Here’s a fun topic: Sump Pumps!
Go ahead. Make a joke. It probably deserves one. It certainly doesn’t sound like something to get for your wife’s birthday. So, what IS a “sump” anyway? And why would it need a pump?
Well, here is the dictionary version:
Sump [suhmp] noun, 1. a pit, well, or the like in which water or other liquid is collected.
O.K. That makes sense now.
Do You Need a Sump Pump?
Here in Salem, Oregon, we get our fair share of water. Normally, our average annual rainfall is 41.96 inches (weatherdb.com). As you know, it’s been extra wet this winter. The excess precipitation has taken its toll on our rivers, roads, wetlands and (dare we say) sumps!
If you have a home in the Salem area, it’s a good chance you need a sump pump in your basement or crawl space. West and south Salem have a lot of underground springs; north Salem and Keizer are at a lower elevation, closer to the water table. Those factors increase the risk of your home having issues with standing water and that’s when a sump pump becomes necessary. A pump is installed where water accumulates regularly to protect your home from water damage.
Sump pumps should be installed with new construction if the house has the potential of ground water infiltration. Pumps can be installed later if an unexpected water problem has become noticeable. It’s always best to plan ahead rather than wait so that you won’t have unforeseen repair expenses.
As you can see in the diagram, the pump is inside a basin that collects water from the ground. If the water level in the basin reaches a certain level, it will automatically start pumping the water out through the discharge pipe. This process keeps the water from seeping up through your basement floor or crawl space.
What If I Have Standing Water or Leaks?
It’s important to take care of the water problem as soon as possible because it can create health complications as well as structural damage. Water will initiate a flood of issues for your home that can be costly to repair, such as:
1. Foundation cracks and excessive settling
2. Damage to drywall and insulation
3. Danger with electrical systems
4. Poor air quality
* HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system contaminated
* Mold growth
* Potential radon level increase
A damp, wet, and leaking basement is a haven for mold and it will start to germinate in 22 hours once organic materials get wet. If mold appears in a damp HVAC system, those spores are then blown throughout your home. Radon becomes a potential problem because the shifting water tables can reroute dangerous gas into your basement or crawl space. We have linked more specific details here about radon and mold on our 3Rs Construction website.
Protect and Preserve Your Home
Consider a home with a footprint of 2,500 square feet. If that home is flooded with one inch of water that means there is 1556 gallons of water that could soak up into the walls!
If water is making its way into your basement or crawl space. 3Rs Construction has the experience, skills, and equipment needed to extract standing water and make the necessary repair. If you need help with an annual sump pump check, 3Rs can help you with that as well.
If you have a homeowners insurance policy that covers water damage, 3Rs is happy to work with you and your insurance company so that damage can be repaired in a timely manner. Typically, flood coverage is not part of a standard policy, so check with your agent to consider options that are available.
So, there you go. Sump pump 101. If you have decided that it would be a good birthday present after all, then give 3Rs Construction in Salem, Oregon a call. We could even gift wrap if you want! Use our handy contact page or give us a call, 503-363-1059.
by Janell Schomus for 3Rs Construction Management LLC