Clogged Downspouts: The importance of clear gutters and drains
When wet weather leaves your gutters and downspouts clogged
Yup... It's raining heavily again. We were lucky the past few weeks before Thanksgiving with some unusually dry weather but that time has come and gone and Seattle winter weather is back on track.
We want to focus on a very important topic here for homeowners as we move full speed into winter. Properly running water away from your home and away from your foundation is an often overlooked process to protecting your home during the cold winter months. Water congregating and pooling around your foundation is a big cause for concern and needs to be examined and rectified promptly.
Homeowner's routinely go about their busy lives and oftentimes won't notice gutter or downspout issues until it is too late and additional damage has occurred. This damage that comes to attention almost always shines light on the original problem. Gutters and downspouts need to move water away from the home and away from the foundation. Without them your foundation would be in deep trouble.
What is a gutter downspout extension and how does it work
If your property has gutters and downspouts but no downspout extensions then you're at risk for doing MORE damage than having no gutters or downspouts at all. Think about that statement for a minute. A house without proper gutters or downspouts is likely to have water accumulate around it evenly, as the water will more or less run off the roof and hit the ground proportionately around the entire house. This isn't a great solution nor a solution we're suggesting by any means!
Now look at how an improperly functioning gutter system can actually exacerbate the issue when you might be thinking you're doing the right thing!
In the second example let's say you have a properly functioning gutter and downspout system in place. Water hits the roof, funnels into the gutter, and eventually makes its way toward the downspout. Have you ever stopped to ask what happens at the end of the downspout? Is it moving that giant collection of water away from the foundation or is it merely pooling a huge amount of water in one spot a foot or two away from the side of the house. In this all too common example it is actually MORE destructive to have a poor-functioning downspout system than to have no system in place at all. At least with no system in place the water will fall evenly around the home. With an inadequate or damaged gutter and downspout in place you're likely to see the bulk of that previously mentioned collected water from your roof sit and pool in one location.
How do I clean my gutter and downspout to be safe
1. Get your gutter servicing done routinely. It doesn't need to be over the top and done monthly, but be smart about it and have gutter maintenance service scheduled for at minimum 3-4 times per year. If you're budget conscious then we would recommend especially in fall (October) and then again in the spring transition period (April). Making sure you're prepared for fall and winter and then again cleaning up and straightening out the mess after those two seasons have come and gone is probably the most critical two stages. Managing these two periods alone will save you tons of money down the road and it will put you ahead of 80% of other homeowners out there when it comes to proper gutter maintenance and repair.
2. Make sure your gutter downspout extensions are properly configured. If you want your downspout extensions to be hidden you'll be using a sort of yard drain system, which will most likely be buried, to remove the excess water. The downspouts should direct water into plastic corrugated tubing and the water is then moved away from the foundation. In areas where freezing temperatures are prevalent you will want to be sure to avoid connecting the downspout directly to the plastic tubing as ice will build up and force water to leak and pool directly below the connection point (which inconveniently, is often right next to the building structure itself). Instead, utilize a drainage receptor (see below):
This is just one of a few standard checks and balances for properly up-keeping your home in this blustery and wet climate we find ourselves in for a good duration of the year. Call Issaquah Window and Gutter Cleaning Service today for a free quote, free tips, or even just some free feedback on how to properly position your home for the upcoming months!