Thursday, April 9, 2009
Problem with no gutters = wet basement and crawlspace
This should be obvious, but I keep running into homes without any gutters at all. If you do not have gutters, INSTALL THEM. Considering the benefit they provide your home, they are relatively inexpensive. Water runs off the roof and pours right up against the foundation of the house. Another common problem with gutters is undersized gutters that over pour. If your gutters over pour, you are aiding your wet basement problem.
Also, if your gutters work properly and the downspouts pour out within 5 feet of your home, then you still have a problem. A 1200 square foot roof in a 1” rain puts off 750 gallons of water. If all this water pours out right next to the house, it is still draining on top of a loose, back filled soil (more on that below). Downspouts need to be extended so that roof water is taken away from your basement or crawlspace foundation.
When your home was built, the soil around your basement or crawlspace was excavated. The back filled soil around the perimeter of the home is not as compacted as the virgin soil further out in the yard that was not disturbed during excavation. Water follows the path of least resistance. The excavated and back filled soil around the house is loose and water will build up pressure against the foundation. Ever heard of “hydrostatic” pressure on your foundation, this is the water pressure that builds up against your foundation in the loose, excavated soil. Proper gutter flow and downspout extensions will reduce the water build up against the foundation and “ease” the hydrostatic pressure on your foundation.
We do not install properly sized gutters, but we do know a few guys that do. We DO extend downspouts underground, taking the roof water away from your home. This will help dry your basement or crawlspace. For a free estimate on downspout extensions, give us a call @ 1-877-409-2837 or visit our website at http://www.americanbasementsolutions.com/lawndrainage.html
Thanks for reading the rambling thoughts of a downspout inspector,
Larry Ralph Jr.