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AM Wall Anchor & Water Proofing Blog Article:

How to Handle Sump Pump Failure

Sump pump replacement job completed by AM Wall Anchor & Waterproofing

Sump pump failure can dampen more than just your spirits. Your interior basement drainage system is responsible for collecting water in your basement that would otherwise accumulate and moving it out and away from your home. Sump pumps are a common part of any basement waterproofing plan, as they provide the power needed to force the water from your sump pit through pipes to natural drainage. As your foundation waterproofing experts, we’ve not only helped install sump pumps throughout Western Pennsylvania but also repaired and replaced them after sump pump failure. Let’s look at the first steps you should take when your sump pump goes out.

In Harm’s Way

Basement flooding due to poor drainage

Your interior basement drainage system is designed to keep your foundation dry along with anything in that space. Many homeowners use their finished basement as a den, laundry room, spare bedroom, or just for extra storage of property they don’t have space for in the home’s living areas. When water starts to rise, you have plenty to worry about.

  • Property, Appliance, and Furniture Damage – Whether it’s your laundry room, man cave, or a place to hide away the Christmas decorations until next December, water damage can ruin the property you’ve worked so hard for.
  • Ruined Flooring and Wall Panels – From soggy carpets to disintegrating wallboards, flooding can ruin the structures that make your house a home.
  • Structural Damage – The cement, mortar, stone, or wood underneath your home can be destroyed by standing water, making a flooded basement an emergency.
  • Mold, Mildew, and Pests – Even after the waters recede, mold or mildew can set in, and damp, musty areas with rotting material offer the perfect home for insects, rodents, and other creepy crawlers.

Reasons Sump Pumps Fail

Occasionally, sump pump failure will appear out of nowhere, but watch for these warning signs, and you may need to take a closer look at your interior basement drainage system.

  • Won’t Start or Won’t Turn Off – These could point to a problem with your sump pump’s switch that could be putting extra wear on the system or may fail completely.
  • Low flow from the discharge pipe – This could indicate a blockage that may lead to backed-up water or a burnt-out motor.
  • A Strong Burning Plastic or Ozone Smell – burning odors could mean your pump is burning out or that wires are shorting out. Either one not only risks sump pump failure, but could increase your fire risk.
  • Old Age – Modern sump pumps have a 7-10 year life expectancy, depending on the amount of use and whether you performed proper sump pump maintenance. If your sump pump is getting up there in age, it may be time to have it checked by a pro before it gives out.

What to Do First When Your Sump Pump Fails

If you are the victim of sump pump failure, here’s what you need to do to protect your property and loved ones. Acting fast can save you plenty of money in repair costs while acting safely might just keep you out of the hospital.

  1. Unplug All Electronics – Electricity and water don’t mix. A live current entering the water you’re wading through or contacting a live wire while you’re standing in water can prove fatal. If you can’t reach an outlet without passing through water, shut off the breaker, the main, or, if necessary, contact your power company or an electrician to shut off power to the home until you can ensure everyone’s safety.
  2. Relocate Your Personal Property – Move as much as you can out of the flooded area. Start with items that are irreplaceable, like important photos, documents, and heirlooms, then move on to furniture and appliances that would be expensive or inconvenient to replace.
  3. Work to Remove the Water, Moisture, and Dampness – Using an auxiliary pump can move large amounts of water out through drainage hoses, but if your sump pump failure was caught early enough, you may be able to get by with exhaust fans and a shop vac as long as they don’t create an electrical hazard. You want to get the area as dry as possible as fast as possible.
  4. Begin Repairs and Mitigation – Carpet and padding may have to be removed, wall panels replaced, floor and wall cracks sealed, and more. If you find anything beyond superficial damage you can handle yourself, get a foundation repair expert to assess and professionally repair the damage.

Call Your Sump Pump Specialist Right Away

Wherever you are in your sump pump failure response plan, call in an interior basement drainage system expert as soon as you’ve taken the immediate steps to protect your family’s health. Even with standing water, they can help assess the situation and begin the process of moving moisture out from your home so they can start working on sump pump repair, replacement, or further basement waterproofing. Time is working against you when you’re dealing with sump pump failure because more flooding and higher repair costs are only a rainstorm away.

Sump pump replacement job completed by AM Wall Anchor & Waterproofing

Get Your Free Basement Waterproofing and Repair Quote

When you schedule a free foundation inspection, we’ll do more than look at what’s wrong with your sump pump. Our experienced professional will take a look at your entire interior basement drainage system, your home’s foundation, and the land surrounding your home to identify issues that could be putting you at risk. They’ll give you a no-obligation estimate for getting your sump back to work and keeping your basement dry, and they’ll talk to you about any professional repair needs or future mitigation to avoid flooding. 

There’s a reason so many of your friends and neighbors have trusted us with their homes. For foundation repair, basement waterproofing, or to fix a sump pump failure, contact A.M. Wall Anchor & Waterproofing today.

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