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How Sump Pumps Help Keep Basements Dry

Posted on January 31, 2013

From structural damage to indoor air quality issues, excess moisture in your basement can cause a variety of health and safety problems. If your moisture problem isn’t being caused by leaking pipes or poor exterior drainage, it’s likely that ground water is seeping into your basement from beneath the cement slab. Though it seems very solid, cement is actually a porous material. Water under a cement slab can wick right through the slab and transfer into your basement. By keeping the water from ever reaching the slab, sump pumps keep your slab, and your basement, nice and dry. Removing this excess moisture will make your basement more comfortable, improve your air quality, and even prevent damage to the slab and foundation.

When properly installed by a professional plumber, sump pumps are extremely effective at removing unwanted moisture from beneath your basement floor. A hole, or “sump,” is cut into the basement floor, providing a central point for moisture to collect. The depth and diameter of the hole depends on the amount of moisture present. Once the hole is dug and lined, a sump pump is placed in the bottom of the hole. Whether powered by electricity or water pressure, the role of the pump is the same — to keep water from reaching the cement slab.

As moisture collects in the sump, the water level will rise around the pump. A float-activated switch on the pump is set to a level several inches below your basement floor. When the water reaches that level, the switch closes and pumps the water out of the sump, and out of your basement. Depending on where you live, sump pumps may be connected to a storm drain, municipal sewer or exterior drain field. Either way, the excess water is outside and no longer a problem.

Properly installed and regularly maintained sump pumps are an affordable and effective way to help keep your basement dry. If you have a problem with excess moisture in your basement, or have an existing sump pump that you’d like to have serviced, please contact us at Comfort Systems to schedule a consultation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about sump pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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