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AM Wall Anchor & Water Proofing Blog Article:

Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Longevity and Efficiency

Sump pump installed in a residential basement

When you want to keep your basement waterproofing locked in for the long-haul, sump pump care has to be a priority. These powerful pumps create active basement drainage that collects water and then moves it out and away from your home, either to a sewer inlet or the land’s natural drainage. Effective sump pump maintenance not only makes sure your drainage is effectively moving water now, but it also helps ensure that protection lasts for years to come. As your basement waterproofing experts, we have the tips you need based on our real-world experience helping homeowners just like you protect their properties.

Sup’ with Sumps

Sump pits are channels or drainage pits in the floor of your basement or crawlspace that are meant to collect seepage, leaks, condensation, or any moisture that accumulates in your foundation. They can be fed by other drainage systems or simply by the grading of the floor. The sump by itself is a passive drainage system, which is why most will have powerful electric pumps installed that activate when the water in the sump reaches a certain level. The pump actively moves the water past your foundation walls, carrying it to a point at which the basement drainage no longer threatens your home.

diagram that demonstrates how a sump pump works

Why You Need a Sump Pump

Your sump pump plays a vital role in keeping water out of your basement and preventing damage to your home, the property in it, or the health of your loved ones.

  • Structure Damage – Water can eat away at the stone, brick, concrete, and wood foundation structures your home is built on, creating damage that leaves the whole home at risk until potentially costly foundation repairs are made. 
  • Ruined Personal Property – Many people use their basements as extra living space, utility rooms, or for storage. Moisture can rot paper, ruin clothes, and destroy electronics and furniture, leaving you scrambling to replace property or destroy irreplaceable heirlooms.
  • Attracts Pests – Bugs, rodents, and other critters love damp, dark places where they can find food, water, and shelter from the elements. To them, your basement looks like the perfect new home to move into.
  • Increases the Risk of Mold and Mildew – Another organism that likes damp, dark environments is mold. As it releases spores, spreading to infest the home, it can cause respiratory and systemic illnesses. It doesn’t take long for medical and mold remediation costs to begin to multiply exponentially.

How to Keep Your Sump Pump Healthy

With the right sump pump care, your basement drainage can be protected for years to come. It all starts with proper upkeep.

Ongoing Sump Pump Maintenance

  • Keep It Clean – Keep your sump clean and free of debris to reduce the risks of clogs that can over-tax your pump. This should be done every three months to maximize its service life.
  • Test It Regularly – When you clean your sump out every few months, test the pump. This not only ensures the system is in good working order but also helps you spot potential issues before they become problems as the water starts to rise. 
  • Check the Discharge Pipe – As part of your sump pump care, verify that water is flowing freely from your sump to its drainage point. Clogged or slow-running pipes increase the pressure the pump’s motor works against. The harder the motor works, the more wear and tear it’s experiencing.

Preventative Sump Pump Care Measures

Sump pit cover placed over a sump pump in a residential home
  • Cover Your Pit – Sump pit covers help keep out pests, debris, sticks, or anything else that could be likely to damage your pump or clog your sump’s drainage pipes. This inexpensive preventative measure pays for itself by helping you avoid the time and money of repairs down the line.
  • Install a Battery Backup – Electric motors like the one powering your sump pump last longer keeping up than playing catch up. A battery backup or other backup power system engages when your home’s electricity goes out, such as during a severe storm, to ensure your pump still works to protect your home.
  • Invest in Holistic Waterproofing Measures – A sump pump helps improve basement drainage, but a more comprehensive basement waterproofing strategy can prevent the intrusion of water in the first place. This lowers the burden of sump pump care and the workload of the pump itself.
  • Know When to Call a Professional – “I can handle it!” is one of the most dangerous statements a homeowner can make when it comes to their foundation’s health. Without the experience or specialized tools, it often turns into a wait-it-out approach that sees repair bills skyrocket. When your foundation has a problem that goes beyond sump pump care to needing a repair, getting a pro involved as early as possible can save you money.

Schedule Your Free Inspection and Estimate

There’s no cost or obligation to talk to one of our basement experts about waterproofing or repairing your basement with guaranteed service and American-Made materials. We’ve built our reputation protecting Pennsylvania homes just like yours. Our inspector will schedule a time, come out and take a look at your foundation, basement drainage, and any damage, then put together a tailored quote for your property. They can even help you make sure your sump pump care routine is on point. Call for your free quote from A.M. Wall Anchor & Waterproofing today.

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