When home inspectors inspect a home for purchase one of the main things they look for is proper water drainage around the home. In fact, it makes their top 10 things list! Making sure that rainwater is diverted away from your home is huge whether you have a slab foundation, crawlspace, or basement. The importance of proper gutters and downspouts is an integral piece of the waterproofing process.
From the Rooftop to the Foundation
2020 has brought not one but 2 hurricanes to the Gulf Coast that brought torrential rainfall to most of Alabama. That rainfall is on top of the normal summer rains we usually deal with. Rainfall, if not properly channeled, can wreak havoc on your foundation. Most homes have gutters installed to properly divert rain from your roof to the downspout, and then away from your home. When these gutters and downspouts do not work properly is when major damage can happen. Sometimes this damage happens quickly but most of the time the water slowly degrades the foundation of your home.
Gutters must be sloped or pitched to let water drain to the downspout area. If the pitch is too small then there is not enough flow to remove debris in the gutter. Too much pitch makes your home look a little crazy aesthetically. A gutter should be sloped approximately one quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter. This allows the proper flow of water to the downspout
Over time, leaves, twigs, bits of shingles, and other debris can build up inside your gutters as they are washed though. Their extra weight can impede water flowing and ultimately cause gutters to sag or even break off. A good gutter clean out is recommended in Spring and twice in the Fall each year. Repairing broken gutters can be costly without routine maintenance. Gutter guards can help prevent debris build up by blocking from ever entering your gutters.
The water that flows off your roof into the gutters needs to go somewhere. Proper downspouts will lead water away from your home’s foundation. Make sure the grading of the land around your foundation flows down and away from your home or else the water can pool and sit right against your foundation. This puts pressure on the walls of your basement and slowly seep in. Don’t rely on a sump pump to do all the work for you. It is best to be proactive in keeping water out. Make sure the downspouts lead water to your nearest storm drain.
In addition to proper downspouts diverting water away from your home, you could consider surrounding the area around the downspout with pavers or stones to promote proper drainage. Certain plants with strong root systems can help divert water away also when planted correctly.
Rainwater Isn’t the Enemy
If you are seeing signs of water damage in your home that could be caused by rainwater, it is better to take action now than wait. Rerouting water and repairing damage now can save you a great deal of money in the long run. With an average of over 8,000 gallons of water running off your roof each spring and summer it only makes sense to protect the very foundation you live on. Your team at Aqua-Guard can help! We can alert you to possible issues with gutters and downspouts, address any water damage you may have happening already, and waterproof your basement or crawlspace to keep your home dry. Reach out to us today for your free estimate and let’s make sure your home is high and dry no matter what rains may come!