When spring arrives, we see incidents of basement water damage increase. As warmer temperatures thaw the frozen ground, it becomes saturated with water. Our yards are unable to properly absorb the extra precipitation of spring rains — and that water often finds its way into homeowners’ basements.
What is a sump pump?
A sump pump sits in a pit or basin at the lowest point in your home. When the groundwater around your house rises to a certain level, sensors activate the sump pump to drain the excess water out of the basin. This prevents your basement from flooding.
When your sump pump works properly, it’s easy to forget about it. Many homeowners don’t even realize they have one!
Since insurance policies often become void if a pump hasn’t been maintained correctly, it’s vital to check in with your system at least once a year to keep everything in top shape.
Simple annual maintenance
Sump pump maintenance is easy enough that any homeowner can run through a simple checklist on their own.
Inspect the pump
- Check your pump’s power source and make sure it’s uninterrupted. Many pumps also have battery backups, so check those as well.
- Inspect the sump pump’s basin. Make sure there isn’t any debris that could keep your pump from doing its job.
- Make sure the pump is sitting upright. Motor vibrations can cause it to tilt, which can interfere with its sensors.
- Remove the pump from the basin and clean the grate at the bottom. Debris often gets sucked into the grate.
Test the pump
- After your inspection, add a few gallons of water to your sump pump basin and make sure your pump is working properly. It should automatically activate when the water reaches a certain level, and the discharge pipe drainage should be steady.
Have a backup plan
- If you have a backup pump, you should run through this same inspection and testing checklist.
- If you don’t have a backup pump, you should consider investing in one, especially if you live in areas prone to flooding. Many water and battery-powered options are available!
Call a professional
- If you’re ever unsure about something with your sump pump, it’s best to call a professional right away before anything has a chance to go wrong. Water damage is nothing to mess with!