Don’t let your sump pump take a vacation while you’re away this Spring and Summer! Kevin Ramirez, owner of Restoration 1 of Chicago North Shore, shares with us how to be proactive and avoid sump pump failure over the rainy few months ahead.
Written by Kevin Ramirez
Spring has sprung, along with a travel boom! Family vacations for Spring Break, visits to friends & family over Easter and Memorial Day weekends, and early summer escapes are finally here! Likely the last thing that has crossed your mind through the excitement is checking on your sump pump before you leave…
What is a sump pump? It’s that mechanical device in your basement that has white PVC pipes set vertically and out and across near the basement ceiling. It’s that unsightly thing that you never think of- until it’s too late and you’re faced to face with a wet basement. (Not a happy homecoming!) This has even happened to me, about fifteen years ago, and I’ve since learned to be preventative.
What does that thing do? It pumps out the ground water around your house via drains, slop sink water, etc. and flows drown the drain into floor basin. The pump has a float that turns on the pump and discharges it outside. It’s design to prevent water damage and moisture in the lower level of your home. There are two types: submersible and ejector style pumps, we’ll not go into detail, but they are VERY important to your home. The average life of a sump pump is about 2.5 years! It could last longer, but why take that risk?
Why your sump pump is important to be proactive about? One of the first things people often ask when they contact me is, “My insurance will pay for it, right?”. Well, not exactly. It’s best to ask your insurance agent ahead of time, as it is an extension or a rider to your policy. It’s well worth the $25 extra it may add to your monthly premium! We have remediated many finished basements destroyed by failed sump pumps. The damage can range from $20,000-$50,000, and that doesn’t include rebuilding. This is why it is so important to check and double check this important part of your home, along with your insurance.
What can you do as a homeowner to be proactive? Have a professional plumbing company or a service company that has a plumbing division visit this Spring. They can inspect your pump system and determine if it’s working properly. I also recommend a battery back up system that uses a marine type of battery (they’re better). I have often used North Shore HVAC’s plumbing division (847-729-1040) to perform an inspection, and if needed, replacement of main and backup system if you’re new to the area and need a recommendation.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid damage to your home. The time and stress to repair the damage is intangible, and does not have a dollar value. I hope this information saves you from needing our services at Restoration 1, but if you find yourself in an unfortunate water incident, or just have questions, feel free to reach out to me.