With all the crazy, wet weather blowing through town, you need to make sure that you've got the gear you'll need to waterproof your home. One way to do that is to have your plumber come out and inspect your drains. Once you know that your drains are cleaned, and flowing properly, you can start tackling the waterproofing steps you need to take for yourself, such as making sure that your sump pump is working properly. If you have a basement in your home, a sump pump is your first line of defense against flooding. Unfortunately, if it's not taken care of, it may fail when you need it most. That's the last thing you want to have happen when a serious storm is heading your way. Before you're faced with a flooded basement, here are three steps you should take to make sure your sump pump is ready to bail you out.
Give It a Weekly Test
When you have a basement, it's not enough to simply install the sump pump and leave it at that. You need to test it on a regular basis to make sure it's working properly. To test your sump pump, fill the pit with water, and then sit back and watch. If your sump pump is functioning the way it should, it will turn on and start pumping as soon as it identifies water in the pit. If it doesn't start pumping water out of the pit after a few seconds, contact your plumber as soon as possible. If you don't have a backup pump in your basement, you should talk to your plumber about installing an additional drainage pit and sump pump. The backup pump will ensure you have adequate protection should your main pump fail.
Keep the Pit Clean
If your basement starts to flood, you need to know that everything is in place to remove the water as quickly as possible. One thing that can interfere with the rapid removal of water is a dirty drainage pit. Lint, dirt, and other debris can clog the drainage pit and prevent your sump pump from doing its job. To make sure your drainage pit is ready to go, you should clean it out each at least once a week. Remove any debris that you find, and then wash the drainage grate to prevent clogs.
Don't Wait Until It's Too Late
If you've had your sump pump for a few years, it might be time to think about an upgrade. You never know when an old sump pump is going to give up and stop working altogether. Don't wait until it's too late. Talk to your plumber about replacing your worn out sump pump before it breaks down for the last time.