For many homeowners across Nashville, Tennessee, keeping their property free from water and dampness can be a real and ongoing struggle. The soil in Tennessee can be notoriously absorbent and the weather can be very hot and humid at certain times of the year. This presents a property with many different challenges, but the most destructive and worrying is foundation flooding and saturation. Water is one of the most damaging substances that can get into any home.
While it is ideal to prevent your home from flooding or taking on water at all, there are often times when it is inevitable. In these cases, a good sump pump system can make all the difference. In fact, in most homes, the sump pump is both the first and last line of defense when it comes to flood prevention and management.
It’s important to get the right system. This is where professionals come in.
Why Choose a Sump Pump System?
For those not aware, a sump pump is an appliance that prevents flooding in a home. This is done by collecting and eliminating moisture as it starts to build up, as well as removing water that collects in the sump basin or pit. These appliances are quite common across Knoxville, Tennessee, and are most often found in the basement or crawl space of a property.
Most properties have sump pump systems already installed, these days, because of the vast and varied benefits that they offer to any property they are found in. However, even the best sump pump system will not last forever. They have a lifespan (generally of eight to 12 years) and will eventually need to be replaced. Likewise, there are some older properties that may not have a sump pump system in place at all. In these cases, installing one as quickly as possible should be a priority.
The Benefits of Installing or Upgrading Sump Pump Systems
The benefits of installing a sump pump system for the first time and the benefits of upgrading old sump pump systems are largely the same. With that said, homes that are having pumps installed for the first time can expect more dramatic results overall. The most notable benefits are:
Reduced Dampness and Humidity
Installing or upgrading sump pump systems into properties that are having issues with dampness, humidity, or repeated bouts of flooding will have many benefits, but the most obvious and immediate is the removal of water as it gathers. This will not only prevent water damage and the buildup of water in the lower reaches of your house but also keep humidity low.
Relative humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air, in terms of percentage, and it has a significant impact on several things in your home. From the level of comfort you can expect to experience to the effectiveness of certain appliances and the risk of rust, corrosion, and cosmetic damage, high humidity puts your home at risk in many ways. Sump pump systems work to keep it low by removing standing water.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Lower levels of humidity make it easier for many of your appliances to do their job. Most notably, keeping your home’s relative humidity low will make it far easier for your HVAC system to offer consistently high-quality results throughout your property. This is because arid air is far easier to heat, cool, and process than humid air.
As such, upgrading your sump pump system or installing a pump for the first time will generally lead to your HVAC system functioning more efficiently and experiencing significantly less wear and tear. This will lower your energy usage and bills, but also extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, saving you money in the short and long term.
Less Risk of Mold, Mildew, and Fungal Growth
Less water in your property and a generally lower level of relative humidity will also make your home less inviting to certain pests and fungal spores. Mold, mildew, and wood rot are often rampant in homes that have no sump pump or an old and inefficient sump pump system in place.
While mildew and mold are not likely to cause damage to your property as a whole, they are likely to lead to health issues. Skin irritation, rashes, infections, and respiratory issues are just some of the problems that can arise because of exposure to mold and mildew. Wood rot fungus, by contrast, is far more likely to damage the interior structure of your home by causing wooden floor and wall supports to collapse.
Sump pump systems are highly beneficial and you should treat them as such. You need to get the right sump pump for your home. There are many different systems on the market these days, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Pedestal vs. Submersible Pumps
There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of sump pump systems: pedestal sump pumps and submersible sump pumps. While both serve the same purpose and function in roughly the same ways, they have different features, strengths, and weaknesses. These are the things you should keep in mind when you are thinking about getting the right system for you.
Pedestal Sump Pump Systems: Pros and Cons
A pedestal sump pump is one that comes in two main pieces; the standalone motor (which is installed above the floor) and the hose that feeds into the sump pit. The sump pit is where all the water that is collected in your home is directed to. These pumps tend to be used when the sump pit is too narrow or shallow to hold a submersible pump.
