You’ve had drainage channels laid down along the perimeter of your basement or your crawlspace, and they’re all ready to begin guiding any surrounding groundwater to a collection point where the sump pump awaits. But what is a sump pump for? There needs to be something to help make sure the water moves away from your home, and not just flow back up into your lower level—that’s where the sump pump comes in. If you’re wondering “what is a sump pump and how does it work?”, read on to learn about a key part of any basement or crawlspace waterproofing system.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump is installed in what’s called a sump pit, where water collects to be then pushed out and away from your house via a discharge pipe. Whether it’s during a heavy rain or when a lot of snow begins to melt, water starts to collect in your sump pit as they run around your lower level’s drainage channels. Once the water reaches a certain level, typically this is when your sump pump will go from stand-by to activation. The water gets pumped into the discharge pipe and from there it is pushed to a distant location away from your foundation and home. The aim is to get the water far enough from your home that it doesn’t return to erode your foundation, its surrounding soil, and put further work on your sump pump. There are several kinds of sump pumps out there, which activate based on different conditions…

  • Submersible Sump Pumps
    • These are immersed entirely in the sump pit and activate as soon as water is detected. They’re strong and many models can even filter out debris to prevent clogging.
  • Pedestal Sump Pumps
    • Also called upright pumps, these have an exterior motor supported by a column. The motor is raised above the sump pit to stay away from the water collecting inside. While they may not be as strong as submersible sump pumps, they may last longer because of their design.
  • Battery Backup Sump Pumps
    • Like the name states, these are submersible sump pumps with a battery backup that allows for continual operations, even in the event of a power outage.
  • Water-Powered Sump Pumps
    • Utilizing water pressure from your municipal water source, these sump pumps don’t rely on electricity. Be aware that this will require high water pressures to take advantage of it. Low water pressure can harm the efficiency of this type of sump pump.
  • Combination Sump Pumps
    • Utilizing a main sump pump and a battery backup sump pump both built into one package—a combination sump pump can be a very convenient and efficient way to ensure that your waterproofing system is always moving that groundwater out.

What are the Benefits of Having a Sump Pump?

If you’re looking to waterproofing your basement or crawlspace against the rainy and snowy weather in your area, investing in a sump pump can provide added protection and benefits that will both help your lower level as well as your wallet…

  • Protects your basement or crawlspace against flooding
  • Keeps out moisture that could harm your wooden structures as well as your basement appliances
  • Keeps your basement or crawlspace drier, which prevents mold growth and discourages pests from moving in
  • Protects your foundation, which saves you from costly repairs
  • Having a sump pump installed might help you qualify for homeowner’s insurance for flood damage, depending on where you live

Is a Sump Pump Really Required?

Depending on where you live, you ultimately may or may not need a sump pump. Some areas have climates with more humidity and moisture than others. Depending on your area’s unique climate, it might or might not be necessary, and getting an expert opinion can help you make a more educated choice. Here are some conditions that might make a sump pump necessary…

  • If you’re living somewhere like the Atlantic Coast or in the Northeast of the United States, chances are you experience a lot of heavy rains or snow. This kind of weather is what can make a basement or crawlspace prone to flooding, so a sump pump would be useful.
  • Is your home built on a plot that’s prone to flooding? Check the quality of your soil and see if your property is what would be considered low-lying. If your home is surrounded by elevated areas or hills, your property may be at greater risk of elevated groundwater levels during bad weather. A sump pump may be required.
  • History of flooding? If your basement or crawlspace has been flooded before, then there’s a chance it can happen again. Installing a sump pump will help keep that disaster from happening again.
  • Do you have a finished basement? If your basement has been done up to be another living space, then you’ll want to protect your investment by installing a sump pump.

Install Your Sump Pump with ’58 Foundations

Your home is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and that includes the lower level of your home, whether it’s a basement or crawlspace. Keep your basement or crawlspace dry and free of groundwater to help ensure the longevity of your foundation, your lower level, and the rest of your home. Since 1958, ’58 Foundations has been providing long-lasting waterproofing solutions for basements and crawlspaces just like yours. Give us a call today to schedule for a free sump pump inspection and to receive a detailed estimate—when we’re on the scene, you can say goodbye to groundwater troubles!