New Owners Of Old Homes: What Happens If You Don't Schedule Maintenance Of Your Sump Pump?

Construction & Contractors Articles

If you purchased an old home with a sump pump and haven't maintained the equipment or sump pit at all, it's essential that you contact a sump pump contractor for services now. Your poorly maintained sump pump system may run into a number of issues in the future, including poor water drainage and pump and pit failure. Most sources recommend that you clean your sump pump and pit every year to avoid issues. You should also perform routine maintenance of the pump inlet and screen every three to four months. If you don't follow the recommendations above, your sump pump and pit may fail. To understand why you should schedule maintenance for the sump pump and pit, you must first learn how they work and why they fail.

How Can Sump Pump System Fail From a Lack of Maintenance?

sump pump is designed to remove and redirect melting snow and heavy rain away from the basement. The pump should sit securely inside a special pit that collects any water that penetrates the basement when it rains heavily or when snow melts around the home. The pump also protects your basement from raw sewage and black water if a sewer line breaks in the yard.

Sometimes, sump pumps fail when their pits fill up with dirt and other debris. The debris may clog up the holes or inlets in the sump pit that release water to the pump. The float switch that signals the pump to turn on and off may stay in the "up" position when the pit clogs up, which causes the motor to operate with breaks. The motor may overheat and burn out from its efforts.

An overflowing sump pit may also cause issues with the basement's concrete foundation and walls if water repeatedly floods into the room. Flooding water weakens the structural integrity of your home's foundation. You should understand that concrete has a porous texture that allows water to penetrate or soak into it. If previous builders didn't add a water barrier to the concrete during construction to help protect it against excess water or moisture, your basement may not have the integrity and strength to support the home. 

The water can travel outside the basement and infiltrate the soil surrounding it. Hydrostatic pressure, or water pressure, may develop around the foundation that further increases the risk for failure. Hydrostatic pressure is created when water pushes through or pass the joints and crevices of the basement and walls, which usually produces excessive moisture in the room. You might notice small cracks in the wall as the wet concrete weakens. The foundation or walls may shift out of placement and eventually collapse from their efforts to support the home's weight.

Because you haven't cleaned or inspected the pump and pit at all, it's critical that you have a professional contractor examine the parts immediately to avoid the consequences described above. 

How Can a Sump Pump Contractor Help You?

One of the things a contractor may do for your sump pump and pit is inspect the parts for structural damage and clogs. Although you can do this yourself, your sump pump system may require repairs or replacements to correct. In addition, a contractor will often check the pipes and lines connected to the pump and pit to see if they received damage from the lack of maintenance.

Though it doesn't happen to every older home, it's possible for their plumbing fixtures to deteriorate over time, especially if the soil stays too wet or if tree roots travel around the fixtures. Tree roots can break open sewer pipe lines and prevent water from leaving the sump pump pit. If this is the case with your sump pump's connecting lines, a contractor can replace them for you. 

A contractor may also remove and replace the sump pump if it shows signs of rust or damaged internal components, such as a malfunctioning motor. If your pump fails during the rainy season, it can lead to flooding in the basement and possible structural damage to the foundation. Replacing the motor now may be the best option in this case.

For more information about maintaining your sump pump and pit, contact a contractor today, such as those at Rite-Way Waterproofing.


2 May 2016

Exploring Contractor's Hand Tools

Welcome to my site, my name is Hugo Ciela. I'd like to talk to you about hand tools used by contractors of all kinds. Although air and power tools frequently make jobs easier, and sometimes even more enjoyable, hand tools have not lost their place in this industry. Many jobs cannot be completed without a hand tool or two due to their versatility and precision. Contractors of all types, ranging from roofers to foundation specialists, keep a plethora of hand tools in their worksite kit. I will discuss the types of hand tools you might see in those kits. I will also explore all of the different ways they can be used. Please stick around to learn more information about contractor's hand tools.