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How To Keep Your Basement From Flooding During a Power Outage

How To Keep Your Basement From Flooding During a Power Outage

Unfortunately, flooded basements and power outages often go hand in hand. Nobody wants to see their rec-room, wet bar or home office swamped with dirty water following a rainstorm or flash flood and this is why you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. There’s not really any way of stopping Mother Nature from taking its course, but you can definitely be ready for her and keep the water damage to a minimum.

Sump pumps

It’s highly recommended that you have a sump pump ready to go just in case water starts to seep into your living quarters for whatever reason. If you are on the receiving end of a flooded basement a sump pump will be an essential piece of equipment. Without one, your basement could quickly resemble your swimming pool. A backup sump pump is designed to supplement a primary pump, especially if it ceases to work during a power failure, excessive use, or mechanical failure. A battery-powered backup pump will provide you with a few more hours of power.

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There are two types of battery-powered sump pumps, which are AC/DC and DC. If the AC power or the pump itself fails then the pump will automatically switch over to the DC battery power. The best pumps operate directly with AC power since they won’t deplete the battery whereas a DC-only pump can operate on battery power only. There are also a couple of types of batteries to choose from. You’ll find there are acid batteries which need water as well as maintenance-free deep-cycle marine models. Of course, if your basement’s in bad shape, you should consider operating both a sump pump and primary pump simultaneously.

Backup generators

One of the most common problems when using a primary pump is the loss power in your home and a battery-powered sump pump works for just a limited amount of time. This means you may not be able to pump all of the water out of your dwelling unless you have some type of emergency backup generator for your sump pump. After you’ve used up the power in a backup pump you’re basically back to square one with a flooded cellar and no electricity. There’s no doubt that a battery-powered sump pump is better than no backup at all, but the best way to get rid of the water is with a more reliable power source.

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A portable generator will enable you to operate your primary and/or backup pumps for several days if you’ve suffered a power outage. A generator will also let you keep some of your other necessary appliances running, such as the furnace and refrigerator/freezer. A standby generator is generally the best option when you’ve lost power. These may cost a few dollars more than standard generators, but they’re capable of automatically powering up several appliances at a time.

Backup emergency generators are available in several sizes which are categorized by the amount of watts they can put out. A medium-sized generator of about 5,000 watts is often large and strong enough to provide power to several appliances at once.  However, if you feel you need more power, you’ll be able to find portable generators that can serve up about 17,500 watts and are capable of restoring power to several rooms as well as your central air conditioning unit.

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Monitoring devices

Modern technology can also help you out if your basement’s starting to flood as sophisticated home monitoring devices are designed to alert you if your home is starting to flood. Some sump-pump accessories can actually email or text home owners if there’s an emergency and they’re usually well worth the extra cost. These battery-operated models typically monitor temperature, water level, and power failures and are able to contact you via your home telephone land line. They’ll also send out an audio alarm which you’ll be able to hear if you’re at home.

Be prepared

Purchasing a sump pump after your basement has flooded is similar to buying insurance after you’ve crashed your car. It’s a little too late, but it could still help you out in the future. But speaking of insurance, you may want to consider purchasing a policy that specifically protects you from flood damage. This will offer you some peace of mind should your home be hit with water damage.

Do you live in Toronto or the surrounding GTA?  Nusite Waterproofing offers a free in-home inspection and estimate, contact us today to learn more.