In 2012, hundreds of miles of coastline along the northeastern United States were battered and decimated due to Hurricane Sandy. More than a year later, many homeowners were still dealing with the consequences of the devastating storm.
Hurricane Sandy illustrated just how destructive water can be. Each year, storms across North America have the potential to flood homes or cause water to enter the basement or first floor. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a mere six inches of water in a 2,000 square foot home can cause around $40,000 in damage. Homeowners looking to avoid such damages can rely on sump pumps and backup emergency systems to keep sublevels dry and safe.
Sump pumps are frequently used in homes at risk of flooding or in homes where the water table is above the foundation of the home. Sump pumps remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin built into the foundation of the home. Water may enter through perimeter drains (French drains) built into the basement or directly through the sump basin itself. The pump will send the water away from the house through a series of pipes that could drain into a dry well, into a municipal storm drain or at the curb.
Many sump pumps are hard-wired into a home's electrical system and will automatically turn on when the water level in the sump basin has risen enough to trigger the pump. A flotation device built into the pump will rise enough to turn on the pump, which will then dispel the water until the device returns to its regular level.
When operating correctly, sump pumps are effective at removing water and keeping basements and crawl spaces dry. However, in the event of a power outage, which is common when strong winds accompany flooding rains, a sump pump is rendered useless unless there is a backup battery attached to the sump pump.
Having a battery hooked up to a sump pump, or a backup sump pump that is battery-powered, can give homeowners peace of mind in any storm. A backup plan ensures the pump will still be able to remove water for a certain period of time until electricity is restored to the home. Another option is to make sure the sump pump is connected to a power generator should the main power supply go out. As long as the generator is running, the sump pump will expel the water.
Water damage to a home can cost thousands of dollars in repairs, particularly when it is not covered by standard home insurance policies. Sump pumps can help keep homes dry and safe.