Is a basement system with sump pumps a cost-effective home improvement?

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Basement System Inc.'s sump pump systems are sealed and engineered to get water out fast.

You just found out that your neighbor spent $10,000 on a basement waterproofing system. Now that you know what all the blasting noise was from, you're wondering if it makes sense for you. After all, you both had to deal with water in the basement after heavy storms.

We turned to Larry Janesky, founder of Basement Systems Inc. with more than 300 locations across the US, to explain why basement waterproofing and associated upgrades are a great investment. Here's what he told us:

Reason #1: If your basement gets wet every so often from heavy rains, then you can't use it for anything without property damage and inconvenience. Divide the price you paid for your home by the number of usable square feet in your home (excluding the wet basement) to get a cost per is usable foot. Then add $10,000 to get usable space in the basement and divide by the new number of usable square footage under your roof (including the basement), and you see it's a bargain. 

Reason #2: You're going to have to deal with it one day…when you sell your home. Would you buy a house with a wet basement? Nobody else wants to, either. Procrastinators often find they have to pay to have it fixed when they move out in order to sell the house. If you're going to fix it one day, why not fix it now so your family can enjoy a dry basement instead of suffering with it and then paying for another family to enjoy it? 

Reason #3: Even if you don't need or want to finish your basement, by having a dry one you can move much clutter and stored items from upstairs into the basement, which helps you enjoy your upstairs space more. 

Reason #4: A wet basement leads to mold. This is expensive to repair and another reason buyers go the other way. 

Reason #5: Basements are easy to heat and need no cooling—make the most of this extra living space. 

When you do fix your basement, whether it's waterproofing, repairing foundation cracks, or getting rid of mold, be sure to work with a pro, and not a high pressure salesman who is low on technical knowledge and offerings—if you're just looking for the lowest price, you'll often get the lowest level of results. In that case, Larry suggests, save your money until you can do it right with a back pump such as the TripleSafe System and proper dehumidification such as the SaniDry Air System.