sump pump

Tips for Sump Pump Inspection

Sump Pump

Your sump pump is a key component of the waterproofing system of your home. It prevents your basement from being flooded by rainwater or groundwater. Water that makes it into your basement collects in a well and is pumped out of the basement.

We’d all like our sump pumps to last forever. However, like any other appliance in the home, your sump pump requires regular maintenance. This will help it function properly for longer. Inspection is the first step to maintaining your pump.

How often should your pump be inspected?

Sump pumps come in a wide variety. Maintenance schedules for these pumps vary depending on the requirements of the manufacturer as well as the amount of work the pump does. However, it is recommended that your carry out maintenance of your pump in accordance with the schedules below depending on your situation:

  • Monthly

If your pump is active more often e.g. sump pumps that also have to dispose of water from washing machines and other household appliances, monthly maintenance is required. Monthly cleaning of the inlet and pump screen is highly recommended in these situations.

  • Quarterly

If your pump only disposes of ground water and rain water, maintenance can be done quarterly. This should also include inspection and cleaning of the pump screen as well as the inlet.

Inspecting Sump Pumps Like Pro

There are several things that professional inspectors look for when they check on pumps at annual inspections. These include the following:

  1. Alarms

It is important to purchase a pump with an alarm. This will ensure that you’re alerted in case of a problem. If your pump has an alarm system, it is the first thing that you should inspect. Test the alarm to ensure that it functions properly.

  1. Check valves

These valves help to prevent water that is being pumped out from flowing back down through the discharge pipe. It is important to ensure that the valve is working properly to prevent your basement from flooding.

  1. Pit

The pit in which the pump sits is also inspected. Professionals inspect these pits to ensure that they are large enough. They also inspect them for siltation and signs of underpinning. This helps to ensure the integrity of your foundation.

  1. Backup system

It is important to have a backup system. This kicks in when the primary pump malfunctions. Ensure that this system is working just as efficiently as the primary system.

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basement waterproofing in new jersey

Basement Waterproofing in New Jersey: Do it Once, Do it Right

Basement Waterproofing in New Jersey

There is only one thing more dreaded than needing a basement waterproofing contractor to come fix your basement: needing that basement waterproofer to come back!

Honestly, basement waterproofing in New Jersey should be a one-time deal. Usually, if there is an issue in the basement, a basement contractor can install a full basement system that will keep the basement dry for years to come. With some maintenance, a basement waterproofing system should and will last a long time. Some waterproofing contractors offer a life-time guarantee and a transfer policy to the new homeowners if the house is ever sold.

Partial work

One of the most common call back situations when it comes to basement waterproofing is when only one portion of the basement is fixed. Sometimes there is a leak on one side of the basement. The homeowner will hire the contractor to come in and fix the problem area only to notice a similar leak on the adjacent wall the next year. A good basement waterproofing contractor offers a whole basement solution. If they only offer partial work, then an honest contractor will make sure homeowner understands that the issue is really more of a whole house problem. Of course, there are situations where partial work is the better option. Families with budgetary constraints may decide to only do some of the work and do the rest of the work later. It is just important to understand that a contractor who offers a whole basement solution is not trying to sell you something you don’t need. They are just trying to do it once!

A bad system

There are bad systems out there and some inexperienced contractors who may install a good system improperly. However, most of the basement waterproofers in business today are good, honest and reputable. Manufacturers and suppliers have designed various system models, wall boards, sump pumps, and crack injection materials that use the latest technology. The industry as a whole has come a long way to offer basement waterproofing products that allow for contractors to offer a do it one, do it right approach.

A good system fails

Sometimes one of those good systems will fail. Usually, it is due to a preventable issue with proper inspection and maintenance. Sometimes the systems will become clogged with debris. Contractors can come out and flush the system to make sure it works properly. Other times components of the basement waterproofing system will fail or give out and need to be replaced. For example, sump pumps no matter how heavy duty will not last forever. The sump pump is one component that needs to be replaced every five to seven years depending on the make, model and wear on the pump and the pump’s motor.

