Many homeowners, especially those who live in rainy areas, will inevitably have to ask themselves one question: do gutters help foundation?
The truth is that gutters are possibly one of the most underappreciated components of your home’s exterior.
A constantly damp foundation is prone to mold growth, pest infestations, and structural damage. Having a gutter system, however, reduces, if not completely eliminates, the possibility of such issues occurring.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into how gutters help foundations, as well as the entire house structure, so be sure to stick around!
Do Gutters Help Foundation?
Gutters are essential for preventing foundation damage from rain and other precipitation. Without a gutter system, rainwater and snowmelt will:
- Collect on the roof
- Slide down the siding
- Pool against the foundation
Water collecting on the roof and sliding down a building’s siding can cause rot and damage the interior walls.
On the other hand, water pooling against the foundation can cause erosion, flooding, and structural deterioration over time. Worse, if the water freezes during the winter, it can spread and widen the cracks, resulting in severe damage to the house.
Fixing these damages won’t only be time-consuming but also extremely costly. What’s more, such water damage to a house’s foundation and siding can significantly reduce its resale value.
As a result, you can see how crucial having a gutter system is to protecting your home from water damage.
Look at it this way: the money, time, and effort you put into installing and maintaining a gutter system is essentially a preventative measure.
It ensures that you won’t have to spend much more money, time, and effort repairing your foundation due to severe water damage.
How Does a Gutter System Work?
Gutters typically consist of one or more sets of parallel pipes that are connected at each end. These pipes are installed in your home’s siding, below eaves, in the gutter-run-off section, and along your roof.
These pipes collect rainwater and snowmelt as it slides down the roof. Then, they channel the water through the gutter system into the downspouts.
In turn, the downspouts direct the water from the gutters into either a larger underground drainage system or a splash block, which further directs the water away from the house.
When you’re installing a gutter system, just keep in mind that the downspouts should discharge the water at least 4-6 feet, preferably 10 feet, away from your house. This distance is sufficient to divert water away from your structure and avoid future water damage.
What Other Problems Can Gutters Prevent?
A well-maintained gutter system protects not only the foundation but also the entire structure by preventing:
1 – Siding Damage
Gutters prevent rain and snow that cascades down your roof from directly touching the siding. Without a gutter system, water will settle into the siding and cause a slew of problems that will worsen as the siding remains damp.
Siding damage begins with staining and paint damage. Then, the siding of the house begins to rot. These problems don’t just curb the overall appearance and aesthetic appeal of the house. They also require a lot of effort and money to reverse their damage.
2 – Flooding
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow, a gutter system can keep your home from flooding, especially if you have a basement.
Gutter systems collect the rainwater and snowmelt that falls from your roof and deposit it away from the structure.
Without gutters, the water will pool around your home, weakening the foundation and seeping into the building. Then, one bad storm can flood the entire basement.
A flooded basement or home will require time and effort to clean. You’ll need to either pump out the water yourself or call a professional.
If the water from the flooding isn’t removed right away, there’s a huge possibility that the property will suffer from several issues, including foundation damage and mold growth.
3 – Mold and Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew growth is almost always a given in gutterless homes. Rainwater and snowmelt leave the foundation and siding damp for too long, creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew.
What’s more, the water can slip inside through the windows and cause moisture buildup inside, triggering a mold and mildew growth problem.
Even worse, the process of ridding a house completely of mold and mildew is far from easy. In fact, it’s extremely time-consuming and costly.
That’s why installing a gutter system is necessary to protect your home from any moisture buildup that can lead to mold and mildew.
4 – Electrical Hazards
The water cascading down the siding and pooling around the foundation puts the house and its occupants in danger of electrical hazards.
If water gets into one of the outdoor outlets or contacts any wiring, it can cause a slew of serious issues, including short circuits and damage to the wirings.
With a gutter system, however, neither rainwater nor snowmelt will come into contact with any electrical wiring or outlets.
5 – Soil Erosion
One of the most common problems that property owners face if they don’t install gutters is soil erosion to the soil covering the foundation.
The amount of water that falls from the roofline can cause changes in soil conditions, eventually decimating the soils around the house. Your home’s foundation will be exposed to water and other elements as the soil deteriorates.
These extreme changes may end up putting severe strain on the foundation’s corners and edges. As a result, the foundation may push inward, resulting in superficial as well as structural cracks. The basement walls may also bow inward as a result of this.
6 – Bug Infestations
Standing water attracts mosquitoes and other insects. Therefore, the pools of water that collect around a house without gutters become breeding grounds for those bugs.
However, if you have a gutter system, the gutters and downspouts will direct the water to a location where it can be absorbed immediately, such as grass or a garden.
Gutters will protect your foundation as long as they’re properly maintained and regularly cleaned. Otherwise, they can get clogged and cause a whole other set of issues to your foundation, such as roof damage and landscape erosion.
So, here are some tips to help you maintain your gutter system.
- Make sure your home’s gutters are free of holes and gaps.
- Ensure that your gutters are tightly installed to your home’s structure. Sagging gutters could easily get clogged.
- Check for any debris in your gutters’ downspouts and make sure to clean them regularly.
Skipping on cleaning your gutters can lead to costly replacements and repairs. So, ideally, you should clean your gutters once or twice a year, more often if you have lots of trees near your roof.
That said, instead of cleaning your gutters yourself, we recommend hiring a professional to clean and inspect them. A professional has the necessary tools, equipment, and know-how to clean the gutter system thoroughly.
Not to mention that a professional will make sure to fix any problems to prevent any future mishaps.
Do gutters help foundation?
It’s a fair question to ask because installing and maintaining a gutter system can be both strenuous and costly. Luckily, gutters are extremely helpful to a foundation.
The time, effort, and money you spend on your home’s gutter system will protect your foundation from the disastrous repercussions of water damage.
If your home has no gutter system, pooling water around the property and water cascading down the siding may lead to rot, peeling paint, and pest infestations, among other serious problems.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.