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Is your sump pump ready for the spring thaw

Though the weather has been unseasonably warm this season, winter has still brought its fair share of cold, freezing temperatures, especially in the last few weeks. Battling through the late season snow and rain, it’s easy to forget that the official beginning of spring is less than a month away, bringing warmer weather and, more than likely, a fair amount of precipitation before summer. To prepare for the seasonal shift, and the exceptional amount of moisture during this time now is the best time to take a look at the sump pump and make sure it’s ready for what’s to come.

Oodles of Puddles

Marked by rain that transitions into snow, and vice versa, late winter weather patterns are particularly wet. Unfortunately, this abundance of precipitation appears at a time when the underground soil is still primarily frozen, leaving the left-over runoff water from snow-melt and rain with nowhere to absorb into the ground. Instead, this moisture will find the path of the least resistance to follow, pooling around lower elevation points, meaning a lot of water sweeping over sidewalks, overrunning storm and sewer drains, and — worst of all — pooling around the foundation of buildings. As the water sits against the foundation, it will continue to work its way deeper into cracks, crevices, and any potential opening to seep into the walls and lower rooms, causing property damage, mildew growth, and massive basement flooding problems.

A Sump Pump’s Purpose

Dealing with undue amounts of moisture around a home’s foundation is the reason for a sump pump. The sump springs into action as water levels rise above the foundation level of a home, pumping water out and away from the home. This helps mitigate the issues caused by pooling runoff water, especially against potential basement flooding. But a sump pump is only useful when it is maintained in good working order.

As with any mechanical device, the more the sump pump runs, the more general wear and tear it will undergo, and it will require regular maintenance. These late winter days and the extra water they bring tend to leave a sump pump running longer and harder than usual to keep water at bay, so it’s natural that issues would be more likely to arise now rather than when the pump isn’t running overtime. Additionally, groundwater run-off will carry debris from trees and brush, as well as being mixed with harsh soil and rock, all of which can get clogged with a sump pump and cause internal blockages or damage.

Homeowners can perform general maintenance on a sump pump, clearing debris from within and checking blockages in the drain pipe. It’s also wise to inspect the electrical connections and ensure everything is plugged in safely and running smoothly without being exposed directly to water. However, it is still imperative that regular annual inspections are performed on a home’s sump pump to ensure that any small issues are uncovered before they balloon out and lead to a pump failure at an inopportune time.

The only predictable pattern for Midwestern weather is that it will be unpredictable, and this is the most evident now in the winter-to-spring transition months. Rather than being caught off-guard, get ahead as much as possible, and do what can be done to ensure that your sump pump is ready to handle the worst a Midwestern winter and spring can throw at it. To help keep your sump pump in its best condition, reach out to the licensed experts at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With three decades of experience in the worst weather the Midwest has to offer, the professionals of Duane Blanton know how to keep your sump pump operating without issue. Call today with any questions or plumbing concerns at (815) 781-2567, or schedule an annual inspection online through their convenient online schedule portal, available 24/7.

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