Basement Waterproofing Basics – Keeping Your Sump Pump From Freezing

Basement Waterproofing Basics: Keeping Your Sump Pump From Freezing

A good sump pump can mean the difference between a wet basement and a dry basement. Because your basement is underground, it’s constantly in danger of leaking groundwater through its walls. If you’ve enacted a comprehensive basement waterproofing program, you might have a drain that sends all water to a sump pump, which in turn pumps it out of the basement.

That sump pump is the beating heart of your entire basement waterproofing system. So it’s important to make sure it doesn’t freeze in the cold weather. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

Get a big pump

A really big pump. If the hoses leading to and from your sump pump are larger, they’ll allow more water to pass through, which in turn will be less likely to freeze.


Keep the pump itself well-insulated, and bury its discharge hose as deep as possible so it’s below the frost line. Insulate the discharge hose as well, with heavy duty tape or something equally strong.

Don’t overwork it

Divert as much water as possible from its path. An ideal basement waterproofing paradigm includes a system of swales (long, shallow ditches) and berms (raised pieces of ground) that divert water away from your house. If rainwater doesn’t go near your foundation, that’s less work for your sump pump.

Heat the basement

Keeping the basement heated can prevent the water in and around the sump pump can prevent it from freezing. Keep this in mind on those very cold nights.

Keep the water’s egress point lower than the pump itself

This way you won’t get a buildup of water around the sump pump. That way, even if the temperature does drop, the pump won’t be submerged and will be unlikely to freeze.