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Preventing Flooding: The Pros and Cons of Sump Pumps

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If you've experienced a flooding event in your home or you are constantly fighting excessive moisture in the basement, it's high time to consider a more permanent solution to prevent further problems. Your damage contractor may have recommended a sump pump as a possible drainage system solution for your basement. But will a sump pump really solve your water problems? Here are the pros and cons of installing a sump pump in your problematic basement.

1. PROS  


One of the major benefits of a sump pump—and likely the reason your contractor recommended it—is that a sump pump is a much more reliable solution to removing water and preventing flooding than some other options. For example, one option for preventing moisture is a waterproof coating applied to the exterior of your foundation. While this can help protect against small amounts of water, it can't prevent large volumes of water from entering your home, especially if you live in a low-lying area or an area with a high water table. If you want reliable water removal, a sump pump is the most reliable option because it's an active system. Excessive amounts of water will automatically trigger the pump so you don't have to constantly monitor water levels.  


When installed by a professional, your sump pump will be effective at handling the amount of water coming into your home and safely removing it unless the pump is hit with an amount of water unforeseen by your contractor or plumber. It does this by using a pressure sensor that is triggered when the water in the sump pit reaches a certain level or a float arm (like the one in your toilet) that triggers the pump into action when the water reaches a certain level. Once activated, the pump extracts water from the pit and pumps it through a system of pipes that carry the water away from your home. These pipes are equipped with a valve that keeps water from flowing back toward your home.  

Works When The Powers Out

Some homeowners might be concerned that a major natural event like a big rainstorm and an accompanying power outage might put a pump out of commission, causing the home to flood anyway. However, that's not the case. Most sump pumps are powered by a battery backup system that keeps them running for several hours even when the normal direct power source is out. Another option is a water-powered backup pump that kicks in when the power is out.  



Installing a sump pump system is no small feat and it will require some excavating in your basement to dig the sump pit and install the pipes needed for carrying out the excess water. So, in addition to the unit itself, you will need to pay a contractor for several hours of labor. The average cost to install a sump pump system with a battery backup is about $1,220.  

Requires Maintenance 

Once installed, a sump pump cannot be forgotten. It requires professional maintenance at least once a year to ensure that it's functioning at peak operating efficiency. It also needs additional cleaning and checkups that the homeowner can perform about once a month or once a quarter. Since the alternative is a flooded basement caused by a malfunctioning or clogged pump, maintenance is an absolute necessity.  


Another drawback of a sump pump system is that the pit and the pump create can create an unsightly aesthetic, especially if you have a finished basement. An open, moist pit in the basement floor isn't exactly what some homeowners want their guests to see when they come over for socializing. However, there are systems available that are both functional and aesthetic.

To learn more information about drainage systems, contact services like 1-800 BusyDog Basement Technologies.