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Frederick County Blog

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ABOUT SUMP PUMPS FOR HOMES IN FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND

We have received numerous phone calls from prospective home buyers who, when describing the home they would like to buy, would often say "But, I do NOT want a house with a sump pump". Our reply would usually be, "Do you mean that you would like to have a home with no basement?" "No, no, they would say, I want a basement. I just don't want a sump pump".

Now that home buyer was usually buying a home in this area for the first time, often transferring from an area where homes are built on a slab and have no basements. Frederick County homes will usually have a basement. They will also usually have a sump pump. Thanks Goodness ! ! ! Sump pumps are strange things to folks who do not understand how they work. But, in this area of underground streams, high water tables, wet rainy seasons and Marlboro clay, a sump pump is a good thing.

SUMP PUMP BASICS

From about September 14 to September 20, 2003, folks in Maryland and Virginia watched and lived with Hurricane Isabel.

hurricane Isabel

What that meant to thousands of home owners the Washington/Baltimore Metropolitan area was - WOULD THE SUMP PUMP keep the basement dry?? Good question since some of us lost electricity for up to 7 days.

For about $300 to $1,200, home owners can be prepared with a battery powered back up electrical supply for the sump pump in their home. These systems are good for an electrical supply to your sump pump for about 6 to 24 hours depending on the system installed. For unfinished basements to keep the basement dry, the smaller units are certainly helpful for the short term. For homes with expensively finished basements, an investment of upwards of $2,000 is not an unreasonable safety net for keeping the basement dry. Shucks, a halfway decent carpet is worth $2,000.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
As discovered by many home owners after Hurricane Isabel, not all home owners insurance policies cover damage when the sump pump fails. Unless you purchased this additional coverage,check your policy for this added endorsement.

If you have a battery powered redundancy, KEEP THE BATTERY CHARGED.

HOW OLD IS YOUR SUMP PUMP?
We know from experience that few home owners do routine maintenance on or replacement of sump pumps. As long as the sump pump works, it gets no attention. But, when the sump pump fails, the basement floods, the carpet is ruined, the drywall is subjected to standing water for hours or days, one result COULD be mold growth on cellulose containing building materials in that finished basement.

Home inspections performed by our home buyers result in a failure rate of approximately 3% of sump pumps tested. Homefinders.com advises a yearly inspection of critical systems in a home and the sump pump is certainly a critical system.

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