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, 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.
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, the 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.
Clogging is the most common gutter problem. Left untended, clogged gutters and downspouts will contribute to possible basement flooding. 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. Having your gutters cleaned at least once a year is standard. If you have a lot of 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.
Downspouts that drain next to your foundation is the number one cause of basement flooding and foundation repairs. Rainwater 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. Professional waterproofing and foundation contractors can do this project at very reasonable rates. While this project seems fairly simple, many variables must be considered. 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 some time to solve these problems or call a local Kansas City professional to look at them for you.