Water Damage From Gutters: Signs & Prevention
It may not be obvious, but the gutters of your home can be a major culprit of water damage. Your gutter system is designed to carry water away from your home, helping to protect it from flooding and structural damages. Gutters also protect the siding of your home and window frames from water damage.
When gutters are clogged, heavy rains can cause them to overflow and direct gallons of water directly down the side of your house and to the ground below - Doing the exact opposite of what they are designed to do. Blocked gutter damage can cause huge problems for your home inside and out. Here, we will review the signs of damage from gutters and what you can do to prevent it.
Signs Clogged Gutters Are Causing Water Damage
- Water Flowing Down Siding - When water in your gutters cannot flow down the downspouts, it overflows and runs down the exterior wall. Although the siding of your home is designed to withstand water, they are not completely waterproof, meaning that they will not withstand a constant flow of water. This constant flow will eventually seep behind the siding, penetrate the exterior sheathing of your home, and find it's way to the living space of your home.
- Higher Levels of Groundwater - The overflowing water from the clogged gutter saturates the ground immediately below. This increase of groundwater directly outside the foundation of your home increases hydrostatic pressure on your foundation and makes basement flooding more likely.
- Cracks in the Foundation - The amount of water flowing directly to the foundation of your home can wear it down, shift it, and cause cracks and buckling.
- Basement Flooding When It Rains - As mentioned earlier, the higher level of groundwater makes it more likely that your basement will be wet when it rains. Clogged gutters cause water in basements.
- Rotting Wood - If you notice wood on your roof, soffit, or fascia boards of your home, it is likely due to standing water from overflowing gutters. Even a few hours of standing water can cause wood to begin to rot.
- Water in Attic - Clogged gutters become heavy due to the weight of trapped water and may begin to pull away from your home. When this happens, it can pull at the soffit and fascia of the roof and allow water to flow into the attic causing water damage and mold growth.
The water damage from clogged gutters can affect every level of your home, from the attic to the basement.
Preventing Blocked Gutter Damage
Preventing your gutters from overflowing and causing water damage to your home is quite easy. All you have to do is clear out any debris from your gutters at least once a year. This is most important to be done towards the end of fall and in the spring, as these are the times of year where the most debris may be caught in your gutters.
When cleaning out your gutters, be sure to take proper safety steps. Find a tall enough ladder, thick gloves, buckets, and a hose to clear debris out. Be sure to have someone at the bottom of your ladder in cause you lose stability or lose your grip.