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Question DetailsAsked on 5/30/2011

Do I need a sump pump installed in my crawlspace?

We had a termite inspection completed in February of this year just as a precaution for selling our house. He mentioned moist wood in one section. He said there was no activity there - but the moist wood could attract them later, so I definately need to fix it quickly. One contractor gave me a ballpark of $4,000 to $6,000 to remove all the insulation, replace the damaged wood, find and repair where water is coming in, replace all the insulation, seal it all up with plastic and install a sump pump. He said the money fluctuation would be based on how much wood needed to be replaced + the extent of going through replacing it. I'm getting at least one more contractor to come out and give an opinion on it - I'm hoping to get 4 total. Does the money range he ballparked sound reasonable? Do I really need a sump pump installed down there? We don't live in a flood area, and with us selling the house I would really hate to have to install something like that just to leave it (it was about $1,700 according to him on the phone).

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5 Answers


No, you don't need a sub pump. I just went through (almost) the same thing.I think sub-pumps are the new buzz item sold by contractors these days. If you've fixed the leak, one good summer aught to dry it out.You could also rent a commercial dehumidifier if you are in a hurry - it'll do the same trick, faster.
You see - you've located & fixed the problem; 'nuff said. You don't need no stinkin sub-pump! And for the record- the prices sound about right!
Sub pumps are for more rural areas that get a lot of flooding. Not for you.
Google the rental commercial dehumidifiers in your area.Here's one in Columbus, Ohio- try and give them a call.

Answered 9 years ago by snarky


Sounds to me like a complicated issue that requires more investigation.

"Does the money range he ballparked sound reasonable?"

No estimate sounds "reasonable" when the cause of the problem isn't known.

"Do I really need a sump pump installed down there?" When I read that a warning light went off in my brain. You certainly don't need a sump pump unless it's likely that water will accumulate under your house. It seems odd to me that this contractor would assume you need one without really investigating the issue. Also, as a potential buyer, finding a new sump pump in an area which - as you say - isn't known for flooding would raise a red flag to me.

How about finding a good home inspector to check out the situation? Try Angie's List <s>.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


I would for sure get several estimates and opinions. If they are all similar than that would help confirm that no one is out of line.

Out here in Vancouver, Washington we see lot's of water damage as you can imagine and not only does it require a lof of reconstruction and restoration and it is expensive but it also requires lots of cleanup. After the project is done than a house cleaner finishes putting the final touches on things. For the restoration contractors to do all the work involved it is quite time consuming in terms of management. So, you are not only paying for the actual cost of the supplies and the manpower labor involved but the company has high overhead nowadays. They have to pay for the marketing, salesman, estimator, company expenses, office expenses, etc.. and all of that is built into the cost of the job. I think often the general public does not understand all of the elements that goes into a final estimate of cost to do a restoration project.

If you know anyone in Vancouver, WA needed a house cleaning service here is a great one: Maid Cleaning Service

Answered 9 years ago by maidcl


If the "French" door is leaking, that may explain why the door and adjacent wood floors buckled (swelling). Repairing or replacing that door may solve the kitchen problem. Don't overlook the possibility of a rain gutter or roof leak that allowed water to enter your home's exterior walls and subsequently seep inside.

If there are no puddles in the crawl space it seems unlikely a sump pump is needed; improved air circulation to prevent dry rot, ASAP.

Answered 9 years ago by tessa89


Your description does not really beg the question "Do I need a sump pump?". Rather, a better question might be "Do I need a basement waterproofing contractor?" If the water infiltration is from a hydrostatic pressure or a leaking foundation, then the answer is most likely yes. A sump pump is simply one component of an interior (or exterior) drain tile system that is intended to eliminate the hydrostatic pressure and collect and reroute the water to a more desirable location. It would be unlikely that a sump pump, by itself, would provide much pressure relief for an entire crawl space or basement. However, there have been times that the water seepage area was very localized and simply putting in a sump pump in a sump basin that is either perforated and surrounded by washed stone, or non-perforated but encircled with a small amount drain tile, was enough to relieve the problem.

If the water is coming in over the top of the foundation someplace, then you likely need a landscaper to correct some grading issues. Also look to be sure there are no downspouts dumping water nearby.

p.s. be leery of the advice of somebody that thinks a sump pump is called a "sub pump". ;>)

Jeff Sloss, President
Basement Flood Protector, Inc.


Answered 9 years ago by floodnot

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