Failed Sump Pump & Basement Flooding – What to do?

Sump Pump Diagram

Many Ohio homes have basements, and most basements have at least one sump pump. A sump pump is kind of like an insurance policy against a flooded basement. They are especially important if a homeowner has invested money in refinishing their basement or if valuable items or furniture are stored in the basement. A sump pump is a relatively inexpensive water mitigation system. But like any piece of equipment in your home, it will eventually fail which can result in flooding, water backups, or water damage to your basement

Why does a sump pump fail?

When a sump pumps fails, it’s often during a heavy rain period when the pump is working overtime to remove all the excess water that’s trying to seep in from outside. After a sump pump failure, water begins to leak through the foundation and basement walls or any cracks in the cement. The water will pool in the lowest spots on the floor of the basement, gradually rising if more water is able to come in. So what do you do at that point? Here’s a couple of suggestions we have to help you navigate a difficult situation.

For small basement floods, you might can DIY

  1. Begin moving valuable items or furniture away from wet areas to prevent water damage or mold growth.
  2. If it’s only a small amount of water, you can use a mop or soak it up with towels, otherwise consider renting or buying a basement water pump.
  3. Set up fans and a heavy duty dehumidifier to remove the moisture quickly before mold begins to grow.
  4. Then, call a plumber to repair or replace your sump pump.
  5. Keep in mind that during heavy rain events, plumbers may get booked up quickly because many homes in the area may be experiencing similar issues.

For heavy basement flooding, call a professional

If the flooding situation has become serious and you feel it is more than you can manage, call for backup from a certified water mitigation company

A water damage restoration company can:

  1. Quickly extract water from flooded basements with commercial pumps
  2. Move items out of the basement to prevent damage
  3. Remove damaged materials such as drywall to prevent mold growth
  4. Quickly dry the moisture with commercial fans and dehumidifiers
  5. Dry or Remove soaked carpet
  6. Take moisture readings to ensure all moisture is removed

Preventing a basement flood from a sump pump failure

Finally, if you’re in a flood prone area or don’t want to worry about what might happen if your sump pump fails, consider getting a basement water pump as an emergency backup for your sump pump. This type of pump can run continuously during heavy rain events and remove pooling water via a garden hose directed into a sink, tub or other drain. Most will work in low water (even 1/16th inch of water), and if the water is too low, the pump will shut itself off to prevent mechanical damage.