It’s been a very wet winter here in Northern Virginia (who would have thought we’d get snow in mid-March?), and extended forecasts call for a rainy spring.
From an HVAC perspective, wet weather often translates to wet basements. Of course how wet depends on a lot of factors, including how your house is built and the drainage system surrounding it. But even if you’ve done your best to flood-proof your basement, it’s always a good idea to have a backup solution in place for when nonstop rain (or melting snow) wreaks havoc on your basement.
The most economical solution: a working sump pump. Here’s how it works: a sump pump typically sits in a hole in or just below your basement floor; that hole is referred to as a sump pit. The pump’s job is to collect excess water as that water flows into the pit, and to pump the excess water out through pipes connected to the pump – either to a runoff area either within your drainage system, or to a separate drainage area outside of the house.
Sump pumps are great, as long as they’re working. But if a heavy rainstorm knocks out your electricity, chances are your sump pump, which is very often connected to the house’s electrical system, will stop working as well. That’s why you need to make sure you have backup, in the form of battery power.
Now that spring is officially here, make a note to invest in a sump pump if you don’t have one; if you do have one already, test it to ensure that it’s working (and make sure you have battery backup as well). Basement flooding is (hopefully) not a common occurrence, but it only takes one bad flood to remind you how important it is to be prepared.