Winter in Chicagoland, as you well know, is full of snow and ice. While living in a winter wonderland has its benefits, the chilly weather also makes for plenty of challenges and safety concerns. If your home has a basement and a sump pump, you have a responsibility to decrease slick ice that can come from your drainage system. Unattended and unmonitored sump pump discharge can end up leaving sidewalks treacherous to your neighbors and passersby.

To keep your neighborhood safe, practice good sump pump winter maintenance by applying a few of our tips. If you aren’t sure how to fix your sump pump drainage line, or if you aren’t sure where to start, our team would be happy to take a look and guide you in the right direction.

Prevent frozen lines

Sump pump winter etiquette starts with making sure that your drainage system doesn’t freeze and cause issues for your home. To prevent freezing, check on your drainage pipe regularly, especially when temperatures fluctuate. If you happen to hear strange noises coming from your sump pump area, call an experienced plumber to investigate. Frozen drainage systems can lead to flooded basements and unhappy homeowners, so be diligent with your inspection.

Prevent frozen foundations

Once you are sure your sump pump drainage line is not freezing, determine where it is sending the water it pumps out. If your drainage line or pipe is aimed toward the foundation of your home, you are risking damage due to expanding and freezing ice. Aim for a pipe that eliminates water at least one and a half yards from your foundation.

Prevent frozen sidewalks

Finally, sump pump maintenance in the winter does require some consideration for your neighbors and passersby. Etiquette (and some city ordinances) dictate that sump pump drainage pipes should not eliminate water on sidewalks. As you might imagine, drained water can freeze quickly, making sidewalks extra slick and dangerous.

This winter, pay close attention to your sump pump drainage. It can save you frustration, money, and even unhappy neighbors.