Should I buy a house with an active sump pump? Does a sump pump add value to a home? We answered these questions in this article.
To move into a new home, specific preparations need to be made.
This involves finding out if such a move is worth it or not. One of the things you’ll need to look out for is whether basement waterproofing is adequately done.
Never Buy a House With a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is part of waterproofing measures to ensure a dry basement.
However, not everyone is enthusiastic about moving into a home with a sump pump. This throws up questions about the necessity of such a move. So, should you avoid a house with a sump pump?
Obvious reasons will determine answers.
In other words, there have to be real reasons by way of clear disadvantages to dissuade you from moving. However, it’s important to note that many benefits are attached to sump pump usage.
So, deciding will depend on your understanding of its pros and cons.
Find Out Certain Things About the House
Knowing whether you’ll need to move into a home with a sump pump will depend on your findings of the new house. Speaking of fact-finding, there are several areas to look at.
These include the water table, the climatic conditions around your location, and prior experience. The type of soil around the house matters, too.
Understanding all of these points helps you decide on whether to move in or not.
One easily noticeable feature of areas with high water tables is the presence of sump pump installations. Most homes in the area have sump pumps installed in basements.
This is one of the ways by which moisture problems are handled.
Higher water tables mean an increased likelihood of encountering moisture problems. In most cases, sump pumps are installed as a natural response to combat such issues.
Some homeowners make the mistake of draining such water into the sewer system.
Most towns have ordinances in place that are against such practices. This helps guard against periods of heavy rains or flooding.
What’s the climatic condition like around your proposed location? Here, we’re talking about the volume of rain or snow that falls. The wettest places usually have high precipitation.
This is either measured in inches or millimeters.
Areas within the United States with the highest volume of rainfall include the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii.
If you wish to live in any of these locations, expect most homes to have a sump pump installed in basements.
If you’ve experienced water damage in the past, you wouldn’t want to repeat it.
Under such circumstances, it’s easy to see a home with a sump pump as an added assurance against flooding. With a sump pump in place, you can safely store your valuables in the basement without fear of damage.
Type of Soil
The type of soil around a property is crucial to determining whether moving into a new house is worth it.
It’s easy to see why. Soil type determines or affects water drainage. So, during heavy downpours, water pooling due to lousy soil drainage will likely lead to a buildup.
This quickly affects basements.
Of the three soil types (clay, sand, and silt), it has the least water-holding capacity, with clay having the most.
So, a house with predominantly sandy soil around the foundation won’t require a sump pump installation like clay soil.
Is There A Floodplain Close By?
When a house is located in or around a floodplain region, it’s likely to require a sump pump. This is even more crucial when annual rainfall levels are above average.
The same goes for houses lying on a flat or low plot with lousy drainage.
Without an alternative (a house far removed from a floodplain region), a place with a sump pump will be essential as it serves as a guard to protect your basement from flooding.
Such an insurance policy cannot be toyed with as it protects your property.
A House with a Sump Pump Should Be Seen in Positive Light
Whenever you find a sump pump installed in a house, such action has been taken for a reason. The water table within the area is likely high, among other possible causes.
It’s best to view sump pump presence as an appropriate response to flooding issues.
You’ll also need to discuss with the seller more about the moisture problem’s nature. Having a structural engineer advise you on the pros and cons of sump pump installation is also a plus.
The objective is to be better informed on what action(s) to take.
Never Lose Sight of the Purpose
A house with a sump pump in its basement will likely have moisture issues. However, the mere presence of a sump pump indicates a solution to such problems.
This applies to all types of sump pumps (submersible or pedestal pumps).
There’s no better way to handle moisture issues than by having an efficient water evacuation system. As mentioned earlier, having the water drained through the public sewer is counterproductive and only worsens the problem.
The Sump Pump must be Functional.
Anytime you find a sump pump installed in a house, it must be working to be worth considering.
In other words, a sump pump must be deemed functional before making any considerations about moving into the house.
When it isn’t, you’ll need to request an expert to fix or replace it before buying the property. In some cases, the cost of fixing might be deducted from the rent or sale amount.
Whatever decision is reached will require negotiation between you and the seller.
What Happens When I Don’t Like the Sump Pump Type?
As discussed earlier, sump pumps fall into two categories: submersible and pedestal pumps.
Submersible pumps are submerged into the sump pit and covered at the top, while the motor for pedestal pumps is mounted on a pedestal.
The difference is that pedestal pumps may create an eyesore in your basement. If you don’t like this, you can have the pump changed or replaced with a submersible.
Avoiding a house with a sump pump isn’t a solution to anything if you don’t have an apparent reason why. In other words, existing conditions should determine whether a house needs a sump pump.
If you don’t want a sump pump in your basement, you might want to look for property elsewhere, especially in locations with fewer moisture problems.