Protect Your Home With Gutters and Downspouts

Water in a basement is never a good situation.  It creates conditions that are conducive to mold growth and termite infestation.  Mold needs moisture to take hold and grow and termites are attracted to a scent given off by wet wood.  To prevent this from happening, moisture in the basement must be taken out of the equation.

Basement Water Penetration

The primary causes for basement water penetration are poor grading and ineffective gutters and downspouts.  Below are excerpts from the Strong Foundations Home Owners Manual on basement water penetration causes and cures.

Grading & Drainage

1)      Maintain sloped exterior grades going away from your house (at least ½ inch of slope per foot of run for at least six (6) feet.

2)      Grading should be improved with the use of clay-based soil (red in color and otherwise known as clean fill). It swells when wet and inhibits the infiltration of water.

3)      Do not use top soil for improving grades! It is very permeable and allows water to flow right through it.

4)      Driveways, walkways, and patios next to the house should be installed to slope away from your house. This will prevent water from draining towards your house. All horizontal to vertical intersecting points of driveways, walkways, and patios next to your house should be sealed with silicone caulk to prevent water infiltration.

5)      Driveways should have drains in low-lying areas near your house to collect ponding water and drain it away from your house.

6)      If water collects and ponds in low-lying areas of your yard, install swales to carry the water away. A swale is a wide, shallow depression that channels surface water away from your house.

7)      Adequate gutters and downspouts should be in place on your roof in order to collect roof water and drain it away from your house (at least six (6) feet away)

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters should be installed on any area of a roof where roof water can be expected to drain. Gutters should have enough downspouts based on the total roof area to adequately drain all the roof water which collects in the gutters. Gutters should also have enough of a downward slope towards the downspouts to drain the water which collects in the gutters.

Downspouts should extend far enough to drain all roof water at least six (6) feet away from the exterior walls of the house. Gutters that are installed improperly, not maintained, or not present are one of the biggest contributors towards water in a basement. Your houses’ gutter and downspout system must be properly installed and maintained as needed in order to drain roof water and get it as far away from your house as possible.

How can I tell if my gutters aren’t draining properly?

If during a rainfall, you can hear the water slapping the ground, pouring over the sides of the gutter, there may be a blockage or the gutter itself may not be aligned evenly. If you notice paint peeling or corroded wood that means the gutter is most likely clogged and is causing the water to overflow and run down the back of gutter along the exterior walls of the house. If you notice mold or if you see puddles of water forming around the outside of your house it’s a sure sign that there are drainage problems.

Protect Your Home’s Exterior

  • Gutters/Downspouts: If you live in a wooded area, falling leaves may clog the gutters and lead to water backup that could damage your exterior siding. In late fall, have all gutters and downspouts cleared of leaves and debris. Or install gutter guards designed to keep leaves and debris out and water in.
  • Grade of Property: In order for water to flow away from the house during heavy rain or snow, soil should be graded from the foundation.

Protect your home from water damage with a properly installed rain gutter system

A properly designed, fitted and installed gutter and downspout system protects your roof and siding from damage, prevents costly water damage, and helps alleviate basement water problems.  A house with proper water drainage and properly flowing gutters needs fewer repairs.

If your home has water damage caused by faulty or clogged gutters, don’t wait any longer. A solution is on the way. Just request a free no obligation gutters quote and a licensed local Minnesota Gutter Contractor can start solving your gutter problems TODAY!