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How a Sump Pump Can Help Keep Your Basement Dry

Is sump pump a cure of all of your leaky basement problems? Some not-so-honest Maryland basement waterproofing companies often make it sound like sump pump installation is a must for any house. The truth is, a sump pump is designed to solve a very specific type of problem and is not needed in every basement. Today, our Baltimore waterproofing experts will share everything you need to know about sump pumps.

How a Sump Pump Works

A sump pump is a device that is a part of a sump pump system. When you get a sump pump installed, you don’t just buy a pump and plug it in. Sump pump installation is a rather involved process that requires a lot of digging and precise calculations.

The basic components of a sump pump system

  • A sump pit (aka sump basin) is dug in the lowest part of your basement—that’s where the pump is placed.
  • Drain tile is installed along one of the exterior walls, either on the inside or outside of the basement.
  • When it rains, the drain tile collects the water and directs it to the sump pit via a pipe.
  • As the water in the sump pit rises, it activates a switch that turns on the sump pump.
  • The sump pump can either sit inside the pit (submersible pump) or tower above it (pedestal pump).
  • The sump pump pumps the water out of the pit through the discharge pipe into a dry well or somewhere far away from the house.

A sump pump is designed to remove ground water from underneath your home’s foundation. It does so by detecting when the water starts to rise and pumping it out before it enters your basement.

Who the Sump Pump System is For

Like we mentioned earlier, not every home needs a sump pump. The main problem a sump pump solves is water coming up through your basement floor or along the joints where the wall meets the floor. This is a common issue in homes located in low areas, next to bodies of water and other places with a high water table. If this describes your home and you routinely find standing water in your basement after a heavy rain, than a sump pump could be the right solution for you. Keep in mind, that a sump pump will do little to help with water that comes in through walls or around windows. These leaks are likely caused by foundation cracks or a poor seal around window casings.

Choosing a Sump Pump

There are many different sump pumps on the market today. They differ by style, capacity, voltage, horsepower, type of switch/sensor and many other features. The exact model you need will depend on the severity of your basement leak. A sump pump needs to be able to keep up with the amount of water coming in.

In some cases, we recommend installing more than one sump pump in order to cover all possible flooding scenarios. For example, a typical sump pump is powered by electricity, which means if the power goes out and you don’t have a backup generator, your sump pump dies and your basement floods. To prevent this, you can install a battery backup sump pump that will kick in in case of a power outage. Sometimes, the rain can be so heavy, your primary pump may get overwhelmed and the basement will flood as a result. To prevent this, we can install a secondary sump pump that will join in if your primary unit becomes clogged, fails or can’t keep up.

Do you have any other questions or would you like to know for sure if the sump pump is the right solution for your Maryland basement? Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation!