Sump pumps are designed to limit the impact moisture can have on certain parts of your basement. Instead of allowing moisture to settle in the ground around your property, sump pumps force unwanted moisture out of your home courtesy of an electrical charge. In turn, that water gets stored in a containment unit out in your lawn and released over time, lowering your chances for long-term damage.
Most waterproofing solutions, however, are just as prone to damage as the rest of your home. If you don’t invest in regular maintenance, you may have to conduct more comprehensive repairs later down the line.
Such is the case for the sump pump in your basement. If you don’t work with area professionals to make sure it’s up to snuff, then you may find yourself contending with the kind of seepage, flooding, or water damage that you haven’t seen in years.
It’s easier to recover from this kind of damage than you might think, though. If you believe something may have gone wrong with your sump pump, reach out to the professionals serving Cleveland, Ohio, to schedule your home inspection.
Signs of Sump Pump Damage
Sump pump damage is a little complex. If your sump pump does take on damage, you’ll start to see the old flooding and seepage that you saw before your initial investment. However, there may also be signs of damage in and around your pump that points to trouble.
The following symptoms can indicate sump pump damage in your basement:
- Unpleasant smells throughout your basement
- Cracks near the joints, walls, and frames throughout your home
- Standing or pooling water near your carpeting
- Bowing walls
- Moisture in or around your sump pump
- Standing water around your drains specifically
- Standing water around the perimeter of your home
The Forces Behind Sump Pump Damage
There are a few different forces that can make it difficult for your sump pump. Some of the most influential include:
No matter how well you maintain your sump pump, it’s going to age. The inner workings can wear out, lines can break, and the interior can grow inhospitable. In these cases, you may have no other force to blame for your pump’s failure than the pump itself.
Repairing a pump that’s damaged due to age can be a tricky endeavor, though. You’ll want to determine, with a professional’s help, whether you want to replace the part of your pump that’s been damaged or if it’s a better idea to replace the pump entirely.
Age isn’t the only force to have a monumental impact on the effectiveness of your sump pump. Hydrostatic pressure can force not only your basement but your pump to suffer from structural damage if the force goes unchecked.
Hydrostatic pressure causes the molecules of the concrete and other materials supporting your home to change size. As these molecules grow colder, they’ll shrink. As they warm back up again, they’ll grow. Changes of this kind aren’t a problem when they happen infrequently. If they start to happen too often, however, they can put your home under a significant amount of stress. The more stress your structural supports are under, the more likely they are to crack and let additional moisture into your home.
Your sump pump is designed to combat hydrostatic pressure. However, long-term exposure to high levels of moisture without some kind of backup can cause your sump pump to start to take on wear and tear to the point where it may break.
Animals and insects alike can have a negative impact on the structural integrity of your home, not to mention the state of your sump pump. Mammals can destabilize a sump pump’s drainage system around the perimeter of your home, making it more difficult for you to drive water away from your property. Insects can eat away at your pump’s support as well as the structural supports surrounding your basement. This means that more moisture may be able to make its way inside to overwhelm your pump.
Unfortunately, the professional contractors who can repair your sump pump cannot exterminate or otherwise remove these invaders from your home. Instead, you’ll want to reach out to animal control or local exterminators before investing in your sump pump repairs.
Poor Home Construction
There is always a chance that the construction team that originally built your home may have made a few mistakes when building your basement. Things like the clay bowl effect or poorly sourced wooden supports can put a damper on your home’s structural integrity, allowing more moisture inside to impact the effectiveness of your sump pump.
Repairing A Damaged Sump Pump
It’s never a good idea to try and repair a damaged sump pump or a damaged basement on your own. Instead, the professionals serving Cleveland, Ohio, can do that work for you. When you call in the professionals, you can walk alongside them as they go through the steps of first inspecting and then repairing any damage that your sump pump has suffered from. These steps include:
- Checking the sump float
- Cleaning the sump pit
- Testing the check valve
- Cleaning the impeller
- Checking the power source
Regardless of what’s gone wrong with your sump pump, professionals can address your troubles in one of two ways. If your sump pump is under warranty, professionals may have the opportunity to reach out to the manufacturer and secure a part that’s been damaged. They can also opt to have the manufacturer replace your sump pump entirely. However, if your pump is out of warranty, area professionals can work with the manufacturers that they’re connected with to bring in a replacement part.
Sump Pump Accessories
These pumps cannot cover the whole of your basement without help, as they’re designed for localized care. That said, there are several sump pump accessories that can make it easier for you to control the flow of water in and out of your home. These include:
- Alarms – If your pump fails during a storm or flood, then attached alarms will go off and let you know you’re in need of repairs.
- Sump Liners – Sump pump liners help keep the inner workings of your sump pump secure.
- Airtight Lids – An airtight sump pump prevents any debris that the pump catches from making its way throughout the rest of your home.
- Sump Stands – Sump pump stands separate your pump from its liner.
- FreezeGuard Discharge Line Protections – Line protections prevent your sump pump’s inner workings from freezing during the winter. You’ll be able to continue disposing of unwanted moisture even if your pump’s internal lines get blocked if you have FreezeGuard accessories in place.
Installing a Backup Sump Pump
There are ways to get around sump pump damage and failures. One of the best ways is to install a backup sump pump. There will come a day, sometime down the line, when the power goes out in your home just as your basement starts to flood. On that day, you’ll want to make sure you have the means in place to prevent the worst of your home’s potential moisture damage.
This is where battery backup sump pumps come into play. These backups will keep your sump pump running until your power comes back on, driving up to 40 gallons of water from your home per second per usual. Battery backup sump pumps do more than keep your sump pump operational, though. These pumps will also alert you if your sump pump should start to fail. A backup sump pump can alert you if your primary pump has failed due to a power outage or due to a broken part. While you’re looking for a replacement part or getting in touch with area contractors, you can rest easy knowing that your battery backup sump pump is keeping any basement flooding at bay.
Most professionals serving Cleveland, Ohio, can install a battery backup sump point at the same time they install a traditional sump pump in your basement. The process, which you should not try on your own, usually involves the following steps:
- Attach the unit to the wall
- Connect the appropriate cables to their terminals
- Plug the pump in
- Test your pump’s compatibility
Sump Pump Issues
If you know for a fact that it’s your sump pump that’s causing problems throughout your home, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands. After all, what harm is there in trying your hand at a little bit of DIY home repair?
The Expense of DIY Sump Pump Repair
Sump pump repair can cost a lot more than you anticipate if you try to do it on your own. For starters, you’ll have to determine what part of your sump pump sustained the most damage, then invest in the appropriate replacement. If you don’t have industry connections to help you get in touch with the manufacturer, then this may be easier said than done. Even if your sump pump is still under warranty, you may have a hard time bringing home the materials you need to invest in a comprehensive repair.
To make matters more complicated, sump pump repair is about more than just repairing the damaged parts of your pump. You’re also going to need to repair any damage that your basement has sustained. If you repair your sump pump without eliminating the unwanted source of moisture in your home, then you’re setting your sump pump up for additional damage. Unfortunately, repairing your basement on your own can be costly. Not only do you have to invest in the right tools, but you may end up replacing not just your drywall but your insulation, carpeting, furniture, and supports.
The Trouble with DIY Mistakes
It’s never a bad thing to make mistakes when you’re learning a new skill. There’s a difference, however, between a mistake that you can clear away with ease and a mistake that can destabilize the whole of your home. If you make a mistake while repairing your sump pump, for example, you may walk away from your DIY work having violated your warranty and made it more difficult for your pump to protect your home. Repairing your basement without professional guidance can have similar results.
Professionals, comparatively, have years of experience repairing sump pumps and basements under their belts. They’ll be able to tackle the damage that your home’s taken on in little to no time at all—without compromising the structural integrity of your basement. As such, you’ll be able to better budget for your repairs without having to factor potential mistakes into your future costs.
