Your home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. A good foundation is one of the most important parts of your home…if not the most important. The next is the roof supported by the foundation. The roof sheds “good old” Mother Nature. In doing so, we need to divert all that water. This is why a gutter system is so important. Now after we have diverted the water away from the roof we need to make sure we get it away from the foundation. When the soil around your foundation becomes saturated with excess moisture, the water starts to loosen the soil needed to support your foundation. Next, the water will take the path of least resistance, finding those imperfections in the foundation. Whether the water is coming through the walls or up through the basement floor, the first thing to look at is the gutter system then the landscape.
Most people run off and call someone to install drain tiles, sump pumps and other water management systems. These are great ideas but first lets see if we can manage our water first. If the water table is up, we need to get the water collected at the foundation and pumped out. We can’t control the water table, so these tools are needed in some cases. The first and foremost thing to inspect and size is your gutters. Your gutters need to be super sized. Any gutter will handle a normal rain but that is not when you need them. When we get a real down pour, we need a gutter large enough to collect the water and a downspout large enough to get the water away from the roof. The next question is, “where does it go?” We now need to make sure the water is getting away from the foundation. In most cases a downspout taking the water away 4 feet from the foundation is good. We also need to make sure the landscape has a positive pitch away from the home.
If all these things are in check we need to make sure we keep our gutters clean so the water can flow freely and unobstructed. Obstructed?? Yep! Leaves, pine needle, berries, seeds, whirly birds and the like. When these get in the gutters they can clog up the gutter. So plan on cleaning your gutters as much as needed to prevent clogging. 1 to 4 times per year is a good start. Also remember snow and ice can clog up the gutter. So a gutter protection that gets the water in and doesn’t clog up with leaves or ice or snow makes sense. Good gutters protect your home. Bigger is better. Do all this and you are much less likely to ever need to call your insurance and dry out your basement.