Gutters are installed on a house to capture and control the flow of rain water so that the water does not damage the house or the landscaping around the foundation. When it is raining the natural reaction of people is to stay in where it is dry, but this is the time when you can see what is happening with the flow of rainwater around the house of the roof into the gutters and out through the downspouts and know if there are any problems.. I suggest that 4 times a year make a point of looking around outside the house during a heavy rain and see if there are any problems. It can head of problems like wood rot, moldy siding or all of a sudden having a wet basement or a flooded basement with a lot of damage to your things stored there and the furnishings.
Rain Water Amounts
To understand what is involved in managing rain water from the roof it is interesting to know how much water is involved. A basic home of 1,500 square feet with an inch of water falling on it would shed 935 gallons of water. The volumes of water is greater than many would think and with clogged gutters blocking the proper flow of water damage can occure. An interesting calculator to figure out how much water can be handled by your system go to this rain water calculator and and your house dimensions and property locatin, it will even tell you the anual amount of water your gutters handle. An example would be Atlanta Georgia gets 53.7 inches of rain on average and this results in 45,231 gallons running off the roof into the gutters.
Clogged gutters and leaders
The cumulative numbers are high and normally the water is dispersed away from the house. The soil absorbs and disperses water up to a certain amount then it can only hold so much. When this happens and the water is up against the foundation it may well find it’s way into the basement or crawl space on the other side. Damage from over flowing gutters can be roting siding and your home building components. Landscaping errosion from water spilling over uncontrollably can be with both force and volume.
Check for Problems
Look for problem areas and signs of clogged gutters and leaders. Things to look for are mulch being washed away under the gutter system. Stains on the side of the house from water flow. Lateral areas were plants do not grow in from the water damage. Lots of times water will create a small valley from the erosion.
Down spouts that are clogged often will show discoloratin or black sections were water repeatedly leakes out. During a rain water may not come out of the downspouts at all or take a long time for a very slow flow of water to develope meaning it is blocked in the system.
Downspouts should have extensions if needed to direct the rain water away from the foundation and the side of the house. If the area around the house slopes away well then only a splash block may be needed.