It’s not always easy to tell whether your sump pump is working as it should. Ideally, your sump pump should be removing at least 40 gallons of water from your home per second during the worst of an area’s thunderstorms. The slow change from “super effective” to “damaged,” however, isn’t something the average person can measure in gallons per second. With that in mind, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the signs that can give away sump pump damage.
Common Signs of Damage
Your sump pump protects your basement from spot-intensive water damage. When your sump pump takes on damage, it’s no longer able to effectively do its job. While you’ll be able to look at the sump pump itself to determine whether or not something’s amiss, you’ll also be able to take the general state of your basement into account.
Some of the most common signs of sump pump damage involving the sump pump itself include:
- Condensation around your pump
- Standing water around the pump
- Standing water around the perimeter of your home
- Higher levels of humidity throughout your basement
- Fogging windows
- Sticking doors
If you have a backup battery sump pump in place, you can consult it for more information about the general state of your pump. If not, reach out to the professionals in your area to determine what force, be it age or something in your environment, may have caused your sump pump to stop working.
The Unfortunate Complexity of Damage
There are a few forces that can cause your sump pump to take on damage. Age is one of them. The older your sump pump gets, the harder it’s going to have to work to protect your basement. While you can work with area professionals to maintain your sump pump, there will come a day when you’ll need to invest in a new one if you want to protect your home.
Other forces, however, can damage your sump pump long before its parts might otherwise start to give out. Hydrostatic pressure, for example, can overwhelm or dislodge your sump pump if you don’t have other home waterproofing measures in place. As you’re investigating your basement for signs of sump pump damage, make sure to look beyond your sump pump. If you spot moisture in the hidden corners of your basement, then it’s possible that hydrostatic pressure or even unwanted pests are responsible for your sump pump’s sudden ineffectiveness.
Sump pumps are home waterproofing measures designed to limit the impact moisture can have on your home. Do you actually need a sump pump, or can you live without one? When you live in an area like Cleveland, Ohio, these pumps are more than just home accessories. They’re essential protection measures designed to preserve the structural integrity of your home.
Sump Pumps and Your Basement
Waterproofing your home is always a good idea. Sump pumps are only one form of home waterproofing, so what are their benefits? More often than not, you can rely on a sump pump to protect a particular part of your basement from unwanted moisture. These pumps specialize in forcing standing or rushing water out of your home and back out into your yard.
Cousins to the interior drain, sump pumps rely on an electrical charge to get their work done. They’re not ideal for comprehensive coverage throughout your basement, as they’re designed to care for certain sections of your home. However, that care is comprehensive in its own right, as they deliberately remove water from your basement with a force that interior drains don’t have. In short, sump pumps are ideal additions in homes that have seen substantial but concentrated seepage over the years.
Additional Sump Pump Benefits
The benefits of a sump pump don’t stop with the pump itself. Most sump pumps come equipped with a myriad of accessories. All of these accessories are meant to help you control the moisture level in your home. This means that over the months and years after your installation, you’ll have a better chance of both protecting your basement from damage and protecting your wallet from unexpected repair costs.
Some of the most common accessories to come with sump pumps include but are not limited to:
- Alarms to alert you if your pump fails
- Sump liners to limit the amount of moisture that can impact your pump’s internal workings
- Airtight lids to prevent the moisture a sump pump collects from evaporating and impacting the rest of your home
- Sump stands to eliminate the impact that any captured debris can have on your sump pump’s inner workings
- FreezeGuard discharge lines protection to prevent moisture from freezing in your sump pump during Ohio’s cold winters
If you want to add accessories to your sump pump at installation or after essential repairs, you can discuss your options with the professional contractors in your area.
Area Professionals Can Repair Your Sump Pump
You don’t have to let hydrostatic pressure wreak havoc on your home. If your sump pump is showing signs of wear and tear, reach out to the professionals serving Cleveland, Ohio, today. After a comprehensive inspection of your home, professionals can give you a free quote on the repairs you’ll need to get your sump pump back into working order.