February 22, 2011


My basement 2/21/11, 10 pm, made messier by 1 inch of water.  OY!

We had rain here all day yesterday in my corner of SW Ohio.

Lots of rain.

And that rain came on the heels of some very spring-like weather last week (we had a couple of days where the temperature hit 65), meaning all of the snow and ice that had been hanging around since mid-December melted away into puddles of standing water.

Snow melt + buckets of rain = too much work for our primary sump pump which ended up failing; we had about 1 inch of water in our unfinished basement last night.

Thankfully, we caught it before we went to bed so we were able to act quickly.  We now have the situation under control thanks to the fast response from our insurance company, USAA.  We had a water mitigation team at our house at 2 am!  FYI: if you have a basement with a sump pump/well, you may want to make sure you have water backup/sump pump failure covered in your policy. 

For our homeowners policy with USAA, sump pump failure/water backup/water mitigation is NOT covered under the "standard" policy.  We have a separate "rider" or "endorsement" that we pay for as an add-on to our standard policy to cover sump pump failure/water backup/water mitigation.  Believe me, it is WELL worth it! 

We had a similar situation happen two houses ago (Illinois 2003)  We had it covered with a separate rider/endorsement as I mentioned above; at the time of the claim, we paid the deductible of $500.  The total cost to the insurance company for the water mitigation for 1 inch of water - no property loss, just clean up - on our 1/2 finished basement (probably about 500 sq feet finished and the rest - about 700 sq ft unfinished) was about $5000! 

My advice if you're a homeowner? 

If you have a basement with a sump pump - whether it's a finished or unfinished basement - be sure to check your home owner's policy and find out what your coverage is (or isn't!) in case of a sump pump failure/water mitigation.  It's worth the extra few bucks a year to add that coverage to your policy!

I didn't get much sleep at all last night; I am tired and I have lots of work ahead of me until the mess is finally done. 

I'm going to post my Let's Go Krogering! post for you later today because I found some stellar deals and I want to make sure you grab 'em, too.  But after that post is live, I'll be focused on the house and basement and on getting some sleep for the rest of the week.  ;-)

Stay dry, duckies!!


  1. Hi- I live in South Central Ohio and thought I'd let you know that you can wire an alarm to your sump pump that will alert you as to when the water level in your sump pump gets too high so that you hopefully can avoid another flooding. You can get an inexpensive portable pump to keep near your sump pump and use it if your sump pump goes out. We've had this happen once in an 1800 square foot basement and try our best to make sure that it never happens again! Amy
  2. Another idea is to wire up the sump pump to a backup sump pump. In a previous house we had the sump pump fail. So we installed a backup pump with a marine battery (from Lowe's). And it worked! Power went out and the backup pump kicked in. Saved us a bunch of grief and headache of another wet basement.
  3. anyone with a sump pump should also install a battery back up that is wired to turn on when the primary sump pump fails. The marine battery Lawanna describes is an excellent option.
  4. All: Thanks for the great comments/ideas for everyone to use as well.

    Our sump well actually does have a backup sump pump wired to a marine battery and a very loud alarm. Unfortuntely, the float that trips the backup pump got stuck on one of the drain lines into the sump well and didn't tip enough (the gyroscope or whatever inside the float) to both trip the pump and the alarm.

    Thankfully, we caught it when there was only 1 inch or so of water and we've got a submersible pump down by our sump well. We were able to use that until the water remediation folks got there at about 2 am.

    All in all, even though we had all the bases covered, it still happened; thankfully, we've got that sump pump/water backup rider on our insurance policy as well as a Home Owners Warranty so the overall cost of cleaning up the mess was very small out of pocket for us.


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