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How Clogged Gutters can Affect your Foundation

clock September 30, 2013 09:08 by author
Do you have standing water around your foundation? Clogged gutters can cause an accumulation of water and lead to serious foundation problems.

How Clogged Gutters can Affect your Foundation

Although you may not think about it, the state of your gutters can affect many other areas of your home, including your foundation. If your gutters do not function properly, it could pose a threat to the overall integrity and safety of your home, lower the property value, or lead to foundation repairs and water issues. The most common problem that homeowners face with their gutters is that they fail to drain or channel excess rain water far enough away from the home.  If water is not able to travel through the gutter, it is most likely because the gutter has become clogged with leaves or debris. This is especially common in the autumn season when the trees are dropping their leaves. If you have clogged gutters often lead to costly foundation repairs that require extensive labor. Having your gutters regularly cleaned (at least once or twice a year) can prevent such problems from arising.

If your gutters have become clogged, it is important to understand and check for any other foundation problems that they may have caused. Overflowing water from clogged gutters will most likely end up pooling around your foundation. Over time, this excess water can lead to the erosion of soil around and underneath the foundation. The water could also leak directly into the basement through existing cracks in the foundation or basement walls, leading to multiple foundation issues, and water damage.

Erosion and pooling water around your foundation will weaken it, eventually causing foundation cracks or a shifting or settling foundation. These are serious problems that should be repaired as soon as possible by a professional foundation repair contractor. There are some telltale signs to look for when trying to determine if you have a settling foundation or sinking foundation. If you notice leaning walls or bowing walls in your home or in your basement, it is a good indicator that something is wrong with the foundation. Another quite obvious indicator may be foundation cracks, itself, wall cracks, or even ceiling cracks. Sticking windows and doors are another good sign that your foundation is in need of repair. Sometimes, a damaged foundation may even lead to a wet basement. If you find any of these problems with your foundation, contact My Foundation Repairs for the expert service that you need to take care of all your foundation repair needs.

Foundation Repair Solutions for Clogged Gutter Issues

My Foundation Repairs offers a variety of foundation repair services to insure that your home is returned to normal in the shortest amount of time possible. The most common fix for most of the above problems is to raise the foundation back to it's original position by a method called underpinning and then seal any cracks that may have formed in the foundation or walls. To do this, we use helical piers or steel push piers to support the foundation. These work by drilling into the stable soil underneath any voids that may have been caused by erosion or shifting soil. Then the weight of the house is transferred onto the helical pier or steel push pier and the house is raised to it's original position. We also provide epoxy and polyurethane grout crack injection to fill any cracks that may have formed and insure that water does not leak through them and into your home.

My Foundation Repair offers top solution for all of your foundation repair issues. We use quality methods and reliable materials from ECP (Earth Contact Products) to guarantee the welfare of your home. Don't let clogged gutters get the best of you; contact us for a free estimate today!



Sources of Basement Water Leaks

clock September 6, 2011 16:33 by author blogadmin
Clogged gutters and wall cracks lead to basement water leaks. Know what is causing your water issues so you can identify the source of the problem.

Basement Water Leaks

Basement waterproofing, wall cracksWhere is the water coming from? Basement water leaks can be elusive at times. The following will help you narrow down the source of your leak and guide you toward the best way to seal your basement.

1. Do you get the water after all rains or just on the heavy rains? If it doesn’t matter on the severity of the rain, and you experience seepage on a light rain or on a heavy downpour, you probably have an issue with your runoff grading or downspouts and gutters. If your basement is unaffected by the light and quick rains, but floods during prolonged storms, heavy downpours, or multiple days of rain, you most likely are dealing with the water table rising up due to the ground getting saturated and having no place to go except through cracks and openings in your basement.

2. Do you get water as soon as it starts to rain or does it come in the next day or hours after the rain has stopped? If the seepage occurs within 30 minutes or less of when it starts to rain, you most likely have an exterior problem. Once again, check your grading, downspouts and gutters and make sure the water is directed away from the house and gutters are clean. If it takes many hours or even the following day and you see moisture or puddles on the floor, this points to the water table taking its time rising up from below your basement floor and seeping in.

3. Does the water come from where the floor and the wall meet or does it come down the wall starting at eye level? When water comes from the wall at eye level and runs down the basement wall you most likely have an exterior problem. Eye level should typically coincide with where the grade meets the exterior of the house. If the water comes in where the floor meets the wall, this suggests the hydrostatic pressure from the water table underneath the basement slab and over saturated soils.

If your answer to these questions all lead to the water table being the source of your seepage, then the one and only way to permanently fix the problem is to install an sealed interior drain system. These interior drain tile systems are one of the more important aspects to keeping moisture from entering your home. This sealed interior drain system uses the most effective approach by using a perforated drain pipe that is installed inside the perimeter of the footing. They are building code approved when installed and sealed correctly by one of our professonals. The drain pipe drains the area to a lower level. 

