Basement Flooding – Protect Yourself

Will it ever stop raining this spring? With the official start of summer just a few days away, it still seems more like April than June. With all of this rainfall, you could start to see basement flooding, even more so if the gutters on your home are plugged or don’t route the water at least six feet away from your foundation. Water too close to your foundation can seep in through your basement walls. Just a few inches of water can cause a few hundred, even thousands of dollars in damage. Even if you don’t normally get water in your basement, this year’s relentless rainfall could make an impact.

So what can I do to protect myself?

Making sure you have a functioning sump pump in your basement could save you a lot of headache. A sump pump sits in a pit, usually a 18″ wide by 2′ deep hole with a gravel base installed in the lowest spot of your basement. Water flows to the pit through drains or by natural migration through soil. A float activator automatically turns on the electric pump. The pump moves water out of the pit and away from the foundation through pipes. A check valve keeps water from flowing back into the pit.

How often should I test the sump pump?

You should check the pump’s operation once a month or so in the spring or rainy season. Make sure the pump is plugged in and the GFCI switch is not tripped. The pump should be standing up straight so that the float doesn’t jam. Clean the grate on the bottom of the submersible pump and make sure the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear. If you are not comfortable doing this, C&R Plumbing can do the maintenance for you. Pour  a bucket of water into the pit to make sure it starts. If it doesn’t, call for service.

What if there is a power failure?

A second sump pump, either water powered or battery powered, can serve as a back up in case of a power failure. This is a popular option to avoid basement flooding and for peace of mind.