You probably already know this, but you truly don’t want a flooded basement. It can quickly damage or destroy your walls, floors, carpeting, furniture and HVAC appliances – not to mention soak your heirloom Christmas ornaments. A house with a basement that has recently flooded is at significantly greater risk of becoming colonized by mold, which can cause further property damage in addition to myriad health problems. A flooded basement is also an electrical hazard until a licensed professional has removed the home’s electrical meter.
Above all else, a flooded basement is an expensive problem. It costs an average of $60,000 to repair an unfinished basement after it has flooded with contaminated water. The average cost of a home insurance water damage claim is much lower at almost $7,000 – but that’s still money you would rather spend on anything else.
We advise investing that money in rain gutters. In addition to protecting your roof against water damage and your foundation against erosion, gutters are an effective way to prevent a flooded basement!
How Do Gutters Prevent Basement Flooding?
Naturally, gutters can’t prevent all flooding. If a dam next to your house breaks, your gutters will do nothing to minimize the ensuing property damage. But when gutters only do their job correctly, they will spare you the headache of a flooded basement.
If your home doesn’t have gutters – or if its current gutter system is no longer effective – then rainwater and meltwater will pool around your foundation. Water always follows the path of least resistance. Even if your home’s foundation is entirely devoid of cracks, the concrete it is made of is still porous enough to allow the gradual passage of liquid water.
A gutter system can’t completely prevent seepage from taking place, but it will slow to a degree that preempts basement flooding. It works simply enough: gutters collect water as it runs off the roof, directs it to a downspout, and lets it slowly pour out onto the ground a safe distance away from the foundation.
How to Make Sure Your Gutter System Will Prevent Basement Flooding
Maintain gutters. Clean your gutters twice a year, or more frequently if your home is surrounded by many trees which drop leaves, twigs, cones and needles. Bird and squirrel nests also obstruct gutters and must be removed before they can dam up the system. Gutter guards can prevent debris from accumulating inside gutters, but they do not eliminate the need for regular cleaning.
Check downspouts. If your gutter system is not keeping water out of your basement, your downspouts may not be long enough. Various authorities recommend downspout lengths between 2 to 10 feet; 5 feet is a conservative minimum threshold. If you remove your downspouts while mowing your lawn, take extra care to replace them once you have finished. For greater convenience, consider adding flip up runoffs to your downspouts.
Check gutter slope. Ideally, your gutters should slope 0.25 inches downward for every 10 feet of horizontal length. Insufficient slope may prevent gutters from draining fully; excessive slope may cause water to drain so quickly that it causes erosion. If any of your gutters are drooping, they are likely allowing water to overflow and access your basement.
Replace Worn Out Gutters to Prevent Basement Flooding
All the maintenance in the world cannot compensate for a very old or badly damaged gutter system. If your gutters exhibit any of the following, arrange to have them replaced at once:
- Peeling paint
- Standing water
- Overflowing water
If you notice rust stains on your exterior walls, soil erosion on your lawn, or fasteners lying on the ground near your house, these are also signs that your current gutter system is no longer effective at its job. Furthermore, if you have recently built an extension on your home, it is not complete until it sports a new set of gutters.
Curry’s Custom Cut Gutter Prevents Flooded Basements If your home or commercial property is located in the greater Rochester, MN area, then preventing a flooded basement is easy. Just contact Curry’s Custom Cut Gutter today! Our pros are standing by to install the attractive and durable gutter system that will safely divert precipitation away from your foundation.