Does My Maryland Home Need a Sump Pump?


If you are living in or just purchased a house that doesn’t have a sump pump, you are probably wondering if you need one. Most of your friends and relatives probably have one and are shocked to find out that you don’t. But is it absolutely necessary for every home? What makes a home a good candidate for a sump pump? Our Maryland basement waterproofing experts are here to answer these and any other questions you might have.

What Makes a Sump Pump a Necessity

To answer one of the above questions—no, not every home needs a sump pump. Despite the predominantly hilly landscape, there are homes in Maryland that have never had a drop of water in the basement. Most of us however, don’t fall into this category and could benefit from a sump pump. Below are the 3 key factors that affect whether you need a sump pump or not.

Elevation of Your Home

Elevation of your home is important, but it should be considered in relation to other homes in your neighborhood. Is your home on the same level as the homes to your left and right? Or are you in a sort of pit where all the rain water from your neighbors’ lawns naturally gravitates to? If your house is in a low spot or on a side of a hill, your basement may be a good candidate for a sump pump.

Water Table

Water table is basically the level at which the ground is saturated with water. A high water table means that the water is very close to the surface, and in some cases may even intersect with the surface, forming a spring. Rains and agricultural runoff make water table rise, often to the point that the water enters your basement. If you have a high water table, you probably already know this as you’ve found water stains on your basement flooring.

Soil Density and Drainage

A dense soil, such as soil high in clay content, drains slowly and often causes the water to pool on your lawn. That’s why you get these swampy areas around your house, even if it isn’t raining that hard. And when you have all this water sitting on your lawn, unable to drain fast enough, it will choose the path of least resistance, which in this is case is your porous basement walls. Another interesting fact about high-density soil is that it follows the grade of the terrain. This means that the water table can be equally high at the top and at the bottom of a hill.

You get the picture: if your home is in a low spot, with dense soil and a high water table, your basement is essentially destined to flood. In this case, a sump pump is definitively a good idea. And if it rains a lot where you live, consider a backup sump pump in case your primary one gets overwhelmed. If only one of the above factors is at play at your location, you may be fine without a sump pump, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe than sorry.

But My Home Has Never Flooded Before?

If you’ve lived in your house for several years and have never experienced a flood, that’s fantastic! You probably don’t need a sump pump, even if your friends keep telling you that it’s a must-have in every home. However, keep in mind that circumstances change. For example, a new development gets added nearby and changes the topography of your area. Always keep an eye on your basement and take action with the first signs of water presence.

If you need further help evaluating your basement or deciding which waterproofing methods work best for your Maryland home, contact Basement Waterproofing Technologies today for a free consultation.