Your Gutter System Could Be Costing You Money
Basement flooding is unfortunately a common occurrence in many homes in Minnesota. Basement flooding related insurance claims in Minnesota are estimated to be in the order of $140 million per year based on a multi-year average. This represents an average of approximately 30,000 to 40,000 incidents per year, with an average cost of damages per flooding incident between $3,000 and $5,000.
Many cases of basement flooding are not reported. But the good news is that many types of basement flooding may be avoided.
Basement Flooding Is a Serious Problem
Basement flooding is now being recognized as a potentially serious problem. There are many negative consequences associated with basement flooding, above and beyond the inconvenient mess and disruption of household routine. Recent research cites the following impacts:
- Chronically wet houses are linked to an increase in respiratory problems.
- Frequent occurrences of basement flooding can result in long-term damage to the building and equipment that may not be covered by insurance.
- Insurance rates may rise to compensate for repeated basement flooding claims, and/or the minimum deductible may be increased significantly.
- Property value may depreciate because the basement is prone to frequent flooding.
Before appropriate measures can be taken, it is important to identify the causes of basement flooding.
Water can enter your basement for a number of reasons. Water in your basement is most likely to occur during periods of heavy rainfall, or when snow is melting rapidly during a spring thaw. In these cases, your basement can be wet because of:
- A leak or crack in your home’s basement walls
- Poor lot drainage
- Failure of the weeping tiles (foundation drains)
- Overflowing eaves troughs or leaking or plugged gutters and downspouts
Here are some recommendations to avoid basement flooding.
Keep Rain Gutters Clean – Clean your gutters at least 2x per year, definitely in the Fall time of year, when leaves are falling. Check your gutters operation during an active rain storm, to assure that none of your gutters are leaking or are over flowing.
Make sure all connections have water tight fittings. Properly working rain gutter systems will divert a lot of potential wet basement problems, away from your home. If you are unwilling or unable to do your own gutter maintenance, there are gutter companies that do gutter cleaning and maintenance. Some Minnesota gutter installers provide this sort of service.
Install gutter guards or gutter covers to protect your rain gutters from falling leaves and other debris.
Add Extensions To Your Downspouts – Your down spouts should be directed about 10 or 20 feet past your foundation. The ideal situation is when they can discharge onto land that is sloping downhill, away from the basement.
Resist burying your downspout extensions or connecting them to a drywell. Drywells will hold a limited amount of water and then start backing up. Your gutters will then spill all your roof water, right next to your home.
If you do want to run your gutter extension pipes under the ground and away from your home, make sure the ends of the pipes drain out to daylight. You’ll need to be able to see the ends of these pipes to periodically check that they are open and draining properly.
Never connect your rain gutters to the sewer system. This can cause nasty backups, far worse than ordinary basement leakage!
Check How Your Yard Slopes – The worst situation is when a hill or slope near your home, is directing surface water towards your basement. The ideal situation is for the top of your foundation to be higher than the surrounding yard, with all land sloping away from the home. The more surface water you can control or eliminate, the better your chances are to avoid basement water problems.
Flooding into the foundations, basement or crawl spaces can cause erosion around the house and permanent damage to the structure. And since many insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding, in is vital to have a method to keep the water away. Installing seamless gutters is a fairly inexpensive way to protect the structure of your house and ensure a sound foundation.
Minnesota Leafless Gutters help you solve current water problems. Seamless gutter systems mitigate water problems from the roof to the foundation by directing water away from your building.