It is a well-known fact that water is the greatest enemy of concrete foundations. Your home’s gutter system is designed to reduce the amount of water in the soil near your foundation. It captures the water that flows off your roof when there is rainfall or when the snow on it melts and redirects it away from your foundations.
However, a gutter system in poor working order can damage your foundations. Find out why.
What happens when rainwater is not directed away from your foundations
Various gutter problems can cause water to not be carried away from the foundation and to seep into the ground in large quantities.
For example, when gutters are blocked by leaves, branches or other debris at the roof level, the water cannot follow its path to the downspouts. Instead, the gutters overflow and discharge water directly towards the concrete foundation.
A downspout that flows too close to a building’s foundations can also, of course, encourage water accumulation in the soil adjacent to the foundations. For this reason, building codes recommend that water be diverted at least two metres from the foundations of a house.
The concrete slab can lose its supports
The soil around your home is sensitive to weather conditions. It can react in different ways to changes in temperature and the amount of moisture it contains. Certain types of soil, such as those containing a high amount of clay, are particularly sensitive to it.
If the ground under the slab changes volume, settles or fades due to weather conditions, the concrete slab may lose its supports. A heavy load located on a part of the foundation that no longer rests on solid ground can cause cracks to appear on the slab or walls.
Water can soak and even pass through your foundations
The laws of physics require that water always follows the path of least resistance. When it accumulates near your foundations, the easiest way for it to get directly into your basement may be through your foundations, causing water seepage, moisture and, potentially, mould.
In addition, if excessive amounts of water soak into the foundations of your home, the extra weight puts pressure on your basement walls, which can cause them to move, bend or crack.
Maintain your gutters to avoid foundation problems
In conclusion, simple maintenance of your gutter system will prevent damage to your foundations. Make sure that they are clear and that the downspouts redirect the water flow far enough away from your home.
If cracks in your foundations, water leaks or the appearance of mould in your basement are what prompted you to read about this subject, you can contact Foundation Crack Expert Group for advice. Our team will be able to evaluate the situation you are facing and offer you the best solution to your foundation problem.