Spring is finally here and so are the spring rains.
So far, the rainfall has come at a slow and steady pace, rather than a lot of rain in a short time.
We’re Off To A Good Start
This is a good way to start the spring rainy season!
Because of our dry winter, the soil along the foundation has probably contracted and shrunk, leaving a lot of large cracks. This makes it easy for heavy rains to run straight towards your foundation, basement walls, and footings.
What To Be Looking For Before Storms Start Pouring Rain:
#1 – Is Your Sump Pump Working Properly?
Your sump pump is the most important part of your home’s waterproofing system. But is has to be properly maintained!
The impeller should be connected to the sump pump with bolts and may need a thorough cleaning to work properly.
#2 – Is There Water in Your Basement?
Pay attention to any water in your basement or other signs of leaks.
Usually this is a sign of problems in other places, often on the outside of your foundation walls.
Which leads to the next question…..
#3 – Do You See Water “Ponding” in Your Yard?
Watch where the water flows in your yard, and pay special attention to any place you see standing water.
If there are pools of water close to your foundation, it could mean there’s a problem.
Check your gutters or downspouts to make sure they are cleaned out and working properly.
Also check the location of your discharge for your downspouts and your sump pump. We recommend these discharge at least 10 feet away from your property.
And make sure your landscape slopes away from your foundation. It’s common for the soil near the foundation to settle over the season, which could cause water to pool in any low spots.
What To Do If You Find a Problem
If you see any problems, you should get them checked out right away. Contact a local, reputable foundation repair or engineering firm for an inspection.
5 Steps for DIY Sump Pump Inspections
Before you start, make sure to unplug any electrical power leading to your sump pump.
Check for Debris in Sump Basin
Make sure the sump pump pit is free from debris. You might be surprised a the kinds of things that can end up here as part of typical home live – children’s toys, items stored nearby that fall in, etc.
Anything that falls into the basis can get into the sump pump unit and interfere with moving parts, particularly the float mechanism. The float mechanism has a key role in sump pump operation, so be sure there is nothing interfering with it.
Test the Float
Fill the sump pump pit with water and make sure the float starts and stops the sump pump as designed.
Inspect the Check Valve
The check valves ensure that when the sump pump shuts off, no water will go back into the sump pump pit. However, sometimes these are improperly installed.
There is an arrow on the check valve that points in the direction the water is supposed to flow, which should not be towards the sump pump.
Clean the Weep Hole
Some sump pumps have a “weep hole” between the sump pump and the check valve. You can clean this with a toothpick or other tiny object. Be careful not to break anything into the weep hole.
Clean the Impeller
The impeller is a small filter that can become clogged. If your sump pump has stopped running suddenly or is making a whining noise, this could be the problem.
If you are not mechanically minded, call a reputable local foundation expert or contractor to test your sump pump for you.
Did you know that March is Severe Weather Preparation Month?
While it may still feel like winter outside, it won’t be long until spring arrives. And with it comes spring storms! Is your family prepared?
First things first, make sure you have designated a safe place to go to if the weather gets bad. It could be a basement, closet, or room with no windows or outside walls. Make sure this space is cleared out enough that you could easily get your family inside if needed. (You don’t want to be clearing out the closet if there is a tornado!)
Next, put together a small emergency kit. What would you need if the power was out? Consider putting in flashlights, extra batteries, canned food, and plenty of water. (Don’t forget supplies for your pets too!)
Keep emergency phone numbers in your cell phone contacts, including the phone number for your insurance company! You could even save a note in your phone with your policy numbers too. We advise every client to do this, so if you haven’t already, do it now!
While we can’t prevent bad weather, it’s always great to be as prepared as possible. Take care of your family first and know that we’ll be there to protect your belongings.
Do you have any additional tips? Leave a comment below.