Sump Pumps: Everything you Need to Know
This blog has been updated to include additional details and a Q&A with an insurance expert.
A sump pump can be a home saver. Basement flooding is a nightmare in every sense of the word. Water damage can cause, among other things, rust to home appliances, damage to carpet and flooring, and is the catalyst to mold growth. It’s gross; you don’t like it; dealing with it is awful. Long story short: if you live in Southeastern Wisconsin, a sump pump is a must.
So back to the sump pump. It’s a home saver, literally. Forget massive flooding and severe water damage. Even an inch of standing water in the basement can result in thousands upon thousands of dollars in damage. It’s nothing you want to deal with. But, living in Wisconsin, it is often unavoidable, and that’s where the sump pump can work its magic. Here are a few things you might not know about sump pumps.
Looking for a Home
In your quest to find the perfect home, don’t forget to start your tours in the basement. Ask the realtor if there is any evidence of water leakage or water damage to the home by previous residents, and do some investigating yourself. Many homes receive a little bit of basement moisture during the summer months, and that’s not an issue. We’re talking about rust on the crease between the walls and the floor, and other obvious signs of water damage. Our advice? If you think the home has been subject to water damage, finish your tour early before you fall in love with the house. You do NOT want to deal with water damage in the future if you can avoid it.
Have a Sump Pump? Buy a Second
If your sump basin has room enough for backup sump pumps, we think it’s a great idea to consider installing another. Here are few precautionary reasons to invest in a second sump pump.
- Power outages can cause electric pumps to fail
- You have valuables stored in the basement
- A battery-operated pump can run continuously for up to two days
- Two sump pumps distribute the load during heavy flooding
A backup pump is always a good idea. When your main pump shuts off during a power outage, the battery-operated pump will kick on and pump water out of your home in a seamless fashion. Not only it is a good reason to buy a second sump pump, make sure you invest in a quality pump. Tens of thousands of dollars are at stake during a flood; invest in quality.
Maintaining Your Sump Pump
You could install your pump and set it up to activate, and not think about it for 3 years, but it’s not recommended. Just like any home appliance, it needs to be maintained. Here’s what you should do every year to make sure your pump works at maximum capacity.
Remove the Cover
As water is pumped out of the home, oftentimes debris is collected and clogs the pump. Remove the cover and check the interior for settled debris. It’s an easy, 10-minute project, but will save your time and money down the road when your pump works properly.
Take a Look at the Exit Pipe
The exit pipe runs exiting water out of the house and away from the foundation. Install a flexible hose at the end of the pipe to move water ever further away from your home. Make sure these pipes are in working order and aren’t clogged due to long, unused stretches. Always be aware of how much water is being pumped and where. Pumping the water out and away from the house is the point, and flexible hoses provide a safety net in any water emergency.
You can count on Kelmann during any water or flooding emergency. We’ve seen it all over the years, and we’ll work with you tirelessly in order to get your home back to pre-damage condition. Contact us today for questions, and don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7/365 for emergency services.
Sump Pump Extra: “Should I Buy Sump Pump Insurance?”
We sat down with insurance expert Paul Conradson, an agent with State Farm, for a Q&A on sump pump insurance. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: What is sump pump insurance?
A: Sump pump (or sewer and drain) coverage is important if your property could be damaged by water that has entered the home from the sewer drain or through the sump pump. This often occurs during heavy storms.
Q: Do you see many issues/claims related to sump pumps?
A: Yes, especially in the springtime when it is frequently raining. Most sump pumps run on electricity, so often a loss occurs during a rainstorm when the power goes out.
Q: Should property-owners have sump pump coverage?
A: It is an important consideration! Normally, insurance does not include these types of losses, so having proper coverage is essential. Remember: water always seeks its lowest level. Even with proper drainage around the house leading to a functioning sump pump, there may come a time when there is so much water, the sump pump cannot keep up. That’s when the issues begin. Talk to your insurance agent to discuss coverage options – especially if you have a sump pump that you hear running frequently!