Rain! Rain!

Are your gutters doing there job?

Many gutters we inspect are not properly sloped causing problems like overflow against the foundation in rainy times and ice buildup in winter.. BUT, the real problem it can create is foundation failure, leaking basements and wet crawlspaces including mold issues.

When water sits against the foundation it not only puts  unwanted pressure against the foundation, it causes the soils to expand and contract which can cause failure, and of course a wet muddy soil can allow the foundation to settle and crack.

Checking your gutters ensuring they hold no water after a rain is the first step to getting everything in line.. then put downspout extensions terminating water as far as you can without discharging on your neighbor (which is illegal). A good rule of thumb is at least 10′ from the foundation but if your soil slopes towards your foundation or is flat you need to correct that or shed the water further than it can drain back towards the foundation.

Proper slope (or grading) is when the soil is 6″ lower at a distance of 10′ from your foundation than it is at the foundation. ONLY topsoil counts as grading, so not use mulch or rock as it serves no purpose in the need for shedding water away.

Another overlooked item in the installation of gutters is kick-out flashing  anywhere a gutter terminates to a wall preventing excessive water on the wall area below that can create other water damage issues, especially in brick!

Most basement water proofing companies will never even evaluate or tell you the water entry issue is outside the home and often easily corrected without installing a drainage system and sump pump in the basement. While not always true it most certainly is less expensive to start with the obvious and less expensive!

So remember, it’s your home.. and it’s your responsibility to maintain it the best you can. We also recommend that you consider a full home inspection by a qualified Home Inspector like you get at Commonwealth Home Inspections, it will save you time and headache knowing what issues your home has now so you can prepare for the day you sell which will also bring you more  money if there aren’t alot of maintenance or repair issues present. “You already had an inspection when you bought it” you say? Hopefully it was one of the very few very thorough inspection companies that does not rely on Real Estate Agents for their business who tend to write up way less than half what thorough Inspection Companies write up.

So don’t let it rain on your parade, get outside and check those gutters, or better yet, have someone do it that is familiar with safety on ladders!



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