Does A Crawl Space Need A Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are handy tools that prevent water from collecting in your crawl space or basement. However, purchasing and installing a pump is expensive and requires a lot of work. As such, it begs the question: Do you need a sump pump for your crawl space? We have done the research to answer your question and address your concerns.

A sump pump is a great way to quickly and efficiently get rid of large amounts of water from your crawl space. If your crawl space collects large pools of water or the water drains slowly, you should consider getting a sump pump. However, pumps are not always necessary. If your home does not flood much or if you have alternatives installed, such as French drains, you might not need to install a new pump at all. 

Answering whether or not you need a sump pump for your crawl space can lead to more questions. How much is a sump pump? How many do I need, and how much does it cost to install one? Continue reading to learn about these and more about installing a sump pump in your crawl space.

Sump pump installed at home with a water powered backup system, Does A Crawl Space Need A Sump Pump?

Your Crawl Space And Sump Pump

If your crawl space collects water, you need some way to get it out and prevent it from weakening your home’s foundation. One of the best ways to do this is to install a sump pump.

A sump pump is a device that prevents flooding in low-lying areas such as basements and crawl spaces. A sump pump has a basin that collects water and an eponymous pump that sends the water far away from your home.

A sump pump usually is the best choice for frequently flooded crawl spaces as it turns on automatically, which happens when the water reaches a certain level. When installed with a backup pump, these sump pumps need little to no effort in clearing all collected moisture.

If you are considering getting a pump, all you have to do is visually inspect your crawl space. If you notice large amounts of water pooling or signs of high water damage, it would be best to install a pump to prevent any further deterioration to your home’s foundations.  

Nevertheless, not all crawl spaces will need a sump pump. You can skip installing a pump if you already have tools that effectively drive water away such as drains.

If your crawl space does not flood, then a dehumidifier may be more than enough to keep moisture away from the underneath of your home. When choosing a dehumidifier, it would be best to opt for energy-efficient, reasonably-sized models to effectively remove all moisture without increasing your electric bill.

Click here to see this energy-efficient Shinco dehumidifier on Amazon.

To learn more about picking dehumidifiers for basements and crawl spaces, check out this article: What Size Dehumidifier For A Basement?

Is A Sump Pump Required In Encapsulated Crawl Space?

You may need a sump pump when you decide to encapsulate a crawl space. Encapsulating a crawl space includes sealing all foundation vents, insulating all walls, and installing a dehumidifier to regulate moisture.

To learn more about dehumidifiers in your basement or crawl space, check out this helpful article: When To Run A Dehumidifier In The Basement? [And How Often]

Despite sealing all openings, you still need some sort of drainage system just in case water finds a way to enter.

Are There Any Alternatives To Sump Pumps?

Sump pumps are expensive to install and operate since it requires electricity to function. Luckily, there are alternatives to sump pumps that do not use electricity.

If you do not want to go through the arduous process of sump pump installation, you can always opt for alternatives. One of these alternatives is the French drain. It is a simple trench that leads water away from crawl spaces and gardens by allowing it to flow in a downward slope.

Moustiers Sainte Marie village

If you do not want to install a French drain, you can level your walkway, patio, or lawn so it slopes and drains water away. Similarly, you can also install new gutters or repair existing ones so that they drain far away from your crawl space.

Is Water In Your Crawl Space Bad?

If left unchecked, water stuck in your crawl space can cause direct and indirect damage. Firstly, water can collect and submerge the foundations of your home. Water alone can slowly damage the wood and concrete under your home.

Crawlspace full of water

Also, stagnant water creates a breeding ground for most pests, including mites, rodents, and other bugs. If the collected water gets bad enough, it might even attract snakes. These creatures can reduce your home’s structural strength, cause diseases, and create a hazardous living environment for your family.

Damp wood in your foundations can also facilitate mold growth and entice termites. Having mold and termites will speed up the deterioration of your foundations and make your home a dangerous place to live in.

Aside from ruining your foundations, mold spores can also lead to numerous health conditions. Inhaling mold spores can irritate your respiratory tract and induce aggravated asthma symptoms.

The water in your crawl space will eventually evaporate. But the water vapor will enter your home from below and increase the humidity and temperature of your household.

Since your home is warmer, your air conditioner and other appliances may have to work harder to keep your home cool. As such, you can expect an increase in your electric bill.

How Much Does It Cost To Put Up A Sump Pump In A Crawl Space?

The costs of installing a sump pump into a crawl space depend on the kind of pump and the installation time.

The two main types of pumps consist of submersible and pedestal sump pumps. Submersible pumps are designed to be submerged in water while the pedestal pump sits in a sump pit.

A submersible sump pump could cost you anywhere from $100 to $400. A pedestal sump pump is cheaper, costing around $60 to $170.

The costs of putting up the pumps are usually higher than the pumps themselves, especially for new installations. Installations can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, and every hour could cost you $45 to $200.

Can I Install My Own Sump Pump?

Sump pump manhole with water backup viewed with a flashlight

Yes, you can install a sump pump on your own. It can take a whole day for a non-professional to install a new sump pump. The time frame includes the digging and installation processes.

Before you proceed with any digging, it would be best to contact your local building code authorities just in case you need to apply for a permit.

How Many Sump Pumps Do I Need?

Professionals recommend one sump pump every hundred linear feet. However, one sump pump is usually enough even for a big basement.

If you are satisfied with the performance of your single sump pump, you may not need another. If your area is prone to power outages or if your pump cannot handle the inflow of water, professionals recommend having a secondary pump.

You may find a second pump unnecessary, but it can provide additional protection and peace of mind. You can set the secondary pump to operate if and when the first one begins to malfunction or eventually fail.

In Closing

Sump pumps are great for getting rid of pools of water with minimal human intervention. Although efficient in what they do, sump pumps do not belong to all crawl spaces.

Sump pumps are best placed in crawl spaces that are exposed to frequent rains and constant flooding. If your crawl space does not collect much water, you may use alternatives such as a drain. Sometimes, sloping your land properly and installing a dehumidifier is enough to get rid of excess water under your home.

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