How to Pump Out a Flooded Basement: Wet Vac vs. Sump Pump

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Water in a flooded basement can add up quickly to many gallons of water — hundreds in a home or even thousands in a business. Oftentimes, it’s best to hire a professional with a truck mounted machine or large pump truck for cleanup, but in a pinch, do-it-yourself solutions are available.

A lot of people start cleanup efforts with a wet vac, thinking it will work well. That’s actually not the case.

Don’t use a wet vac in deep water.

Cons of Using a Wet Vac for a Flooded Basement

If you take a do-it-yourself approach, it takes a lot of time to suck water out using a wet vac at a time when removing water is critical to keep mold from forming. A wet vac holds only three to five gallons of water, on average. They fill up fast, and water weighs 8.3 pounds a gallon. Carrying and emptying it upwards of 50 to 100 times is inefficient, and will leave you worn out.

What you need is a sump pump.

Pros of Using a Sump Pump for a Flooded Basement

One solution for addressing a flooded basement is a sump pump, because it can remove the majority of the water faster than a wet vac. It should be placed in the deepest spot where the water is to remove it most efficiently.

However, it is important to note that if there is more than a foot of water in a basement you really need a professional to remove it. If the water is removed too quickly hydrostatic pressure can cause the foundation to cave in. You should also seek professional help if your basement continues flooding, even with a sump pump in operation.

Using a Sump Pump

There are many sump pumps available that are well-suited for basement flooding where the water is not over a foot deep. For starters, they are submersible unlike a wet vac. Another one of its features is suction from the bottom. That means it can get very close to the floor and remove the most water. It has a screen to keep debris from plugging it up.

Be sure to look for an oil-filled thermally protected motor to prevent overheating. While it’s also great that you can attach a garden hose to a sump pump like this, investing in a sump pump hose can increase the rate of water removal by four to five times because it is wider.

Investing in special equipment and accessories for an emergency that may not happen is a lot like buying home insurance. No one size fits all. You’re glad to have it when you need it. If you are weighing the pros and cons, the costs and benefits, feel free to contact us to discuss. Our Minnesota-based cleaning and restoration experts have got their favorite brands for sump pumps, and we’ll share those, as well as other things you may want to consider regarding basement flooding.

Professional Help, Should the Worst Happen

Just removing flood water from your home is traumatic enough. The emotional pain only compounds when you have invested in finishing off your basement, because carpet and padding can be easily ruined. In most cases, they will both be a total loss and also need to be removed.

While it may be possible to save your carpet, this is only true if there is not much water, it is clean water, and it is removed right away. Mold forms fast, and the risk to your family’s health is not worth the risk of trying to save flood-damaged carpet.

With operations based near Minneapolis, Green Clean has expertise in water damage restoration and mold remediation. Always providing the right team, right away, we are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. While we hope you won’t find yourself in the position where you need to call us, do know that we are caring professionals who love what we do and we are here to help you restore a healthy environment.

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