Do you have bowing basement walls? The culprit could be closer than you think. You simply have to look up. Your gutters could be causing your basement woes.
How gutters affect basement walls
Gutters are those long channels that run on the lower edge of the roof. These channels are designed to capture and guide runoff water from rains or melting snow on your roof. They guide the water to the downspouts, which in turn guide it to a drain.
If your gutters and downspouts are not working as they should, water will be deposited at your foundation. This results in the soil near the foundation becoming saturated with water. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on the basement walls. Your home over time begins to have bowing basement walls.
In some cases, the soils may be washed away by the water. This leaves a gap between the remaining soil and the foundation. The foundation settles unevenly, as a result causing cracking and bowing of walls as well as uneven floors.
Maintaining your gutters for a better foundation
Repairing bowing basement walls can be an involving and expensive process depending on the level of damage. Repair may involve the installation of steel beams or carbon fiber sheets to prevent further movement of the walls.
Effective repair of the walls will also involve maintenance of the gutter system. This ought to include:
- Choosing an effective gutter system
Replacing the gutter system is an important part of maintenance. However, not all systems are the same. It is important to choose a system that offers quality and functionality.
Consider investing in a gutter system made of galvanized steel, aluminum, vinyl, or copper. Look for options that include protection from debris such as leaves if you don’t want to keep cleaning the system.
- Clean the system regularly
It is important to ensure that the path remains clear for water. Keeping the system clean involves inspecting the gutters not less than 2 times a year and removing clogs and other debris in the gutter.
- Ensure proper draining
One of the most overlooked parts of the gutter system is the drainage of the downspouts. Many people leave the downspout to drain water near the foundation.
Ensure that the downspouts guide water away from the foundation and into a drain. You may want to install underground pipes to guide water drained from the downspouts into a drain far away from the foundation.