Gutters and downspouts are installed to guide rainwater and melting snow off your roof and away from your home’s foundation. If gutters get clogged with leaves, seeds or roofing debris, water can’t drain and will eventually back up and overflow the gutters.
Surface water ponding by the foundation
These clogged gutters dump the over flowing rainwater directly by the foundation. This then can cause highly saturated soil next to the house. With waters tendency to find the weakest spot to go into it may well find it’s way into your basement or crawl space. A foundation exposed to water can lead to a multitude of problems when water leaks or seeps through to the basement.
Basements are closed areas so they are prone to high humidity conditions that lead to dampness and mold growth. If your home is built on a site where the slope is not great and the soils do not allow water to naturally drain care must be taken to keep the guttering system working or water will come in and it is always at the worst times. Contents stored there then get moldy and have to be restored or thrown out. Insulation in the walls, if there is any, should be removed as well as the water soaked walls if any.
Rain Water Management
Inspection of the leaders and how they empty the water from the gutters is some thing that should be done at least twice a year and preferably in a heavy rain storm. This helps see exactly what is happening or not working right as the rain water come out of the system. If splash blocks have gotten pushed out of the way from lawn cutting or gardening reposition them or replace them. Seeing a high flow situation may show the need for downspout extenstions to carry the water farther away from the foundation. Over time due to setteling and landscaping the grades can be disturbed enough so that even with a clean and clear gutter system water is not moved away from the house. This seems to especially occure on old homes where the owner says they never had leaks and all of a sudden then do now. This visial inspection when you least want to be out side can save a lot of time in pinpointing the solution. Clean gutters and correct grades around a foundation can help prevent the high cost of basement water proofing systems.
When you can see what the problem is then selection of the right solution may be easy. There are underground systems that move the water farther out in the yard and pop up to alow the flow into grassy areas. There are roll out downspout extensions for the guttering system. There are also some very decorative splash blocks that may move the water enough and improve the look of the sytem.