Overall, if you are having basement water issues it is important to do it right the first time. That will start with a correct assessment and inspection of your property and the basement issues. Choose your waterproofing contractor carefully. Don’t base your decision strictly on price. Review the contractor and his certifications and qualifications. Ask for referrals and call them. Do your best to choose the right contractor who will offer a “once and for all” fix to your basement problems.

Contact us if you have any questions about basement waterproofing or if you want to get a FREE Estimate!

hydrostatic pressure

The Foundation-Crushing Power of Hydrostatic Pressure

The Power of Hydrostatic Pressure

In science, engineers study hydrostatic pressure as the natural occurring pressure that standing water creates in relation to an object or barrier. Basically, it is the taller the body of wet material, the greater the force, especially at the bottom. Hydrostatic pressure is what destroys dams, buckles retaining walls, and collapses foundation walls. It is the force behind landslides, moving earth and rocks, and anything else in its path.

Our homes and our basements are really no match for hydrostatic pressure.

Structural damage and leaks

While hydrostatic pressure can cause serious structural damage, it can also be the culprit behind basement leaks. The water buildup in the soil outside of a foundation actually reacts with the concrete. Capillary action naturally pulls the water in through any voids, gaps or cracks in the concrete wall. It can even pull water through the concrete slab or through solid concrete walls. This is known as seepage or weeping. If water weeps through a solid concrete wall, then the best way is to relieve the pressure.

Using drains to stop hydrostatic pressure

The way to stop hydrostatic pressure build-up is through water diversion and drainage tactics. A French Drain installed on the exterior side of the foundation wall will relieve this hydrostatic pressure and allow a place for the water to go. By trenching behind the problem area, you can allow water to find its way to a place that will do no harm. Channel the water to flow downhill away from the foundation.

When you relieve the hydrostatic pressure build up, the job of keeping the basement dry is actually a much simpler job. If those drainage systems are in place, then your basement waterproofing system won’t have to work so hard.

Field drains are also a good option to help keep surface water away from the foundation. They are usually small, round drainage points to control the water and relieve hydrostatic pressure.

Another technique is channel drains. Channel drains are a grill-covered drainage system material commonly placed at the bottom of a driveway recessed into the ground. These capture flowing water and redirect it.

Interior basement waterproofing systems including drain tiles and sump pumps also deal with hydrostatic pressure by capturing the excess water below the concrete slab and carrying it away before it enters the basement.

If you are having water seeping through your basement floor you probably have hydrostatic pressure.

Depending on the situation, a waterproofing contractor may suggest an exterior or interior system or a combination of the two.

Don’t ever ignore hydrostatic pressure. Leaving it alone will only make the problems worse and could lead to even more serious problems. Contact us for a FREE Estimate for basement waterproofing.

Wet Basement | Middletown, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Signs of Basement Leaks in New Jersey

Basement Leaks in New Jersey

Basement leaks in New Jersey have many common causes. First, water that is on the ground can seep into your foundation and basement floor. Water could also leak into your basement due to issues with your gutters. Your gutters may overflow due to heavy rain, clogs, a sudden thaw, or poor installation. If you do not have enough gutters, water will also leak. Basement leaks in New Jersey are also often caused by disconnected downspouts, poor planning in terms of landscaping, and sprinklers aiming at your home. Finally, basement leaks in New Jersey are also a risk if your pipes have excessive condensation or if your interior walls have water inside them.

Signs of Basement Leaks in New Jersey

To catch basement leaks before they become serious floods, watch for these common signs.

  • Staining: Water stains on your basement floor or walls are a definite indication of a basement leak.
  • Odor: If your basement smells damp or musty, it is likely that there is excessive moisture and a potential leak.
  • Mold: Mold will also appear in a basement that has a leak, and it can come in many colors. If you suspect mold, you should have it tested.
  • Efflorescence: Efflorescence is a condition in which salt deposits are left by water that has evaporated. These may appear on your walls as gray or white ash, and it can sparkle.
  • Spalling: This also refers to salt deposits that are left behind, but spalling occurs when the surface that the salt is on begins to peel away or otherwise come off.

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