Why Do You Need a Sump Pump for Your Basement?

By:    |   Published February 27, 2023
A new sump pump being installed into a basement sump pit.

Some parts of your home do their job without you even realizing it; a sump pump is one of those things. It’s surprisingly common for many home owners to know very little about their pumps unless it’s not working correctly. Because of this, some new homeowners may ask “why do you need a sump pump at all?” Read on to discover the risks of foregoing this crucial part of protecting your home.

The Risk of Not Having a Sump Pump


A sump pump is like a low-cost insurance policy against your home taking on water. Without it, your home’s only protection against excess drain water is to hope that it doesn’t rain too heavily! You’ll be stuck trying to bail the water out and manage the damage.

Even small floods can cost you a significant amount of time and money. Items stored in your basement are destroyed, electronics will break, and your flooring will likely need to be repaired or replaced.  It takes a lot of work to clean up after a flood, and the process is far from enjoyable.

Electrical Fires

If the result of flooding water is just broken electronics, count yourself lucky! The wiring in your home isn’t meant for direct contact with water. Flood waters will fill every available space as they rise in your basement – including the inside of your walls where your wiring is contained. Circuits, breakers and standard wiring will all be at risk of major water damage. In a best-case scenario, they’ll simply stop working. On the flip side, short-circuiting your electrical could cause a fire that invites an entirely different kind of disaster.


Any source of water also introduces a different type of problem for your home: mold or mildew. Invasive, destructive and odorous, mold is a problem that can ruin homes or even impact your health!

Basement wall covered in mold due to moisture.

Mold can only exist with a source of water to sustain it. When you have a flood, the increased moisture and standing water can allow small amounts of mold to quickly spread. While the removal of the flood water will eventually kill the mold, it can allow mold growths to gain a foothold in areas of your basement where the moisture hasn’t been completely removed.

Like water, mold can destroy anything it touches. Fabric, carpets and even boxes all make excellent hiding places for mold to live and thrive. A sump pump prevents the water that is necessary for mold to grow from filling up.

Structural Damage

While we think of a sump pump as a device that protects the things we have in our home (from basement appliances to stored items and more) it also protects our actual home! By expelling water out and away from the home, a sump pump fights the accumulation of excess water around your foundation. That moisture would otherwise put constant pressure on your home, leading to cracks, which lead to larger fissures and eventually severe damage.

Secondly, water won’t just hurt your foundation. Your home’s structural integrity relies on a variety of constructed supports made of wood. When water and wood interact, the wood loses… even if it takes some time. Without a sump pump, accumulated moisture can seep into the walls, past the drywall, and begin to weaken components like beams, joists and the floorboards.

Just Having a Sump Pump Isn’t Enough

Unfortunately, having a sump pump installed in your home isn’t always enough to prevent minor flood damage. Many floods happen during bad storms – which means there’s also a possibility of your power going out.

A power outage during a storm could render the pump useless. It only takes a few minutes for your basement to begin taking on gallons of water. During that time, anything you have in the basement can be irreparably destroyed: furniture, appliances and everything in storage.

Battery backups are the ideal way to prevent this. When the power goes out, your sump pump can be run for days on a single charge of a reliable sump pump battery backup.

Choosing a Sump Pump for Your Home

Two Types of Sump Pump

While there are a variety of sump pump models available, there are two major categories that separate them. These two types of sump pumps have different pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the differences!

Pedestal Sump Pump

As the less expensive option, pedestal sump pumps are common. These upright pumps feature a motor at the top which is meant to stay dry. They can be easier to service, due to the location of the motor.

However, they do have some drawbacks. The most notable is the sound. Because their motor is raised, they produce more noise that can travel more easily. They can also overheat. Lastly, they’re more visible than the other type of sump pumps, which can have an impact on aesthetics in a finished basement.

Despite these drawbacks, their low-cost and easy access make them a popular option for homeowners looking for something that simply works.

Submersible Sump Pump

The other type of sump pump is a submersible model. Unlike pedestal pumps, these are designed to be entirely enclosed and watertight. The motor is located inside the pump and the sump pump itself is installed inside the sump pit.

There are several benefits to the submersible sump pump design. Because they’re installed in the sump pit, and have the enclosed motor design, they produce far less noise than a pedestal pump. In fact, most home owners would describe them as essentially noiseless unless you’re very close to the sump pit.

Overheating is another issue that submersible sump pumps handle better. This is very important because many of the mechanical failures that happen to a sump pump are directly related to overheating.

The major drawback of submersible sump pumps is their cost. Because of their more complicated design, they’re often more expensive than pedestal pumps. They’re also more difficult to repair or diagnose due to the self-contained design.

However, submersible sump pumps are known to be more reliable and generally last longer than pedestal pumps. Even with the additional cost, the lifetime of the pump may easily offset the additional budgeting required to buy one.

Still Wondering Why You Need a Sump Pump? Contact the Experts!

A sump pump is just one part of keeping your basement dry – professional waterproofing is the best step you can take to protect your home. EverDry Toledo can help with a FREE 20-point basement inspection! We’ll help you find out if your home is at risk for water damage and which solutions will best serve you.

Contact us online to schedule an appointment or give us a call at (419) 469-5833 and schedule your inspection today!

Stay connected with EverDry Toledo on Social Media to learn more basement tips and tricks!

Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Houzz