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Spring rain is coming, inspect that sump pump now

Transitioning out of the winter snow and ice, the rainy season is right around the corner, signaling the beginning of spring. As warmer weather moves in, the rain will begin to fall more steadily, compounding the moisture from melting snow and potentially causing headaches for homeowners caught unprepared. Before being caught off guard, homeowners should set time aside now to take a look at their sump pumps and ensure that they’re up to the task of taking on all of the additional wet weather on the horizon.

Rain, Runoff, and Extra Wet Weather

Between melting snow and cold rains, late winter and early spring weather patterns are particularly wet. During these transitional months, additional moisture above ground becomes a bigger problem than in later months, as the soil below ground is still in the process of thawing out. With the soil still partially frozen, any water accumulating on top of it will be unable to be absorbed — instead, it will find the path of the least resistance to spread and pool. Usually, this means extra moisture around the foundations of homes and buildings. Within enough time left to sit, this extra water can find ways to seep through cracks in the foundations, settling into basements and lower rooms. Not only will this lead to minor leaks and puddles, but potentially greater flooding, property damage, and mold and mildew growth.

A Sump To Pump Out The Water

Moving excess water and moisture away from the home is a sump pump’s entire purpose. When water levels reach a specific threshold above the home’s foundation level, the sump pump kicks on to move that water away from the home, dumping it out at the end of a drainage pipe well out of the way. This is why homeowners will often hear their sump pumps kick on during a particularly heavy thunderstorm, or on unusually warm winter days after snowstorms. A helpful basement savior, a home’s sump pump is only up to the task when it well maintained and kept in working order, however.

The same excess runoff conditions mentioned earlier keep a sump pump working harder than usual, causing additional strain on the pump, and greater wear and tear on the system in general. Mixed with the debris the pump picks up from runoff water — things like twigs, clumps of dirt and grass, rocks and silt, etc. — it’s easy to understand why the sump pump has a higher likelihood of running into issues now. 

General Maintenance Tips

Homeowners can perform basic maintenance that will help keep a sump pump functioning, without getting too deep into the pump mechanics. Start by clearing obvious debris from within and checking for blockages in and around the drain pipe. 

Checking the electrical connections is also worthwhile, to ensure everything is plugged in safely without being exposed directly to water. Remember, if there is any standing water around the electrical plugs, turn off the power to the pump at the breaker box (to avoid interacting with the compromised plug directly, and risking electrocution), and call a professional immediately.

It is also still necessary to schedule an annual sump pump inspection to ensure that any small mechanical issues are uncovered before they lead to a pump failure at an inopportune time. Professionals will be able to more easily navigate the sump pump, looking for potential issues that untrained eyes won’t catch. 

Proactivity is crucial in these months between seasons, as a little extra attention now can save homeowners from the physical and financial headache of a flooding basement down the line. Rather than rising it, tackling even a little preventative maintenance now is better than nothing, especially when it comes to keeping your property and valuables safe.

To help keep your sump pump in its best condition, reach out to the licensed experts at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With 30 years of plumbing experience throughout all phases of Midwest seasonal weather, the professionals of Duane Blanton Home Services know how to keep your home’s plumbing up and running. 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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