Have You Checked your Sump Pump?

Spring is an amazing time of year when a change in the weather and the budding of new plants fills everyone with a sense of renewal and hope. It's also the time of year for spring cleaning, maintenance checks on your vehicle, and of course, inspections and new upgrades to your home.

One thing that you might not realize is that it's definitely time to check your sump pump. The spring season brings added moisture to our area, and it's not uncommon for us to experience surprise heavy rainstorms. You need to ensure that one of your most significant financial investments is protected - your home.

What is a sump pump? 

Sump Pump

According to Wikipedia:

"A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system funneling into the basin; or because of rain or natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level.

Sump pumps are used where basement flooding happens regularly and to remedy dampness where the water table is above the foundation of a home. Sump pumps send water away from a house to any place where it is no longer problematic, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well."

How do you check a sump pump?

The easiest way to check the function of your sump pump is to lift the cover off the sump pit and fill the area with water. Once the water reaches a certain level, the float will engage the sump pump and it should start forcing the water out. When the water level descends, the sump pump should again shut off.

What do I do if the sump pump does not work properly?

If your sump pump does not start or shut off properly, it may be time for a replacement. In fact, it's a good idea to have a second sump pump on hand just in case you need it at an inconvenient hour. Be sure you know the measurements of your sump pit, and make a trip to your local hardware store. It's always better to be safe than sorry. You may also want to investigate sump pump back-up options, which can be a lifesaver if your sump pump fails unexpectedly. These can vary from battery-powered back-up systems to sensor mechanisms that will alert you if the water level in the sump pit gets too high.

What else can I do to make sure that water doesn't enter my basement?

Basement flooding is a nightmare no one wants to have. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation makes several suggestions on how to avoid this unfortunate event. While sump pumps are now included in building codes for new homes, lots of older homes do not have this type of system. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to ensure your basement is safe.

If you have any more questions about this or any other home maintenance or improvement option, leave a comment or call Mark Kozak at Century 21 Foothills Real Estate directly. I'll do everything I can to help you ensure the safety of your real estate investment.

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