Wild winds and storms since Sunday knock down trees and power lines, causing flooding when sump pumps stopped in Scarsdale, NY 10583
Our HUGE maple tree was blowing around like a helicopter in Westchester County storms this week!
You know all about sump pumps, if you have a basement in a Scarsdale, NY home or business, in southern Westchester.
If a power outage from a rain or snow storm has ever shut down your sump pump and flooded your basement, you may have been a little worried this weekend and during monsoon rains yesterday.
I was at meetings in the city and it seemed like a wet March day, not June, especially along the Hudson!
Our days of heavy rain and big wind gusts could have caused a power outage, or a brown out in your Scarsdale neighborhood. So, be sure to check your basement and that your pump is on and any dehumidifiers are on and working.
That's as we get through this stormy, windy week. This is especially important in older homes in the LowerHud, like our 1898 colonial we renovated / restored in Fleetwood -- it's for sale everyone!
Homes with below ground basements and "ground water rise" through a cement floor or "slab," are inclined to flood. This makes the fun of finished basements or a clean, safe lower level for the kids' playroom or a media room very difficult in southern Westchester...ahhh! If certified restoration companies like ours are called in soon, within the first 48 hours -- like that TV show -- we can usually save carpet and flooring!
When the power goes out in an electrical, wind or summer storm -- even "microbursts" like this Thursday that dumped inches of rain in just hours -- it's always wise to keep an eye on your sump pump and power.
If you have valuales, carpeting, drywall rooms and holiday decorations that are not on shelves or in plastic storage containers, check on all when we have these June storms. Of course, if you have a nice, finished space downstairs, make sure the carpet is not wet and check flooring!
Severe summer storms have been the norm for decades, but we can tell you that they are getting more severe each year because we get more emergency calls for flooding at this time of year. We are seeing Climate Change and can point to our 7% yearly increase for this month / Quarter, in flooding basements, since 2010.
We all stress out when the power is out, so channel that energy into checking that all of your electrical systems, dehumidifiers and pumps are on and working, especially after heavy rains and snow melt! If it breaks, or you cannot reset it, then call your plumber.
Meantime, a restoration company may have to come in and help extract the water, or "mop up." Usually, your insurance will cover a sump pump power failure because it's often considered a "mechanical failure," especially if the power is knocked out. Restorations companies usually work directly with insurance companies and take photos, document the whole process for your Claims folks, uploading them to support your insurance claim. Mainly, we try to prevent MOLD!
Did you know nearly 60% of homes in the U.S. have some sort of underground wetness or water damage?
These basements will usually flood again, at some point, but it's really important to dry and disinfect your flooring, to prevent further damage and even mold growth later on.
Usually your carpet can be saved and wood floors, if you call us in "the first 48." But, the padding should usualy get tossed out in a basement or "grey water" flood situation.
Most home and property owners believe that this only happens when there is a large amount of rainfall or water rising up in your area and affecting your home or business / building. However, a small amount of water can indeed cause a large amount of problems. In fact, it takes very little time and very little water to create that mildew smell and, later on, harmful mold issues.
No one can guarantee that your sump pump will work 100% of the time and never fail, but, here are some ways to increase the chances that it will work.
Causes of Failure
Some common causes of sump pump failure include electric power outage, wrong size of sump pump installed, improper installation, switch/float arm problems, or lack of maintenance:
Have your plumber check your sump pump and functions at least once per year, while they are looking at your boiler, HVAC unit(s) and or hot water heater. That's what they do and a plumber visit is a lot more economic than an insurance deductible and replacing ruined flooring, walls and belongings. Just sayin'...
What You Can Do
Hire a certified and qualified plumber to install and maintain your sump pump annually. If you’re installing a pump, following the manufacturers instructions very carefully is crucial.
If you’re not familiar with sump pumps and have never installed one, it’s probably best to hire a professional to properly install it. You may not want to fork out the installation fee, but we guarantee it’s a lot cheaper than paying for water damage when your basement floods.
A professional will know what size pump is necessary for your home and also make sure the switch is working like it should. You can’t control power outages, but you can be prepared for them. Having a generator ready to go as a backup power source can save the day… and a lot of money. Like any mechanical device in your home, maintenance is key. It’s important to check your sump pump regularly to make sure it’s functioning properly.
Easy Maintenance Tips
- Either quarterly or at least 2x per year, clean your sump pump, run a vinegar solution through it. This will free up any small pieces of debris and help the pump run more efficiently. You can do this yourself, but if there is a serious problem, call a professional.
- Check the sump pump’s float switch. If this is restricted, it will not kick on when there’s a flood.
- Clean all vents and air holes so your sump pump can run like it should.
Last, most sump pumps will last about 10 years, according the the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. If your sump pump gets regularly maintenaned, you could increase this to 10-15, or even 20 years. Our recommendation is to check your sump pump regularly and consider purchasing a generator, if you don’t already have one.
We hope this sump pump info. helps, as calls are coming in, after trees fell on power lines last night. Welcome to Summer 2016 and the start of Hurricane Season...was the monsoon rain part of Tropical Storm Colin pass by us in the Atlantic. Will check and be on the lookout for my annual hurricane watch blog.
Stay safe...from all of us at Servpro of Scarsdale...! Cheers!