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All Clogged Up: How gutters affect your basement waterproofing

It’s fall and the big question is: Have you cleaned your gutters, yet?

If you said ‘no’, and you have a basement, then this blog is for you. Even though gutters may be overlooked when homeowners think about maintenance, they should actually be on the priority list!

Gutters catch water and rain and send it to a downspout and away from your home. They serve a purpose in keeping water from collecting and ponding around your home foundation.

Unfortunately, gutters can also be a catch-all for debris and other items. Leaves, nuts, branches, and dead animals (birds, mice, squirrels, etc.) clog gutters this time of year. If you have trees near your home, you have double the risk of your gutters getting clogged.

So, when gutters get clogged, rainwater pools around the home’s foundation. If this is not corrected, several things may occur:

  1. Water seeps into the basement, causing mold to grow.
  2. The soil around the foundation erodes and causes the foundation to settle.
  3. The home foundation begins cracking and bowing.

You can avoid costly home foundation repairs by doing the following:

  1. Clean the gutters: Get a ladder and reach into the gutters and clean them out.
  2. Add a gutter guard or similar block over your gutters. These will keep debris and leaves out of your gutter. Guards block the gutters and keep them clean year-round. They should, however, be cleaned at least twice a year.
  3. Hire a professional gutter cleaner. Gutter cleaning can be dangerous as you have to climb a ladder and do the work in precarious spots around the house. Instead, have a professional gutter cleaning company clean your gutters. They not only clean the gutters, but they blow them dry and replace the gutter guards if you have them.
  4. Seal the gutter leaks: Once your gutters have been cleaned, examine them for small holes or leaks. If you find any leaks or holes, seal them with a special gutter caulking compound. Popular compounds such as butyl rubber caulk are used. Spread the caulking compound evenly over any holes or leaks using a butter knife.
  5. Direct water runoff away from your home foundation: Have a roofing contractor examine your roof to see if water is collecting there and then leaking into your foundation.
  6. Repair the clogged downspouts: Check the bottom of your downspout and make sure it isn’t blocked. If it is blocked, you may be able to use a leaf blower or wet-dry vacuum to blow it out. If you are not sure how to do this effectively, have a professional do it for you.

Fall is here, and leaves are falling heavy now in Central Maryland. So, clean your gutters now before they get too clogged and cause damage to your home’s foundation. Save money and stress!

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.