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Happy Spring to our Andreas family! We’ve all been waiting for this… flowers are starting to bloom, the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds a little more often, and we’re all ready to get started on replenishing our vitamin D levels by spending more time outside.
But, wait… flowers don’t bloom without rain. And while the word spring in synonymous with so many things we love, it is also synonymous with rain.
Rain seems manageable most of the time. Heck, we don’t get ‘rained in’ the way we get ‘snowed in’, there isn’t a run on the grocery store when rain is in the forecast, nor do the kids get to sleep late for delayed openings when it’s just raining.
But, there is a sneaky side to rain and that happens when there is just too much of it. Too much of anything isn’t good for you, right? Heavy rains can mean flooding and flooding leads to damage.
Small amounts of rain effortlessly seep into the ground water without giving it a second thought, but when it rains heavily or for extended periods of time, rain accumulates quickly and doesn’t always have a place to go. That’s why we have gutters and drains on our house, to whisk the water easily away from our homes where it can cause damage to the roof or to the foundation. Sometimes water has no choice but to settle in a spot where we don’t want it. In the case of the heaviest of rains, this location is often the basement.
Basement functions vary widely. Some basements serve as a storage spot for the remnants of grandma’s attic, some house a workshop or man cave (perhaps more aptly referred to as a husband’s/dad’s escape room). Some have an extra bedroom or spot for movies, while others are completely finished to serve as a spot for kids to hang out or for the littles ones to play and make messes that we don’t have to see.
Regardless of your basement’s function, there is no doubt that some of the items stored there are valuable, whether valuable because your daughter’s three-year-old self-portrait is housed there or grandma’s antique table.
In order to protect these valuables, we highly recommend installing a sump pump in your basement to pump the water away from the house when the rains decide to teeter toward monsoon-like. A sump is a pit where water collects. This is typically the lowest spot in the basement. Most sump pumps are installed with a float attached. This float serves as the indicator for when the pump needs to run. If water levels rise in the pit, the float will also rise and when the float reaches a certain level, it will signal the pump to turn on and start pushing the water away before it can cause any damage—that self-portrait with the three eyes, yup that’s safe!
The best part about a sump pump…there is little to no maintenance to keep it running and it will pay for itself many times over as it saves you from flooding damage. Just to remember that there is a pit where the sump pump resides. This area needs to be kept clear of debris so that the pump can function normally. You also want to check the discharge pipe from time to time. This can be found in the backyard away from the house. If this pipe gets clogged with stick or leaves, you could have a back up of water into your pit as the water cannot drain properly. Other than that, you’re all set.
If you already have a sump pump installed, you can test it before the worst of the rains hit us this Spring. Just fill the pit with water until the float reaches a level that will activate the pump to turn on. If you fill the pit and the sump pump doesn’t activate, you may need a service call. Something’s up and you definitely want to handle that before you end up with a flooded basement.
Don’t have a pump yet and fear water collecting in your basement? Give us a call and we can help you come up with some options to keep your basement valuable safely above water.