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If you have a basement or crawlspace, you may have heard the recommendation that you need to install a sump pump. Indeed, some people go so far as to recommend that all homes need a sump pump. When it comes to plumbing appliances, a sump pump can play an important role in protecting your home from water damage and flooding. But, you may be wondering if installing a sump pump is truly necessary.

At Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we are your go-to sump pump experts. Below we review what sump pumps are, how they work, and whether you really need one installed in your home. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Sump Pumps?

A sump pump is a plumbing appliance installed in the low point of your basement or crawlspace where they pump out any water that collects in the sump basin. Sump pumps can be found in both residential and commercial settings and are designed to protect your property from flooding and water buildup. Even if your basement area is not prone to flooding, if you have excess moisture around your home's foundations, a sump pump may help.

What Causes Water to Build Up in Your Basement?

Moisture and water problems in basements and crawlspaces are not uncommon. You've probably heard horror stories about floods and mold problems. You may have even smelled a musty odor in your own basement, indicated excess moisture. Do you know what causes water to build up in basements? Several factors may contribute to this problem.

Water and moisture can buildup in basements due to:

  • Improper drainage around your foundation
  • Incorrect grading of walkways and the ground around your building's foundations
  • Damaged, missing, or improperly installed rain gutters
  • Rainstorms and other weather-related issues
  • Groundwater issues
  • Problems with your foundation
  • Plumbing leaks

The age of your home may also play a role in water and moisture issues in the basement. While basements are very common in Virginia and Maryland, many older homes were not built with the idea that the basement would be an extension of the home's living space. Consequently, adequate drainage and moisture control weren't always a top priority.

As people look for ways to maximize the space in their homes, basement conversions have become more popular. However, if your basement was converted and adequate drainage or a sump pump was not installed as part of that process, you may end up with water and moisture buildup.

The Benefits of Installing a Sump Pump in Your Basement

Depending on the severity of your moisture problem, it may be worth speaking with one of our plumbers about installing a sump pump. A new sump pump installed by our professional plumbers can help remove excess water from your basement, protecting it and your belongings from water damage. Once installed, the average sump pump will last for around ten years and work both day-to-day and in an emergency event like a flood.

Other benefits of installing a sump pump include:

  • Protects personal belongings and furniture from water damage
  • Ensures that your foundations and building materials aren't damaged by pooling water
  • Reduces the chances of mold and mildew growth, especially after a flood or other emergency
  • Reduces humidity in your basement and can support good indoor air quality
  • Can increase your home's property value and make it more attractive to potential buyers

While there are many benefits to sump pumps, this does not necessarily mean that all homes require them. Before investing in a sump pump, you should discuss your options with one of our plumbers. We can help you determine if a sump pump is right for you or if there are other alternatives.

Alternatives to Sump Pumps

If you are dealing with moisture and flooding issues in your basement, you must have the problem fully diagnosed to determine what is causing the issue. Once you know the cause, you can explore your options for resolving it. For example, if you just have a very minor moisture problem, you may be able to get by with a dehumidifier and not need a sump pump. Similarly, if you have water buildup because of a plumbing leak or a problem with the construction of your foundation, you may be able to fix the problem with the help of a plumber or contractor.

However, if you have a finished basement where you store valuable items, electronics, and sentimental items, it still might be worth installing a sump pump to protect you from emergencies, like burst pipes, malfunctioning washing machines, or extreme weather. A sump pump can help keep you and your belongings protected even in these extreme situations.

To find out if a sump pump is right for you, reach out to Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for guidance.