When you first think about foundation issues, poor construction, soil washout or erosion, and even pest infestations may be some of the first things that come to mind.
Although all can be reasons for damage, one of the most common factors contributing to foundation problems is clogged and failing gutters. This is because when water can’t flow through your gutter system successfully, it spills over the top of your gutter, causing puddles around your foundation.
What Pooling Water Does To Your Foundation
When your gutters are damaged, any water that doesn’t flow down the downspout will find the path of least resistance. If your gutters have cracks or separated joints, water will escape out of them. This could be anything from spilling down your home’s walls, pooling around your foundation, or damaging your landscape. All of which cause immense damage and destruction to your home, leading to costly repairs.
When water pools around your foundation, it can cause the soil around your home to become saturated and lead to hydrostatic pressure.
This pressure bears down on your home’s foundation walls and can cause foundation settlement and force your walls to go inwards.
During the summer months when the air is hot and dry, the clay soil in Detroit will shrink and erode causing further foundation settlement.
This can lead to problems like wall and chimney cracks, uneven floors, and sticking windows and doors.
Since water will trickle wherever it can, any cracks or crevices in your home can lead to possible flooding and severe mold growth.
What Part Gutters Play In Protecting Your Foundation
Your gutters are one of the most important parts of your home’s water management systems. They work by catching any precipitation that falls on your roof such as snow or rain and then direct it to the downspout and away from your home.
As water flows through it, any leftover debris such as leaves, twigs, or pine needles is carried through the gutters and becomes stuck. When this happens, your gutters clog, and then any water that tries to flow through it will overflow and spill over the sides. This causes puddles around the foundation and eventually damage to your home and landscape.
It’s important to have regular maintenance of your gutter systems so that they can effectively drain water away from your home. When your gutters are damaged, your home may suffer thousands of dollars in repairs.
What Pooling Does to Your Landscaping
Landscape erosion is also a consequence of water pooling around your foundation.
Below we’ll explore what can happen if gutter repairs aren’t made.
Washing Away Flowers & Plants
It’s common for homes in the Detroit metro area to have plants or flowers planted near their foundations. However, when water dumps from gutters and pools, your plants and flowers are easily washed away, requiring replanting or, in extreme cases, entirely new plants.
Altered Yard Grade
When your house was built, your yard should have been graded away from your home, so water runs down and away from your home’s foundation. However, with water puddles, the grade can actually change. This shift, combined with the amount of water being dumped near your foundation, can cause serious structural issues if not addressed quickly.
Exterior Concrete & Pavers Shifting
Water puddles cause erosion, and lead to sinking or uneven exterior concrete slabs and pavers in your driveway, sidewalks, or walkways. Water erosion causes voids under these areas; with no support available, the slabs or pavers sink and become uneven. Sinking and shifting slabs can be a tripping hazard, especially around a pool or for those less sure on their feet.
When homes are first constructed, it’s generally recommended that downspouts drain water about 10 ft. away from the foundation. The further away that water flows, the safer your home is from damage. This can be achieved by installing downspout extensions, drainage systems, or ensuring that your yard’s grade slope is negative. This simply means that whenever it rains or the snow begins to melt, any water will flow away from your home and not toward it.
Many homeowners believe that concrete is indestructible. Although used for virtually every building, driveway, and sidewalk, concrete is still a porous material. This means that it has thousands of tiny pores within it that water can easily flow through and cause damage. When water sits on top of concrete for a prolonged period it can cause it to crack and become uneven. The same goes for your home’s foundation. When water sits around your foundation, whether in the soil or around the base, it can cause severe structural damage.
If you feel comfortable enough to inspect your gutters, it’s important to look out for a few key damage indicators.
Look for clogged gutters, broken or separated joints, or cracks and holes. All can cause water to puddle around your home’s foundation and cause damage.
If you notice these signs of damage, it’s important to call one of our professionals to come out and recommend which repairs your gutter system may need.
This could be anything from installing downspout extensions to gutter protection.
Let The Experts At FSM Repair Your Gutter Systems
If you notice water pooling around your foundation or spilling down the sides of your home, you may need gutter repairs.
When water sits around your home it can cause damage to its structural integrity leading to thousands of dollars in repairs.
Don’t wait any longer to fix your gutters and call the team at Foundation Systems of Michigan to help. We specialize in gutter repair systems and are well-trained in spotting signs of damage to your home.
We serve homeowners in Detroit, Alpena, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and surrounding areas. During the inspection, our expert will provide you with a free written, no-obligation estimate of our repairs so you can be better informed to make a decision that’s best for your home.
Contact us today to learn more!