The sump pump is the number one most problematic area in a home. Why? Because sump pumps fail and when they do it’s when you need them the most. Sump pumps fail like all mechanical equipment will do. Today we share how to prepare and offer preventive methods to keep your basement from flooding.
At CCS, we’ve been answering water emergency calls for over 20 years and have worked with many customers. One thing we have learned is that many homeowners do not know that sump pump failure is not typically included on a homeowner’s insurance policy. Sump pump failure is typically excluded from the policy.
If you have a sump pump, you need to make sure you have insurance coverage for the sump pump on your homeowner’s insurance policy. This coverage is relatively inexpensive to add to your policy and is well worth the amount you pay each year. Being in business for over 20 years in the water extraction, cleanup business we can tell you that water emergency cleanups rack up dollars quickly. Even a bare bones basement without any furniture or built up walls can easily be a $3,500 bill. The labor to extract and dry out the basement after a water emergency or flooding situation takes time and equipment.
We recommend that at a minimum depending on how finished your basement is you have at least $5,000 coverage. Again, that’s at a minimum. Replacing walls, furniture, flooring, belongings adds up fast. You do not want to be caught off guard and sump pump failures do happen.
Step one, take out your homeowner’s insurance policy and see if you are covered. If you are unsure and cannot find this in your policy, call your agent today. Ask the agent, “if my sump pump fails, am I covered and for how much.” If the answer is no, ask the agent to add this coverage immediately. If the answer is yes, ask what page this information is located on your policy and read through it with a fine tooth comb. Know what you have and what you do not have. Flooding and water backups can happen and the damage and cleanup are stressful enough. You do not want to find out that you have to come up with all the dollars on your own to fix the issue.
So, now that you have your insurance coverage in place and up to snuff, what else can you do to prevent water damage in your basement?
Step two, we suggest that you install a dual sump pump. This way, if your first sump pump fails there will be a second sump pump to do the work. We also suggest that this second sump pump has a battery backup. Sump pumps can go for a long period of time not having to do any work. As water tables rise and the pump is put to work, it is working full-time, kicking on and off. Thus it can get a pretty heavy workout in a short period of time when we go through rainy seasons. If the first pump fails or we receive a heavy storm knocking out the electricity, the water level may rise up above that fist pump. With the second pump in place and on a battery pack, this gives more security. The battery on the second pump should hold you over while electricity is being restored to your property while protecting your home.
These protective measures will help give you more peace of mind. Unfortunately many people find out the hard way after they’ve experienced the devastation of flooding or water backups. Our goal is to help you be as proactive as you can.
If you have any questions about sump pump failures or the rest of this information, please don’t hesitate to call our office. If the unfortunate happens, know that we are here and you can call us 24 hours a day 7 days a week for water emergencies at 920.435.2288.