It’s fall and lots of people will tell you it’s their favorite time of year in northwest Indiana. The temperatures cool down, kids go back to school and leaves on the trees change into beautiful reds and golds.
Oh, about those leaves. When the fall foliage is done putting on its show of colors, the leaves all turn brown and fall off, with many of them ending up on your roof and in your gutters. Once the gutters are full of leaves, there’s no room for water to flow to the downspouts so where does it go? Over the edge and onto the ground, right next to your foundation -- a perfect formula for a wet basement!
Keeping water away from your home’s foundation is the single most important thing you, as a homeowner, can do to make sure your basement stays dry and your foundation intact. If the soil around your foundation becomes saturated, it can lead to seepage through wall cracks, the cove joint and around windows and pipes. Even worse, prolonged saturation can lead to structural cracks, tipping or bowing walls and a sinking foundation.
Even in northwest Indiana, where the soil is generally not as expansive (prone to swelling from saturation) as it is in other parts of the Midwest, allowing the soil around your foundation to constantly absorb water will lead to nothing but trouble.
We all know that it’s easy to ignore gutters. They’re overhead, out of our line of sight, and we’re usually not outside in the yard when it’s raining to see the water running off the roof and sheeting over the edge of the gutters onto the ground. In dry weather it’s hard to tell whether they’re clogged or not.
And, of course, cleaning them is a pain in the neck. You can always hire somebody to do it for you but that can be expensive and, honestly, who remembers? If you do it yourself, you drag out the ladder and either climb up on the roof or shuffle the ladder a few feet at a time along the length of the house, scooping out handfuls of soggy leaves, pine needles and general crud.
No fun, it’s true, but it’s a far better alternative than going through a rainy fall and spring and a snowy winter in northwest Indiana with all that water soaking the ground around your foundation. A few hours spent now will save you a lot of aggravation and expense later.
Oh, and while you’re at it, take a look at those downspouts too. If they’re dumping water right next to the foundation, just cleaning out the gutters isn’t going to save you from a wet basement or structural foundation damage. Underground downspout extensions will carry that water away from the foundation and either disperse it safely on the lawn or carry it to a municipal storm sewer.
We won’t clean your gutters for you at U.S. Waterproofing but we can repair any damage that has been caused by saturated soil around your foundation and help manage water around your foundation to prevent it from occurring again. We’ve helped more than 300,000 homeowners keep their basements dry and foundations intact, so why not schedule a free consultation?
Still not sold on why your gutters matter so much? Let’s discuss it in the Comments box below.