The pros of these pumps are the ease of access that they offer for repairs and their generally higher lifespan. They are less susceptible to damage because they are not constantly submerged in water. However, pedestal pumps also have less power and space that they take up on the floor. They also are also noisier and represent an injury risk because of their placement.
Submersible Sump Pump Systems: Pros and Cons
Submersible pumps are the most common sump pump systems on the market right now for a number of reasons. Unlike pedestal pumps, submersible pumps are situated within the sump pit and collect water as it gathers. Thanks to their positioning under the floor, they are discrete and take up no space in your basement or crawl space.
The main strengths of submersible sump pumps are their increased power, the lower level of space that they require, and the fact that they can be fitted with a backup battery. The main drawback is the cost of submersible pumps. They are generally more expensive than pedestal pumps. Many homeowners find this daunting, but they are worth the price tag.
Why Choose the AquaStop Complete Sump Pump System?
While there are many sump pump systems on the market right now, we at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists swear by the AquaStop range for its superior power and durability, as well as its low noise levels and versatile nature when it comes to connecting with other waterproofing products. These are just some of the features that make the AquaStop range our go-to suggestion for clients seeking security and peace of mind:
Clear Water Alarm
All AquaStop pumps have a clear and crisp alarm that sounds if the water levels in the sump pit exceed the level at which the sump pump should have automatically engaged. This not only alerts you to an issue with your sump pump system, but gives you a chance to engage the backup pump and call for help before your home starts to flood in earnest.
This will go a long way toward preventing avoidable damage. It will also keep your repair bills relatively low and localized to your sump pump system.
Sump Pump Liner
The AquaStop system has a carefully designed sump pump liner that is large enough to keep the pump working effectively and consistently without unnecessary activation and deactivation, but not so large that it goes too deep. A sump pump liner that is too large will force the pump to work when it doesn’t need to. This will lead to the pump deteriorating at an accelerated rate and breaking down frequently as it ages.
The patented AquaStop sump pump system also has an airtight lid that traps odors and humidity, while simultaneously keeping debris out of the sump pit and pump. This seal is created and maintained with the help of rubber grommets around the pipes and wires.
Interestingly, this also reduces the noise created by the sump pump, as it functions by keeping the wires and pipes steady and preventing excessive vibration.
Stable Pump Stand
The presence of a sump pump stand in the AquaStop system means that the pump is raised from the bottom of the liner. This makes its functioning more efficient and protects it from the silt and sediment that sinks to the bottom of the liner over time.
These stands also allow for height adjustment, adding to the versatility of the sump pump system as a whole.
All AquaStop products and systems come with a certain quality guarantee. If your system does not function as it should, or you experience damage and flooding, you can expect a speedy resolution to your troubles.
This quality guarantee is one of the main reasons that we at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists feel so confident when we recommend AquaStop sump pump systems to our customers.
If you are interested in installing a sump pump system for the first time or upgrading your sump pump systems, please do not hesitate to contact the team here at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists. We are not only experienced in sump pump maintenance and repair but can advise you on which sump pump systems are most likely to suit your needs and the needs of your home.
Sump Pump Systems
Sump pumps are complex pieces of equipment that rely on several moving parts to stay effective and operational. As such, there are a number of small things that can have an impact on how your sump pump functions. Learning to spot the signs of deterioration is key.
Causes of Breakdown
Sump pumps are surprisingly delicate pieces of machinery that can be damaged in a number of ways. Primarily, there is daily wear and tear. All machines and appliances with moving parts or electronic elements are subject to this age-related deterioration and will eventually stop working altogether. However, there are also things that can cause premature breakdown and damage, and these can be avoided.
One of the most common causes of damage and breakdown is the buildup of sediment or the presence of debris in the sump pit. This can cause a number of issues, from clogging the sump pump itself to tangling and trapping the floating arm switch that is responsible for automatically activating and deactivating the sump pump. These issues can be avoided by investing in a good lid and cleaning the sump pit on a regular basis. Annual maintenance will also go a long way toward preventing avoidable breakdowns.
