Improper / inadequate rain gutter downspouts are a large contributor to foundation failure.
Heavy rains and storms can flood gutters by blowing debris onto the roof and into the gutters.
This gutter flooding causes the downspouts to clog up. Once the downspout cannot flow water through it anymore, it will cause the gutter to overflow and dump water directly below. Heavy amounts of water saturating the soil causes the soil to expand and damage the foundation walls. The expansion presses against the wall causing movement which ultimately cracks the foundation.
Water intrusion and foundation movement repairs are very costly. Today is a good day to check your downspout drainage. It is important to ensure you not only have proper rain drainage from your roof, but also have clean gutters.
Cleaning your gutters is fairly easy – here’s how to do it!
You never know what you will find in your gutters! Photo by Timothy Valentine
First, clear your gutters of all debris by gathering the leaves and sticks into a bucket.
There are some devices out on the market that help you clean your gutters using an extension pole, but the best option (and most effective option) is to clear the bits out by hand, using gloves if necessary.
Typical residential downspout photo by ArmchairBuilder.com
Next, if your downspouts are clogged, detach them completely. Most are removed by dislodging a couple screws near the top, and the entire unit slides off.
Once your gutters and downspouts are clear, reassemble the downspouts and rinse them out by running a hose into the gutter.