Sinking Foundation? How A Sump Pump Can Help

Sinking foundations create a host of problems for home owners. You end up with water in your basement, which erodes the walls and floor, and causes the foundation to sink further. That does not even begin to cover the problems you have with the structure of your house on top of the foundation. It may come as a surprise to you, but a sump pump installation can help a sinking foundation.

Building up the Floor

A sump pump and foundation contractor will build up the basement floor to make it direct water toward the sump pump. A hole is cut in the floor to install the pump. Then the walls may be braced or reinforced so that the pump has a straight surface to which the pipes are attached for sending water up and out.

Bracing the Walls

The walls around a sump pump may be braced from outside in the ground, or inside. If there is already signs of sinking, the contractor will install braces underground outside the wall. This helps prevent further sinking while your sump pump keeps water from eroding the foundation and sinking more.

Pumping Water Out

Concrete can last a long time, but water can slowly erode it away. Signs of this erosion are more visible on the vertical walls of your basement, where multiple cracks will begin to appear. Without the structural integrity of the walls intact, this area of the foundation begins to pull away and sink. If you have a sump pump installed, it pumps out a lot of the water and dampness that can erode the wall.

Filling Cracks and Smoothing Things Over

After the contractor has installed your sump pump and braced the walls (if applicable), he or she can fill and smooth the visible cracks in your foundation's walls and floor. This requires a small batch of freshly-mixed concrete and a mason's trowel. This will help reinforce the walls from inside, and now that the sump pump is in, the excess water and moisture cannot affect these patch efforts.

No Water Means No Widening and Sinking

Additionally, if you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures in fall and winter, the sump pump prevents water from getting into foundation cracks and freezing. The freezing causes expansion, creating wider cracks. When you have a sump pump to remove water and moisture and you have filled and smoothed the cracks with concrete, the freezing temperatures have no impact on your foundation.