Did you know that clogged gutters can cause foundation issues?
Gutters are helpful as they capture all the water hitting your roof or melting after the wintry weather ends. The pooling of water is bad for your roof, which is why gutters are installed to direct this water to the ground.
The correct installation of gutters angles them in a way that allows water to easily travel into the downspouts. They’re responsible for depositing the water far enough away from your house.
While gutters are designed to protect your roof and home, they can actually have the opposite effect if they become clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris.
Considering that foundation problems can also damage your roof, a negative feedback loop can emerge if you don’t target the root issues.
In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the consequences of clogged gutters . This is an important issue, as blocked gutters can turn into extremely expensive and time-consuming problems if you don’t keep a close eye on them.
How Can You Tell That Your Gutters Are Clogged?
Poor gutter maintenance is one of the most common causes of property drainage problems. The best time to check whether your gutters are clogged is during a rainy day. Check the gutter area for the following signs:
- Water sprays from the elbow joints and gutter seams.
- Some of the rain escapes over the edges of your gutter.
- Little to no water flows out of the downspouts extensions.
However, if you suspect clogged gutters but there aren’t any rainy days coming, check for these signs instead:
- The paint on your home’s siding and fascia is peeling.
- Your gutters are receding from the fascia because of the added weight.
- You can spot ground erosion directly below the gutters.
- The siding is wet or dirty just below the gutters.
- Mold and mildew are growing on the siding.
What Are the Top Problems Caused by Clogged Gutters?
Here are some of the most common issues caused by unkempt gutters.
- Gutter Damage: Clogged gutters can become damaged or break completely. Since the water has nowhere to go, the gutters may become completely full. The extra weight of this water and associated debris is enough to start bending your gutters. In some cases, the added weight will tear the gutters away from the house, resulting in significant damage.
- Flooded Basement: When water ends up pouring on your foundation, excess water may enter your basement. While the basement is unlikely to get seriously flooded in the early stages, you may still have to deal with damp conditions. As the basement walls are usually made of porous materials, the water may find an easy entry.
- Foundation Trouble: Without functioning gutters and downspout, your home’s basic structures may be threatened by the influx of water. When you have water pooling around your foundation, the resulting erosion may weaken the walls. As a result, foundation settlement and the formation of tiny cracks are likely.
- Pest Intrusion: Pooling water invites all sorts of pests and insects around your home. For instance, mosquitoes are always looking for little pools of water to use as a safe haven. Leaves, mud, and other debris can provide favorable conditions for wasp nesting activities.
- Destroyed Landscaping & Driveway: Heavy rain can interfere with your landscaping efforts. A strong downpour can run over the landscaping, damaging shrubs, trees, and plants on its way. A significant portion of your mulch could get washed away, too.
Your driveway can suffer from similar problems as your foundation. The overflowing gutters can direct water under your driveway, which leads to the formation of gaps, holes, and cracks.
Shifting is likely too. A progressing issue may start damaging your vehicles while becoming a tripping hazard for your family and guests as well.
How Do Clogged Gutters Contribute to Foundation Problems?
Gutter and foundation problems are often connected. When you have a heavy fall of water near the base of your home, water may start pooling around its foundation. This is especially likely if the land doesn’t have a proper slope away from the building.
Water pooling around the foundation usually leads to structural cracks. This process results from water entering into tiny cracks. As this trapped water freezes in the wintertime, even larger gaps and cracks appear in the affected area.
But the cracks are just one type of potential foundation issue. As the water applies pressure to the foundation walls, some movements and shifting can occur. A lack of intervention on your part can make this problem worse over time.
How to Clean a Clogged Gutter
The steps for unclogging a gutter are different depending on the exact location of the blockage.
Elbows and seams: Remove the obstruction with the help of a plumbing snake, flexible stick, or a pressure washer that comes with a telescopic wand. If none of these options are possible, disassemble the entire downspout to get rid of the blockage.
Downspout cage: Remove your downspout cage and clean it thoroughly. Then take care of the debris that got stuck in the gutter. Discard a damaged cage and install a new one.
Loose spike or hanger clogs: Remove unwanted debris. Then you’ll need to reposition the gutter supports. In some cases, minor repairs may be necessary.
In a Nutshell: Clogged Gutters & Foundation Problems
Clogged gutters can affect the integrity of your home. The pooling water around your foundation can weaken the structure, inviting cracks, gaps, and holes inside the material. As time passes, the underlying forces may cause foundation settlement as well.
And clogged gutters cause much more than foundation issues. You may have to deal with damaged gutters, intruding pests, and destroyed landscaping as well. Whenever you spot clogged gutters, fix the problem at the earliest opportunity. Doing so can save you money in the long run.
If you need help with foundation repair, the team at Granite Foundation Repair can help. We’re among the top foundation contractors in the Dallas area, and we can get to the bottom of whatever is troubling your foundation.