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Do I Really Need a Sump Pump

Our basement (@2,200 sq ft) is separated doen the middle by a wall. One side is semi-finished. The other is a dirt crawlspace about 4' high. There is a screen door about 3' x 3' allowing airflow between the two spaces. We're planning to do a plastic encapsulation of our dirt crawlspace floor. We're in a low-risk flood area and have not seen any problems. Nonetheless, we bought an insurance policy thru our insurance company for about $30 a month. The prior owner, who we had a great relationship with, said he had a slight water issue once in his 30 years; he has carpeting, a bathroom/shower and washer/dryer in the finished part of the basement. As part of the encapsulation project in the crawlspace we are considering whether to also install a sump pump ($1000) or a simple drain basket w/ warning alarm ($250). My thinking was that the less expensive route might be enough but is only good if you are there to hear it. If you're at work or away from home and a water pipe breaks or there's flooding, it's only going to drain so much before being overwhelmed. However, this is new territory for us and I'm wondering if a sump pump is overkill, and also wondering just how big a problem a sump pump can really handle before making no difference. As for the finished part of the basement, it's holding stuff there that will go to the crawlspace once it's encapsulated. So we only briefly discussed that with the contractor, who intimated that some sort of gutter system would be needed in the finished portion in order to draw the water to any sump pump. Any thoughts or experiences you can share regarding ways to go regarding sump pumps are appreciated. Thanks.

Timothy Miller
Re: Do I Really Need a Sump Pump

Howdy, consider adding a sump pump endorsement to your homeowners ins if you install a sum pump. Where in relation to the prior water damage is the crawl space? Do you down spouts extend away from the house at least 8' Ask the former owner was the water due to flooding when it happened. You can install a sump pump in a pit without installing an interior floor drain system. Do you have a perimeter drain system?

Re: Do I Really Need a Sump Pump

I lean toward the pump because any system you instal to water proof your crawl should include a means to mitigate plumbing leaks, back ups, etc. Without that it becomes a lot harder to process the damage before you have to worry about air quality damage both in the crawl space and in the living quarters. I've seen a lot of water damages in crawl spaces with minor (floor covering contamination in the main living areas) to major (building materials, indoor air quality, and building systems contamination) damages because the water damage wasn't processed properly. Better to take the extra step now and prevent a bigger problem that will cost a lot more.

Re: Do I Really Need a Sump Pump

I suppose I should have shared a couple of resource materials for my opinion in my last post: http://solutionsiec.com/crawl_space_science.html and http://www.americanbasementsolutions.com/.
The second link has a blog and a forum and general information while the first deals more with crawl space science.

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