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The important benefits of a sump pump

Warm weather and rising temperatures are ushering in spring rain showers, and for homeowners with basements, this means hearing the reassuring hum of a sump pump kicking on. Those homeowners who haven’t yet installed one, or who are putting off a sump pump replacement, may be wondering what a sump pump is, and where the value comes from installing one of these subterranean appliances. The answer to both of these questions comes in the form of two invaluable peace-of-mind concepts: prevention and protection.


The primary function of sump pumps is the prevention of flooding. A sump pump system works by installing a reservoir in a small pit within the basement of a home, below floor level, which is where the “sump” portion of the name comes from. This pit is filled with a base—generally, gravel—and sensors to detect pressure or water levels within the reservoir. The pump portion is also installed within the reservoir, activating when the pit is filled to a certain point and connected to a discharge pipe to dump the excess water a safe distance away from the home, toward a storm drain.

flooded yellow house in a field

Is your sump pump in good working condition?

So, in the case of heavy rain, as the ground becomes saturated with water, pressure builds up against the foundation of a home. This moisture is pulled away from the ground using a pipe connected to the sump pump reservoir, filling the reservoir in the process. Once the sump is filled, the pump activates, dumping the water away from your home. Without the sump pump system, the rising pressure from the excess groundwater will begin to degrade the home’s foundation, leading to cracks and potential basement flooding, which will cause massive damage.


As a result of their primary function, sump pumps also provide protection from wood rot, mold and mildew, and the presence of insects and animals that damage property and wooden structural supports. Because sump pumps are moving water away from a home’s foundation, they are able to reduce the humidity and moisture within a basement, which are the primary ingredients to produce mold, mildew, and rot.

This is where the value of a sump pump system reaches beyond the basement and accounts for the protection of your home as a whole. If water was allowed to build up around the foundation, and made its way into the basement, the direct contact with wooden beams and structural supports would speed up the growth of all of these fungal nuisances, weaken the supports in general, as well as attract insects that thrive in water, and are willing to make a meal of the soaked wood, like termites.

It is important to remember that sump pumps are only useful when they are functioning properly, so it is imperative that they are inspected regularly, and, when needed, that sump pump replacements are completed sooner rather than later.

To ensure your sump pump is in tip-top condition, or if you’re considering installing a new unit, reach out to the plumbing experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing by calling (815) 781-2567, or check out the online scheduling portal today.

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