Sump Pump Care and Maintenance
In houses with sump pumps these must be well maintained and inspected on a regular basis. During the spring run off/snow melt, or during period of consistent rain, sump pumps need to be reliable and matched to the amount of water they need to remove from the building foundation.
Especially in Eastern Ontario, there are areas which are rich in iron deposits in the soils. This in turn becomes a soluble within the water table which in turn can become detrimental to your weeping tile drain and the sump pump.
Below you can see the iron deposits in the sump
The primary pump was a good stainless steel, 1 Hp system. However, the secondary 12 volt system which the pump can be seen to the right of the primary, is looking somewhat covered in the iron deposits where iron bacteria is flourishing. The pump inlets will possibly be partially blocked and the system may fail if needed. Also the inlets of the main pump is heavily encrusted with iron deposits which will slow the flow of the water leaving the sump.
Within the sump the homeowner has drilled holes into the wall of the sump
to allow water under the basement floor to be drained. This is all well and
good but in the sump was a large amount of sand which had to be cleaned out
yearly causing the homeowner to place the pumps on bricks in the sump. This
in turn raises the level of the water making water back flow under the floor
while the sump is filling.
So where is this sand coming from....Actually this is a result of the sump being drilled and now a void has formed under the floor around the sump which in turn could lead to much bigger problems in the basement.
We provide a service in cleaning sumps like this where we use a biodegradable liquid cleaner which cleans the pumps as well as the sump.
Call (613) 764-0572 for more information - Its much cheaper than a basement flood.
Also based on the picture above we see stray hoses etc. from dehumidifiers and water softeners. These stray hoses can get into sump pump floats and jam them to a point of not working. Conclusion - Flood.
Keep the sump tidy. keep all outlet pipes and hoses tie wrapped to the main outlet pipe.
So, on your first visit to a property you are interested in, you need to look for telltale signs of problems which have occurred in the past and which may reappear in the future.
Efflorescence is a common problem in concrete and masonry block
foundations. The white fuzzy stuff you see along the inside and outside of
your basement wall is efflorescence. Don't worry this annoying build up
isn't hazardous; efflorescence is simply salt and can be easily
removed with efflorescence removers and other cleaning techniques. More than anything, if you see efflorescence it means you have a moisture problem and if gone untreated can cause deterioration.
Efflorescence are minerals that are being carried by moisture to the surface and an indication of excess moisture issues. What happens is, water infiltrates the block or the concrete wall and dissolves minerals. As water evaporates from the surface of the unit the mineral deposits are left behind, thus efflorescence crystals can grow. Although efflorescence is generally a visual problem, if the efflorescence crystals grow inside the surface of the unit, it can cause spalling, which is when the surface peels, pops out or flakes off. The salt pushes from the inside out and can eventually cause crumbling and deterioration.
Look around the sump pump for water stains. Does the air in the basement seem damp? Is there a dehumidifier working in the basement and if so look at the humidity setting to see what it is set at if possible. Is there any battery water alarms around the sump pit?
These are all signs to make you aware of possible problems ahead.