LANSING (WILX)-- With so much rain in the forecast it's a good time to be proactive, to keep your basement from flooding. A couple of easy things you can do around the house will save you a lot of money and frustration.
It may not seem like it, but the first thing you can do to prevent flooding is check your gutters. Make sure they are cleaned out properly.
Because if not, the water could spill down the side of your home's foundation. It can pool at the bottom and eventually seep into the house.
Some drains are connected to the sump pump, so if they're blocked up it's all going to be blocked up.
"I have friends that have had their sump pumps fail and it caused a lot of damage in the basement. If you can prevent it why not," said home owner Pam Buckhave.
The sump pump is going to be your number one defense against your basement flooding.
"If your pump doesn't work then it's going to come up in the basement, and now you have water damage," said Michigan Plumbing employee Dan Boles.
The trick might be finding it first, but there are some easy steps to make sure it's working.
"If the water level is up to the floor, chances are it isn't working. To test the pump take a bucket of water or a garden hose and dump it into the hole until the pump turns on," said Boles.
"When I hear it running. That's the time I remember I have a sump pump is because it is raining hard and I can hear it running," said Buckhave.
If it doesn't turn on there could be a few things wrong.
"It could be a blockage in the discharge line, it could be that it's just old, or being dry for a while could cause it to not operate properly," said Boles.
You should check your pump at least once a year. To replace one can be costly, ranging from $200-$500 dollars.
"Most pumps last about a year, maybe three," said Boles.
If you want to be extra precautions you can have a backup pump just in case.
"A lot of people do not have backups. The ones that should have a backup are in a full finished basement," said Boles.
A backup pump is more expensive than a regular pump. It can cost thousands of dollars.
One way to extend the life of your sump pump is to have extenders on your gutters. Leading the water farther away from the house means your pump has to do less work.
If you're not sure your sump pump is working and just want it checked out, some plumbers will come to your house and test it for free.