Don’t Overlook an Important Tool For Keeping Water Out of Your Basement!

Homeowners in North Carolina sometimes wonder if they can take any steps themselves to help prevent water from seeping into basement areas? One very powerful waterproofing tool often escapes attention. Yet it offers a practical way to help maintain dry basements and under-the-house crawl spaces. Don’t overlook the critical importance of keeping residential gutters and downspouts in good condition!

Gutter Systems Help Protect Foundations

Human beings learned thousands of years ago that rooftops served as excellent water-collection systems. You’ve probably watched classic films set in the Old West in which characters placed wooden rain barrels beneath the eaves, for example. People noticed runoff would sometimes cascade off man-made structures after heavy downpours.

During the modern era, sturdy metal gutters running along the edges of roofs have gained popularity. They usually connect with one (or more) vertical downspouts. Today most builders routinely install gutters when they first finish the roof on a new construction job. Gutters serve a dual purpose. They prevent rainwater, fallen leaves and other windblown debris from sliding off the roof and creating an unsightly mess in the yard. Most importantly, they also direct runoff away from residential foundations and basements. It sometimes surprises homeowners to learn their gutters actually supply an important tool for helping maintain the lower levels of the home in a dry condition!

Why Gutter Maintenance Matters

Correctly maintained gutters and downspouts help residents channel rainwater away from the home. When a waterproofing expert first inspects a basement or a low-lying crawl space, this specialist will typically also note the presence (or absence) of gutters and downspouts. Although most residences in this region of North Carolina utilize gutters, sometimes property owners overlook the importance of installing new gutters and downspouts following roof replacements. Keeping these systems in good working order can ultimately help you save thousands of dollars in waterproofing home repair expenses!

In our area, homeowners should periodically check the gutters and clean out any accumulated debris. Why? As rainwater drains down a roof towards the gutter, it carries along minute particles of dirt and sand which have blown onto the roof. It will also transport fallen leaves and branches from the rooftop into residential gutters. Unless periodically removed from the gutter system, this organic material can form clogs that interrupt the flow of water through downspouts. Clogged gutters not only eventually look unattractive, they will fail to perform a protective function.

Make Sure Downspouts Protect Your Home’s Foundation

Ideally, your residential downspouts will direct water away from the home’s perimeter. Runoff leaving downspouts typically drains onto concrete splash blocks. Waterproofing experts sometimes install runoff channels to extend the lengths of the splash blocks, ensuring water flows only seep into the ground at a point well removed from the residence.

If your gutters receive cleaning too infrequently, you likely won’t notice the consequences immediately. Yet over the course of months and years, a failed gutter system (or the absence of any gutter system at all) usually causes problems. Water may saturate the ground around the home during certain seasons of the year. It may begin leaking through small cracks in the foundation and enter the basement, for instance. Or it may permit damp conditions to develop in under-the-home unsealed crawl spaces. Maintaining your residential gutter system in good condition cannot guarantee you’ll never encounter waterproofing problems, yet it does reduce the likelihood of some types of runoff water damage.

Essential Gutter System Maintenance

Most experts recommend cleaning out the gutters and downspouts of a home during autumn and towards the beginning of spring. Gutter cleaning services remain available to assist homeowners with this messy task, which requires the use of a ladder or crane. Consider asking anyone performing gutter cleaning to also assess the general condition of the gutter system; older gutters in North Carolina sometimes sustain damage caused by heavy fallen tree branches or high winds. They may develop pinhole areas of rusting or leaking and require repair. If residential gutters show extensive wear and tear, you might consider replacing worn sections with attractive new gutters.

If you have any concern about the suitability of your home’s downspouts or gutter splash blocks, don’t hesitate to contact us. We strive to help residents maintain dry basements and crawl spaces. We serve customers throughout this region of North Carolina!