Sump Pump Water Damage Removal & Dry Out Services
The summer flooding season keeps us busy with water damage restoration, and keeps water back ups and sump pumps on many peoples minds. So here’s a reminder to make sure you have proper insurance coverage and don’t neglect your sump pump maintenance.
Most homes and businesses in flood-prone areas have a sump pump to keep basements dry, as even an inch of water can lead to thousands of dollars in damage. Besides storms, they also protect against flooding and the resulting water damage from drain and sewer back ups, frozen pipes, burst water heaters, burst washer hoses, and the like. So we probably don’t need to say how important it is to make sure they’re always working properly. A quick check once a month and a thorough inspection once a year are about right for many people.
Sump Pump Failure Insurance
You probably know that water invading your property isn’t covered under standard homeowners insurance policies . So you probably have a separate flood insurance policy, quite possibly through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program). But even with that you may still not be covered for water damage restoration in the basement caused by a water backup and sump pump failure.
What you need is “targeted” sump pump failure coverage. That’s usually special a rider or endorsement on your home insurance policy specifically for backups through drains, sewers, and plumbing. It’s especially important for older homes and in areas with older public water and sewer systems. Unless you’ve been through it, you’ll be surprised to know that cities are rarely held liable for damage from breakdowns in those systems. The sump pump failure insurance rider is relatively inexpensive, and typically covers $10,000 in damages although some may go as high as $25,000.
So what in the basement needs to be covered? If you’re in a flood-prone area it’s probably an unfinished area. But it might have your furnace, central A/C, and hot water heater. The endorsement covers those along with the cost of cleanup and drying from any water threat when the sump pump fails to respond. And in the case of finished areas that should include furnishing, flooring, electronics, and so on.
Sump Pump Maintenance
As with any insurance policy, a sump pump failure claim will be denied if there’s clear indication of negligence. Besides, you want to avoid a water damage disaster in the first place. Sump pumps don’t actually need any maintenance procedures, but regular checking and testing are critical. Here are a few key items to reduce the odds of your sump pump failing.
- keep the sump pit and inlet grate free of debris
- check that the GFI (ground fault interrupter) hasn’t tripped
- inspect the condition of the wiring as well as the pump itself
- the pump should be in its proper mounting position
- the float switch should be free to move (newer models may have other sensors)
- check for any leaking oil
Finally, dump a bucket or two of water into the sump pit. The pump should run until it’s gone, or almost completely gone.
Typical lifespans are about 10 years, so if it’s been longer than that it’s probably time for a replacement. You can find more details at https://www.plumbingsupply.
A Back Up Against Backups
With thunderstorms and heavy winter storms you’ll often find yourself in a power outage when you need electricity the most, so a battery backup is a very good idea. That may be in the form of a second sump pump backup with its own DC motor. In especially troublesome areas homes and businesses may have their own back up generators.
A water alarm is also a great thing to have, and are built in to some models. And the latest in flooding alarms can even text message you.