Signs of Breakdown
When it comes to monitoring the health and performance of your sump pump, you should consider its stability and the noise that it makes first and foremost. While a damaged sump pump will drain the pit slowly, there are a few issues that can cause slow drainage that might not be directly related to the inner workings of the pump itself. As such, you should consider the sounds the pump is making and whether it moves when activated.
All sump pumps make some level of noise, but they should be stable, still, and produce a low-level hum more than anything else. If you notice that your sump pump has begun to shake or sway when it is turned on, or that it has started to make a rattling or grinding noise, you should call a professional to investigate the issue immediately. These can be signs of a damaged stand, loose parts in the pump, or even small pieces of debris that have become trapped inside the pump.
Your sump pit may be intimately connected to the sump pump system as a whole, but it is a standalone structure that has its own apparatus. This pit is fed by several drains, for example, and empties through the sump pumps discharge line. Even a healthy and robust pump cannot empty a pit that is dealing with bigger issues.
Debris and Blockages
The single biggest issue that is found in most sump pits is the presence of blockages caused by debris or buildup in the pump filters or discharge line. This can take a few forms, from large pieces of debris like scraps of cloth and paper to a gradual buildup of mud and sediment. Furthermore, when it comes to the discharge line itself, there is also the possibility of frozen water causing a serious obstruction and preventing the pit from draining.
In most cases, these issues are completely avoidable. By upgrading your filters to allow small, non-harmful pieces of debris to pass, keeping your basement or crawl space clean and clear, clearing the pit regularly, and insulating your discharge line, you could avoid the worst of these issues altogether. If you do all this, you still might experience a few blockages, but they are neither as common nor as severe are others.
One issue that can prevent your sump pump from working and your pit from draining altogether, without the presence of blockages or breakdown, is a power failure. Blackouts and total power loss to your home are the most obvious instances of this, but there are other potential causes of power loss. Damage to the power lines that connect to your sump pump, for example, is a potential cause of localized power loss.
There is not much you can do to prevent power loss, aside from investing in a robust maintenance schedule, but you can plan for it. Installing a backup sump pump that has its own separate power source will ensure that your home is protected from dampness and flooding even when the power goes out. Thankfully, all AquaStop sump pump systems are compatible with powerful, battery-operated backup pumps in a range of sizes.
Repairing or replacing your property’s existing sump pump systems is not as easy as you might think. These are expensive and complicated pieces of equipment that you should not tamper with unless you have the tools, training, and experience to do the job well. Amateur repairs could cost you more money in the long run.
Repairing Your Pump
We always recommend that you hire a professional to deal with sump pump repairs and maintenance. While we understand that it can be tempting to cut costs with DIY, the truth is that an amateur repair can be more expensive than a professional one in the long run. That’s especially true when you account for the likelihood of mistake and further damage, as well as the need to buy parts and tools.
Replacement and Upgrading
There comes a time in the life of every sump pump system when it is no longer practical to repair it or replace broken parts. At this point, it will be necessary to replace your sump pump systems entirely to get proper protection from flooding. You can also choose to upgrade your system before it deteriorates too badly.
Choose AFS Foundation & Waterproofing for Sump Pump Repair
If you have been having issues with flooding and water damage, or you have concerns about the health and well-being of your sump pump system, please do not hesitate to contact AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists for advice and help. Our team has decades of collective experience and will be able to provide expert guidance and assistance across Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, Alabama, and Nashville, Chattanooga, or Knoxville, Tennessee.
This is why we offer free inspection appointments to all homeowners who have concerns about the state of their home and sump pump systems. Once you have arranged an appointment for a time and date that suit you, we will send a certified technician to inspect your sump pump system in full. They will talk you through the issues that they see and give you a written estimate for the cost of repairs.