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Protect Your Basement from Spring Flooding

We just set the clocks forward and we’re ready to jump into spring! We’re counting down the days until the dirty snow has melted away for good and the daffodils and crocuses begin to make their long awaited reappearances.

As much as we’re looking forward to saying goodbye to snow, let’s not forget that we’re likely saying hello to a whole lot of rain. And if there is one elusive Midwest home-damaging villain, it’s water. Water damage can cost thousands of dollars in repairs and sometimes it’s difficult to identify exactly what the fix is.

Thankfully, for most of us here in the Midwest, this spring won’t be our first rodeo. Most of us have a sump pump installed in our basements to protect us from this particular menace. But are you sure your sump pump is in good repair? There is nothing worse than learning the hard way that it’s in need of maintenance.

When enough water collects in your sump pump’s basin, your sump pump works its magic and sends it away to a dry well or storm drain. If your sump pump fails to operate during a heavy rainfall, the water could rise above the pit and cause serious flooding damage.

To ensure your sump pump is operational and in peak condition for the rainy weeks ahead, we recommend that you protect your home from flood damage with routine maintenance to the sump pump.

  • Clean your sump pump pit. Your sump pump pit should be cleaned on an annual basis. Be thorough in your cleaning -- disconnect the pump power source, lift the pump out of the pit, and remove any water, sludge or grit from the pit using a wet shop-vac. This buildup can block water from entering the pump. Reassemble immediately.
  • Check the power cord and make sure the cord is connected to power.
  • Do a test run with a bucket of water. Dump a bucket of water into the sump to raise the float and make sure the pump turns on, adjusting the float if required. The pump should activate with the excess water.
  • Install a battery back-up. Because sump pumps are powered by electricity, they won’t do their job during a power outage. If a power outage occurs during a heavy downpour, which is fairly common, this can be a recipe for disaster. Take a look for a battery backup for your sump pump to make sure it does its job when you need it most.

With routine maintenance and a battery back-up, most sump pumps are reliable for 15 years. If it's time to consider a new sump pump or you aren't comfortable with doing sump pump maintenance yourself, give Pearson a call for free estimate!

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