Foundations are the workhorse of a home, but that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to water damage. Taking the necessary steps to avoid water exposure can help you avoid costly foundation repairs.
Ensuring that your gutters are in good working order is a simple way to protect your foundation and the rest of your home. For gutters to drain properly, they must be cleared frequently of blockage-causing debris like leaves, twigs, weeds, bird’s nests and general muck.
Learn how gutters can affect your home’s foundation so you understand the importance of cleaning and maintaining them.
How Gutters Protect Your Home
Gutters serve an essential role in protecting your home. While they add decorative flair to your home’s exterior, their main function is to stave off mold, mildew and other water damage that can occur if rainwater is left to seep into your home’s structure. Gutters keep your house stable and secure by diverting rainwater away from the walls and foundation.
House gutters attach under your roof’s edge to capture rainwater as it flows down the roof’s surface. They then transport the water to the side of your house and dump it into vertical pipes known as downspouts or drainpipes. A downspout’s purpose is to allow rainwater to reach the ground without contacting your home.
Downspouts typically distribute the runoff into drainage systems or extensions that move it away from your home’s foundation.
If you live in an older home with no gutter system, you may be worried about your foundation and wondering how long a house can go without gutters. Homes in dry climates with an excellent drainage system and no basement can survive without a gutter. However, gutters are still recommended because they protect your home from damage.
How a Clogged Gutter Negatively Impacts Your Home’s Foundation
The following rain gutter foundation problems can lead to severe damage and expensive solutions, but a well-maintained and clean gutter system can keep your home safe.
- Damaged foundation: Gutters deflect rainwater and melted snow away from your house. Clogged gutters, however, impede the water flow and cause it to build up in the piping, spilling over the sides and landing too close to your home. From there, the water can pool around your foundation and seep into existing cracks or create its own by eroding the building materials. Wet foundations are weak and vulnerable, not to mention a prime host for mold and mildew. Furthermore, if the moisture freezes in the cracks during cold winter weather, you’ll deal with even larger cracks and possibly interior leaks.
- Damaged roof: Gutters attach to an area just below your roof known as the fascia boards. When these boards become congested, built-up water can soak into the nearby roof components, damaging the edge of the roof’s surface and the materials below. You may notice water damage inside your home over time as moisture permeates the inner roof, putting structural components, electrical systems, furnishings and appliances at risk. Signs of water damage include stains, peeling paint or wallpaper, unpleasant odors and warping.
- Rotten wood: Water that overflows from obstructed gutters can wash over your home’s siding or seep into the roof, saturating wooden components such as the fascia board. With time, unrestrained moisture and the resulting mold and mildew can cause wood rot. Rotten wood can lead to several structural issues, such as damaged roof decking, rotted ceiling and floor joists and weakened support beams. And because wood is one of the main building materials for many homes, wood rot can be a significant problem if left unaddressed.
- Ice damming: Blocked gutters can lead to the formation of ice dams. Water that collects in congested gutters can freeze in winter. Ice dams in your gutters and along the underside of your roof prevent rainwater and melted snow from passing through, leaving it to soak into and damage your home.
- Ruined landscaping: Once the water in clogged gutters overflows onto the ground below, it can saturate the trees, shrubs or flower beds that decorate your yard. Too much water can choke your plants and erode the soil, wasting your money and effort on landscaping.
- Flooding: Water that pools around your home’s foundation due to blocked gutters can leak into the foundation and, eventually, the basement if you have one. A flooded basement requires immediate attention as it can lead to many other issues in your home, such as pest infestations, mold and mildew growth and electrical system damage.
- Cracked driveways and sidewalks: Water that spills from clogged gutters can travel to your driveway and sidewalks. When the ground underneath these structures is too wet, the soil can either become too soft to support the concrete or swell and cause the concrete to heave. Visible cracks are often the result of each scenario. These unsightly cracks can also cause shifting, which is an inconvenient and costly issue to repair. Cracked driveways and sidewalks can also spoil your home’s curb appeal and diminish its resale value if you list it for sale in the future.
- Insects in the house: Many insects are partial to the decaying leaves in clogged gutters, while others are attracted to the rotting wood that can result from excessive moisture. Unfortunately, the proximity to your home means insects can easily get inside. You may notice mosquitoes, termites, carpenter ants or cockroaches in your home, which often require costly pest control.
Gutter Cleaning Is Necessary
Gutter cleaning is needed to keep your gutters functional and your home structurally sound. The process involves removing debris and built-up sludge from the gutters and downspouts to allow water to flow freely. And once we’ve cleared the gutters, we’ll remove the trash from your driveway and sidewalks so your home looks flawless.
If you’re looking for gutter cleaning near you, consider A Better Gutter Cleaning. When our friendly professionals come to service your gutters, they’ll also check for and perform any needed repairs, whether you have faulty gutters, shingles, vents or skylights. We offer various services at the time of gutter cleaning to help streamline your home maintenance needs.
A Better Gutter Cleaning Keeps Your Gutters in Top Condition
It may be surprising to learn that your foundation can suffer so much damage from something like gutters. However, well-maintained and clean gutters keep your home safe and sound.
At A Better Gutter Cleaning, we understand that it’s not always easy to stay on top of everything your home needs to function smoothly, especially when life gets busy. That’s why we offer many home maintenance services in addition to gutter cleaning. If you’re looking for shingle replacement, tree pruning or gutter installation near Atlanta, Georgia, we can help! Best of all, our scheduling process is simple and convenient. Contact us today for a quote!