Basement Waterproofing: The Vital Role of a Sump Pump

sump pump in gravel

In places such as Nashville, where the climate is humid and precipitation occurs year-round, it is very important to keep your basement dry, both to avoid foundation damage and to prevent mold growth. Although many homeowners are unaware of its location or function, a sump pump plays a key role in protecting your foundation from water damage. Learn more about this appliance below.

What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a very small electrical pump located in the basement or crawlspace beneath your home, which removes excess water in the event of heavy rains or flash flooding. A sump pump can help you avoid thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage, since excess water below your home can lead to foundation settlement or other structural damage.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The sump pump should be installed in a sump pit, which is a specially constructed gravel-filled hole, usually about a foot and a half wide and two feet deep. When your basement or crawlspace floods, the pump will automatically switch on when the water reaches a certain depth, and begin to pump it away from your home. A pressure sensor and float activator, similar to the one inside your toilet tank, will activate the pump when water is present. A check valve prevents the pump from overflowing and directing water back into the pit.

How Do I Maintain My Sump Pump?

When heavy rains are forecast, you should check your sump pump to make sure that your basement will be protected in case of flooding. Make sure the pump’s power cord does not have any holes, and every so often use a garden hose or a bucket of water to fill the pit and make sure that the pump automatically activates when it should.

If you own an older home without a sump pump, United Structural Systems can install one for your as part of our complete basement waterproofing services. To schedule a consultation with us, give us a call at (615) 307-9510 today.

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