According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, more than 60 percent of American homes suffer from below-ground wetness. But even more homeowners are likely to have to deal with a flooded basement at some point. It doesn’t take much water to cause thousands of dollars of damage. A moist basement can also lead to mold and mildew growth, bringing with it all its related health and breathing hazards.
Sump pumps have been a common fixture in some homes for years, primarily in low-lying areas or places where rapid melting of heavy snow can lead to flooded basements. However, legislation, including amendments to the U.S. Federal Clean Water Act in 1987, has made sump pumps a requirement in homes that aren’t necessarily at a high risk for flooding. Today, sump pumps are a common feature in most new construction homes.
What is a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is a small pump installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace. Its job is to help keep the area under the building dry and to prevent it from flooding. Usually, sump pumps are installed in specially constructed sump pits. Water flows into the sump pit through drains or by natural water migration through the soil. The sump pump’s job is to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building so the basement or crawlspace stays dry.
Advantages of having a Sump Pump:
It will lower the threat of mold/mildew.Basements are typically dark and cool. Add in constant dampness from built up water, and you have the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. When this infiltrates your home, it can both damage building materials and cause serious health problems for you and your family.
Stop flood damage. Sump pumps are great at preventing the issues that stem from a gradual build up of water in your home. But when water floods your basement quickly (whether from heavy rains or some other cause), it will be worth its weight in gold. That’s because during a heavy flood, your sump pump will stop the water from building up. If you were to have 15 inches of flood waters covering your basement floor, how many of your belongings would be destroyed? A sump pump can prevent this devastation.
Lower your fire risk. It sounds wrong – how can something designed to remove water from your home actually prevent fire? It may be surprising, but flooding is a top cause of electrical fires in the home. If water reaches any appliances in your basement – heating systems, water heaters, laundry machines – they can short circuit, causing a fire. Having a sump pump in your basement greatly lowers this risk.