Basement water problems have been happening for as long as basements have existed! Water will leak into a basement through any opening it can, from walls, floors, and joists. Water can even seep through concrete, which lends to the notorious damp and humid basement. The first step in waterproofing your basement begins with building the structure. New construction homes have excellent designs to prevent or mitigate water damage. Even with a new home, many basements will still require a sump pump.
A sump pump system can pump out over 11,500 gallons of water when fully charged. However, a sump pump is not always a guarantee to prevent a flooded basement! Like any mechanical utility in your home, a sump pump can fail. The moving parts within the system can wear out or malfunction, or a circuit could trip leaving your machine off, or it could have become unplugged! Your basement waterproofing treatments are only good as long as your sump pump can run and keep water from rising up. Luckily, there are a few options to keep your basement dry.
The first is having an alarm on your sump pump that will sound when the pump has no power. This will alert you to a potential problem and to get power to the sump pump before a flood can happen- some alarms can even be hooked up to a home security system to send an alert straight to your phone! An important second choice is a battery backup! If the power goes out and your sump pump is out of battery, a backup will help it continue to run until power is restored. Lastly, a second sump pump is also an option for basements if there is a tendency for large amounts of water to come in.
Battery backups and secondary sump pumps are sometimes an afterthought, but they can provide assurance that your basement will be covered in an emergency and that your family won’t be stuck living in a hotel when the basement floods and you have to have the damage cleaned up. If you live in Genesee County, Michigan and are near a lake or river, your highest risk of water damage is going to be during a power outage. A battery back up, or better yet, a whole house generator for your main mechanicals (furnace, hot water heater, sump pump) can keep you comfortable, safe, and dry in a power outage or flood!