Although often overlooked, the state of your gutters plays an important role in protecting your home from water damage and can even affect your foundation if malfunctioning. If your gutters begin to fail, it could cause issues for your home’s structural integrity and safety, as well as lower your property value. Problems with gutters can also result in thousands of dollars in repairs with water issues and foundation repairs. One of the most common issues homeowners face with their gutters is when they fail to drain and direct rainwater away from their homes.
This is likely due to a clog or backup or in some cases a separated gutter joint. When this is the case, any water that doesn’t drain away from your home can spill over and cause cracks in your foundation. It is important to have your gutters annually inspected and cleaned out to prevent this from happening.
The Correlation Between Foundation Cracks and Your Gutters
When your gutter system starts to fail it can cause water to flow onto your yard and saturate the soil around your foundation. This leads to erosion and pooling water around your home, causing foundation cracks or a shifting or settling foundation. These are serious problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible by a professional. Telltale signs of this are leaning or bowing walls in your basement, foundation cracks, wall cracks, ceiling cracks, and sticking windows and doors.
Since water will always find the path of least resistance, any water that doesn’t properly drain out of your downspouts will leak into any cracks in your foundation. When cracks in your foundation are spotted, it’s a serious sign that damage has progressed and needs to be repaired. As your foundation is responsible for keeping the rest of your home structurally sound, any damage to it can spell out trouble for its integrity.
Why Gutters Start to Fail
Noticing cracks in your foundation can be nerve-wracking and scary. When you have failing gutters, this can be the main source of the problem and it’s important to address the damage as soon as possible. By hiring one of our professionals, you can rest assured that we’ll take care of any problems your gutters may be facing. Here are some of the most common reasons why your gutters start to fail.
Constant exposure to the elements can cause most building materials to deteriorate over time. This is a natural process that can lead to needing repairs, cosmetic damage, and other problems down the road. As your gutter system ages, tiny holes can form and gradually get bigger, leading to leaks. When the weather is dry, these holes can be hard to find as no water is draining through them. To try and locate them, we recommend filling a bucket with water and pouring it down your gutters (if you feel comfortable doing so).
Clogs in your gutters are almost impossible to avoid. Although beautiful, trees are the number one reason this happens. From their leaves shedding in the autumn months, to pine needles falling year-round, the natural debris can clog your gutters and cause failure. Other things such as pests, bird nests, and even snakes can find their way into your gutters and lead to backups that need to be removed.
Regardless of the debris that’s clogging your gutters, if this is the case, you’ll start to see water flowing over top of your gutter. This excess water can lead to cracks in your foundation and other structural damage. Making sure your gutters stay free from debris is important to maintaining their effectiveness. If you think this might be the cause of your foundation cracks, schedule a professional cleaning and inspection to protect your home.
When first installed, your gutters will have a natural slope to them so water can easily flow towards the downspouts. If your gutter system is older or never sees annual maintenance, they may start to sag in certain areas, or the fasteners may loosen. This is usually a pretty intensive fix and is not recommended to be done yourself as entire sections may need to be replaced or rehung.
Factors such as standing water, rust, or even clogs can all cause the joints in your gutters to become separated. This can also be the case with gutter leakage and can cause serious damage to your foundation. Some DIY websites recommend repairing these joints with caulk or waterproof sealant but this usually can result in even more damage if not done properly.
Sometimes the entire connection joint may need to be repaired so it’s best to have a gutter professional assess the problem before any repairs are made.
What Do Foundation Cracks Look Like?
If you feel as if your gutters are causing problems for your home, it may be time for an inspection. This can be done by you or one of our professionals by walking around the perimeter of your home and looking for damage. Here are some pictures of what foundation cracks can look like.
Frequently Asked Questions – Foundation Cracks
When your gutters are clogged with leaves, branches or other debris, water can’t effectively flow through the drainpipe and down the downspout. This leads to water flowing over your gutters and pooling around your foundation. When water sits on top of the soil it becomes saturated and causes hydrostatic pressure to build up and crack your foundation. Fortunately, Athens has well-draining sandy loam soil, but problems can still arise if too much rainfall hits the area.
When it comes to foundation wall cracks, there are seemingly endless repair methods. From helical piers to wall anchor systems, each foundation wall repair method serves to restore damage that has been caused by different forces. Identifying the cause of your foundation wall cracks will help you find the foundation wall repair method that will provide strength and stability to your home for years to come.
Here at AquaGuard, we go above and beyond fixing the issue cosmetically. Our staff works diligently to find the root cause of the problems and offer solutions that give you peace of mind knowing foundation wall cracks won’t become a recurring issue.
Choose the Experts at AquaGuard to Repair Your Gutter System and Prevent Damage
If your home is experiencing cracks in its foundation, it may be due to your gutter system failing. Call our experts today to set up a free inspection and written estimate of repairs. At AquaGuard we’re committed to protecting your home for years to come against water and we have decades of experience in doing so.
We serve homeowners in Athens, Atlanta, and Columbus, Georgia, so call us today and get peace of mind for your home!