Home Buying in 94583>Question Details

Kozo, Home Buyer in San Ramon, CA

Should i be concerned about a sump pump used to correct a standing water issue?

Asked by Kozo, San Ramon, CA Thu May 3, 2012

This was mentioned in the disclosures, installed in 2008. Is this common for the area? Additional disclosures mention fixing of damage done and mold removal.

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Sally Blaze’s answer

Make sure you understand the underlying issue of the sump pump -- why it is there, how it works, how often it needs to run, any other solutions you may want to install after you are the homeowner. This can be done by the appropriate contractor recommended by your real estate agent.

Ultimately, you need to make sure you are comfortable with the information you gather and any possible long term ramifications (i.e., resale value).

Sally Blaze
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012

I believe the only time you should have water running under your home is when you live on a Boat!

Water is the most destruction element to a home. Personally, I believe, if possible, one should not buy a home where water is entering within the foundation - even if a sum pump is installed.

In the long run, the continued introduction of water is likely to this lead to:

1) Foundation issues, which can show visually within the home in the form of foundation cracks, tree root growth under the home, sticking doors/windows, and uneven floors;

2) Providing an environment for mold and fungus to take hold, and

3) Encourage subterranean termite colonization.

Additionally, much like power lines, freeway noise and cell towers the presence of the sump pump will take a percentage of possible future buyers out of the picture. For some, the sump pump will be an issue, but for others, it will not be a major concern.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
I think this could be something to be concerned about, but there's no way of knowing for sure by yourself. I would suggest talking to a professional to see if you can get any help from them. They would have a more accurate knowledge of what this is, what it can do, and if it merits concern. I think you should figure that out if at all possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 18, 2015
These issue vary on water table, soil, time of year, et cetera. In some neighborhood is might be common, while in other it should be questioned. In either case, licensed professionals who specialize in these issues can and should be recommended by your local real estate agency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2015
We live in San Ramon and have had sales of multiple homes with sump pumps. If your foundation is raised, which is very common in the Country Club area of town, then likely you have a sump pump. With the clay soil we have the water table is very high and if there is land sloping towards your home at all, chances are you will have moisture under your home. In addition to the sump pump a great idea is getting a moisture barrier put in which is basically thick plastic sheeting and this will help keep the moisture in the ground where it belongs, and not causing any problems with the house! In any event there are professionals to address these issues and make sure they are a thing of the past, and not current. With the issue managed properly, these are great homes in a great location and a very popular area of town.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2015
Just remember, what ever is being disclosed to you will be required disclosure when you sell. Standing water, mold and a continued issue with water intrusion is not something I would sign up for unless it is impossible to find a home in the area that is not affected by the same issues.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 14, 2015
I would contact a drainage contractor to check if this is alright. They will be able to give you the low-down on safety and the standard procedures of the area. It's better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to the cleanliness of your water.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2015
I may be wrong, but I believe sump pumps are not supposed to run continuously. In my experience, the sump pump only turns on after a storm. If you have constant water flowing under your home, I don't see how the foundation can remain undamaged. I would look at some different properties.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 8, 2014
Yeah I would agree with the other comments, and be very concerned about that. I'd get a pump station cleaning service out asap. It could cause so much water damage and be bad for the property in other ways. It's definitely not something you want to mess around with. http://www.forrestsewerpump.com/Pump_Station_Grease_Trap_Cle…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2014
I agree with Tim on this one. You are going to want to get a submersible pump out to your property to get that water cleaned up. Water damage can be very pricey, and it can spread so quickly to other parts of your house. Get this taken care of ASAP. http://www.advancedpumps.com.au/services/
Flag Mon Nov 3, 2014
I agree with Tim. You don't really want to mess around with water damage. You want your property to stay in good shape for a long time. It's definitely something I would be concerned about. Good luck!

Dean Reese | http://www.permadrywaterproofing.com/sump-pump-systems/
Flag Wed Jul 30, 2014
Bernard is correct, parts of San Ramon have water issues under the homes, especially in the 94583 area code. Sometimes it is sprinklers that are directed towards the foundation, sometimes it is from a nearby hill and sometimes it is a result of inadequate venting (not enough air can get into the sub area) or the foliage is blocking air flow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 27, 2014
I saw this for a sump pump in Edmonton also. It is pretty normal up here I think but I am not sure about your area specifically.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
If the standing water was a pre-existing problem and not a recurring issue, then the theory is that the sump pump is working for the purpose or intent it was installed for.

The mold must have been caused by the water seepage in the basement. If the mold has been remediated, ask for a documentation from the licensed mold remediator or specialist.

Moreover, make sure that you install a battery operated back up sump pump in case of power outage during heavy rains.

I hope this helps.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
Great question and you would be wise to at least consult with the Contractor/Engineer who install the system.

Water under an enclosed crawl space is not a good thing... ever. I just had similar circumstances with two sales and the drainage/foundation contractor strongly recommended that If it is water intrusion from the exterior which is often because the exterior grade is above the ground level under the house, then a perimeter drainage collection system that is installed outside the foundation and extends below the grade under the house is often the solution. At times this may require a sump pump to get the water out to the street. If the water is seeping up under the house from a spring or other situation then a collection system under the house may be required. My drainage contractor still recommends that any sump pump used in such a system be installed on the exterior of the home.

The other element to make sure you have is a lot of ventilation, perhaps including a fan to pull the air out.

And then monitor all systems regularly.

Steve Curtis
DRE # 350257
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
If the Sump is keeping the water out, and no damage is being caused by water intrusion, then it must be doing its job. I would find out, why it was installed, who put it in, and ask if there was a mold sample test after it was corrected. Through your inspections, you should be able to find out if the correction is working and be able to make your decision on whether or not you want to move forward.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
We use sump pumps all the time

The bigger question is....is it working?
If the sump pump was installed AFTER damage was done, was the damage repaired?

Did you get new inspections ....and see if your inspectors can determine if any previous damage have been resolved or not, and to give you estimates if they weren't.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
Sump pumps are not uncommon in homes in some of the older parts of San Ramon and if there is a standing water problem, it is better to have a sump pump rather than just ignore the issue.

Most home inspectors I know ould recommend a drainage inspection when there is a sump pump in place. It is likely that standing water could indicate a drainage problem. If that is the case, a more permanent solution is generally to improve the drainage system.

If I was the buyer, I'm sure I would have a drinage inspection carried out.

Bernard Gibbons

Bernard Gibbons, J. Rockcliff Realtors
DRE License # 01331583
Phone (925) 997-1585 - bernard@bernardgibbons.com

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
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