Leaking rain gutters damage home’s foundation.

Rain gutter cleaning is very important for a home’s foundation.

Heavy rains and snowstorms occur all around the world. Predictions by local weather sources can be inaccurate at times. Despite the level and type of precipitation in your area gutters attached to your home should flow the water without leaking and overflowing. Therefore, it is best to clean your rain gutters at least once or twice per year.

How do rain gutters become inefficient, clog and leak?

  • Leaves: Fall foliage from trees. Falling leaves from nearby trees easily clog gutters and drains which are supposed to prevent water pooling near your foundation. Even if you don’t have trees near your property the wind during heavy storms can accumulate the leaves over time.
  • Birds: Some of the smaller birds such as sparrows may prefer their homes in rain gutters vs tree branches. Just before winter, they might migrate away to a warmer area but the nest is left behind causing blockages in down sprouts.
  • Building materials: If your home has an “Asphalt shingle” roof, then, as it ages you might notice granules breaking away and sitting in your gutters. The older the shingles, the more granules you will find. If your roof is aged and has endured severe weather you will see large numbers of granules in gutters.
  • Others: There might be several other variables applicable to your area so climb up there and find out what’s hiding in those gutters? The age of gutters matters as well. An aged system may have an inaccurate slope which would cause the water to overflow into one direction only, holes in channels etc.

What happens when rain gutters are leaking or overflowing?

Overflowing gutters spill all of the water right near your exterior walls. Water will seep behind siding penetrate exterior wood sheathing and make its way into the inside of wall spaces in the house. It may deteriorate sheathing and wooden framing, saturate interior wallboard and spawn mold growth inside the walls. Even if it does not seep through the wall directly, the dripping which takes place right near the foundation will begin to enter the building slowly. Below, I have included a video to provide visual insight into the underlying problem at hand:

How to prevent and fix the problem?

As you can see in the video rainwater pools up near the wall, eventually, it will find its way into the basement if there is one. In other cases with no basement, water continues to wash away particles from your home’s foundation. You can prevent costly repairs & unexpected structural problems by performing basic maintenance. While some folks may swear rain gutter guards help prevent such issues, I disagree. I have tested various gutter guards and most of them still allow dirt and granules to accumulate. It gets very tough to remove them if there is not enough access through the guards. Removing the guards can be painful once they have been weathered. You might end up breaking tabs or other small components. Therefore, I choose to leave the gutters open & just clean-up frequently instead.

There are many different ways to keep the system running healthy. The basic rule is to let the water flow down the sprout freely. Then, it can be consumed by your lawn or a sloped path to a drain. A complete DIY was published in another blog post to help you clean up efficiently quickly & economically. Feel free to share your experience & suggestions in comments below.

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