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As Spring Weather Arrives, So Does The Threat Of A Flooded Basement

CHASKA, Minn. (WCCO) - Snowfall should officially be behind us but the melt from the recent blizzard is revealing some problems for homeowners.

Faulty sump pumps are causing basements to flood just as the spring rain season begins.

While most woke up to sunshine Sunday, Amber Goodyear's morning started with a soaking, sopping mess.

"(My husband) came running upstairs and said 'Oh my God, our entire basement's flooded, there's two inches of water everywhere,'" she said.

With the help of their friends, they tore out their carpet, vacuumed the water, and cranked up some drying fans at their Chaska home.

Then they checked the sump pump which clearly wasn't working overnight.

"I kind of moved it around a little bit and then all of sudden it started sucking water out like crazy," she said.

With the pump pumping again and water flowing out of the house, it might seem like the problem was solved but restoration experts disagree.

"They wiggled (the pump) and it works, but we're already standing on a wet floor in their basement, so no it didn't work when it needed to," said Ray Sandey, territory manager for Service Restoration in Shakopee.

He said that over time pump parts will wear out or stick, especially the float, causing the pump to stop working. It's why he recommends people buy a new pump every three years.

"It's the cheapest insurance you're going get to make sure you have a new sump pump that works all the time," he said.

New pumps can cost $150 or more.

Sandy also suggests homeowners test their pump by pouring a bucket of water on it and making sure the discharge hose outside is clear.

But Goodyear's focus now is figuring out if insurance will cover the damage.

"We heard that it might be covered, might not be depending on our coverage," she said.

Service Restoration, as well as other restoration companies, offer free inspections which could help address sump pump problems before spring rain storms start up.

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