Waterproofing Steps

Water problems are the main cause for foundation problems. Knowing the cause of water leaks will lead to the solutions needed to waterproofing your home. Determine if it is an interior or exterior problem. On the exterior, make sure the soil is properly graded areound the periometer of your home. If it is not, you may need re-grading or surface drainage installation. Check gutters and downspouts to make sure the run-off is draining away from the home. Look at the exterior concrete and make sure the concrete is not falling toward the home. If it is, the concrete may need to be taken out and replaced. Basements and crawlspaces also need an exterior drainage system next to footing. Sump pumps should be installed and determining the correct size of the sump pump is critical. It it is too small, it won't keep up with the amount of water coming in. A pump that is too big is also a problem because it will pump water so fast that the pump will 'short cycle' which will cause it to fail and replacement needed. Let a professional help you to determine what waterproofing solution is needed for your particular water problems. 

For a Free Estimate visit MyWaterproofing.com



Solving Common Rain Gutter Problems

clock October 10, 2010 15:43 by author blogadmin
Clean your gutters from leaves and debris to avoid standing water. Clogged gutters lead to flooding and major foundation repairs.

 

 

Your gutters are designed to perform one simple, yet very important task—collect and move water away from your foundation. While this sounds like a very simple function it is also critical in protecting your home from flooding and structural damage. Even with only a ½” rain, on a 2,000 square foot roof, produces 1,000 gallons of water for your gutter system to move. Now that’s a lot of water!

For your gutter system to perform its duty properly, they have to be kept in good shape, clean and free of clogs, holes, and sagging. A well maintained gutter system will provide you with years of service and protect your home from costly basement flooding and foundation repairs. Fortunately, solving common rain gutter problems is fairly simple, requiring only a ladder, a hammer, a three foot level and a little free time.

Missing Gutters

If your house has no gutters, consider having a system installed immediately. The amount of damage that uncontrolled rain water can cause is staggering. It is not a coincidence that Texas has many homes without gutters and they also have the highest incidence of foundation problems. Missing gutters can also have devastating effects on windows and siding. The costs of adding gutters varies greatly due to options, materials and linear footage.

Leaking, Dripping Gutters

Leaking gutter joints need to be sealed by caulking the joint from the inside with a gutter sealant, found at most hardware stores. This is a fairly simple repair that only costs about $5. Other than large areas of damage, gutter sealant will seal holes and joint issues. If you have a large hole or a severely disconnected seam, using gutter sealant with a patching material usually will suffice. Many Kansas City hardware stores carry a gutter patching kit with simple instructions.

Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Clogging is the most common gutter problem. Whether from leaves, roof debris or toys, gutters can get clogged and cause water to flow over their edges and down along side of your foundation. Left untended, clogged gutters and downspouts will contribute to possible basement flooding. Recently I had to remove eight golf balls from my downspout that was overflowing (evidently golf balls sound neat running down gutters and downspouts). The amount of debris that can buildup within your gutters can really add up to a significant amount of weight that can cause sagging and standing water. You can clean your gutters yourself if you’re comfortable on a ladder, don’t mind getting wet and dirty, and don’t have an extremely tall house. After cleaning out the heavy deposits, flush the gutters with a garden hose to make sure they’re flowing properly. If you prefer, you can hire someone to do the job for you for, between $50 and $250. Cleaning, or having your gutters cleaned at least once a year, or twice a year if you have a lot of trees nearby is standard. If you have many trees hanging over your home or have a chronic clogging problem, some type of gutter cover may be necessary. Most area hardware stores have mesh style covers that can be effective. There are also many different proprietary gutter covers on the market, such as the Gutter Helmet, Gutter Guard, LeafX, Gutter Topper and LeafGuard. Each has its own unique design yet they all are designed to keep debris, including golf balls, out of your gutter system.

Poor Gutter Slope

The first rule when dealing with water is – water runs downhill. Gutters need to be sloped toward the downspouts for the water to flow well. The standard is ¼” downward slope per 10’ of horizontal run. This is where your level comes into play. A visual inspection inside your gutter will also let you know if you have a gutter slope or pitch problem. Grab your ladder after a rain or cleaning and look in the gutter; if there’s standing water, you have a problem.

Downspouts Draining Next to the Foundation

Downspouts that drain next to your foundation is the number one cause of basement flooding and foundation repairs. Rain water needs to be directly at least 10’ beyond the foundation. This can be accomplished above grade or below grade. While splash blocks help they just are not long enough to keep water away from your foundation. Due to mowing and aestitics, running drain pipe below grade to a exit grate or popup emitter is the best solution. Professional waterproofing and foundation contractors can do this project at very reasonable rates. While this project seems fairly simple, many variables must be considered and this is best left to professionals due to its importance.

Fortunately, most common gutter problems are easy to fix. A general maintenance plan is simple and well worth the effort to prevent much larger problems down the road. Take the time to walk around your home next weekend and look for visual clues to your overall water drainage system. Are the gutter and downspouts running clear? Are the downspouts discharging at least 10’ from the foundation? Is the soil around your foundation sloped away from the foundation? Has there been obvious spillover from your guttering system? Take some time to solve these problems or call a local Kansas City professional to look at them for you.



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