump. Clearing it away ensures it can do its job properly without blockages or clogs slowing it down.
Installing a sump pit lid can help in this endeavor by preventing large pieces of debris from collecting in the pit in the first place. Nonetheless, you should regularly clean your sump pit to dislodge debris and sediment buildup. This simple task will prolong the lifespan of your sump pump and keep it working efficiently.
- Additional Maintenance
There are other elements of maintenance that you might want to invest in for a crawl space sump pump. However, because a sump pump can be a very complicated piece of machinery, it’s typically a better idea to turn that additional maintenance over to an expert who can do it appropriately. Many moving parts can become stuck or damaged in a variety of ways.
The floating switch, for example, is notorious for becoming stuck in either the active or inactive position as a result of either debris or a mechanical malfunction. Fixing this issue can be surprisingly complex, but a yearly maintenance appointment will go a long way towards ensuring that none of these issues become too advanced and that they don’t sneak up on you!
The installation process of any crawl space option has a variety of needs associated with it. A crawl space sump pump is one of the things you need to make sure you’ve installed appropriately, which means there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re considering the installation process.
- DIY Installations
If you are a DIYer, you might wonder whether you can just install your sump pump on your own. However, it’s important to remember that installing a sump pump isn’t as easy as just purchasing a sump pump and putting it down in the crawl space. There are many steps to sump pump installation that may require some technical knowledge.
First and foremost, you will need to excavate a space for the sump pit. More than that it may be necessary to grade your crawl space floor to ensure that moisture is properly funneled towards your newly installed sump pump. If you do any of this incorrectly, it could have a huge effect on your home over time.
- Expert Installation
Because sump pump installation can be complicated, it’s best to opt for an expert installation overall. An expert will have the tools and knowledge necessary to install the sump pump in the best way possible.
Foundation Recovery Systems has a team of experts that can help with the installation of your sump pump more effectively.
An expert will be able to place your sump pit perfectly, grade your crawl space floor, and otherwise ensure that your sump pump is working at peak capacity when it is needed. Professionals also have access to the best sump pump models (many of which are not sold over the counter at hardware stores). As such, professional installations offer optimum value for money.
What Do I Need to Do in Addition to My Sump Pump System?
The sump pump system all by itself can be extremely beneficial, but it’s not the only thing you should look out for when it comes to making your crawl space healthier. Here are a few of the additional processes that you may want to invest in with your sump pump system.
- Use Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation is the process of ensuring your crawl space has no water or air entry. Every crawl space can have these types of entries. Dirt crawl spaces tend to be at higher risk for water and air entry, but even crawl spaces without a dirt floor can end up with water and air inside if you’re not careful enough.
Typically, the crawl space encapsulation process requires that you cover crawl space vents, add a crawl space vapor barrier, and maintain a dehumidifier in the crawl space. However, this process is complicated, and it’s not always easy to ensure you have full encapsulation. That’s why it’s important to talk to a crawl space repair expert before you do so; an expert can help you ensure you have full encapsulation.
- Re-Grade the Soil Around Your Home
As much as a sump pump can help with water inside your crawl space, many other things might help your crawl space water even more. For example, if the water tends to come in through the walls because of significant amounts of hydrostatic pressure, you may just need to do what you can to reduce that hydrostatic pressure. One of the methods of doing so is to re-grade the soil around your home. The grading process is what allows water to run away from your home rather than toward it. If you have poor soil grading, you may unintentionally encourage water to come toward the home, building up more hydrostatic pressure than your crawl space can handle.
- Invest in Crawl Space Waterproofing
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to invest in further crawl space waterproofing measures. Crawl space waterproofing as a concept includes as many things that can benefit your crawl space, ranging from interior drainage and dehumidification to encapsulation and insulation, as well as ensuring that your crawl space concrete doesn’t have any cracks in it.
Investing in crawl space waterproofing is one of the best ways you can make your crawl space a little healthier. Although there are many ways to waterproof a crawl space, the main goal should be to have waterproofing as the end result. Talk to a crawl space repair expert about how you may be able to waterproof your own crawl space.
Get the Best Sump Pump for Your Crawl Space with Expert Assistance
Protecting your crawl space and home with a quality sump pump is important. To take the guesswork out of this process, it’s best that you trust local crawl space waterproofing and repair experts to aid in this project. These experts will be able to inspect your crawl space and recommend the sump pump system that is best suited for your unique crawl space waterproofing needs. Contact the professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems today for a free crawl space inspection and quote, as well as solid recommendations for your crawl space needs.