Do you think about where the water from downspouts ends up? Well, it’s the job of gutters and downspouts to direct roof water AWAY from your home. When they’re not in good condition, however, large amounts of water are just dumped right next to your foundation, which causes seepage into your home and even worse, foundation movement.
In the Toledo area, where many foundations are surrounded by an expansive soil like clay, balancing ground hydration is so important. If there’s not enough rain, the clay can dry out causing it to shrink and crack. When you’ve got the weight of a house sitting on top of that dry clay, compressing and movement occur. Thankfully, dry spells here aren’t as frequent as say, Texas where residents regularly water the ground around their foundations to keep the clay moist.
On the other hand, too much moisture is also a bad thing. When it rains a lot, the soil surrounding basements gets oversaturated. When this oversaturation softens the ground beneath shallow foundations like attached garages, room additions, and crawl spaces, the weight of the space sinks because the ground it’s resting on it all MUD. On deeper foundations, the oversaturated clay pushes against the foundation walls causing them to crack and bow.
This is why it’s important to care about what happens to the water from downspouts. Controlling it is essential to keeping your home’s foundation intact.
Some Facts About The Impact of Water from Downspouts
FACT – On a house with a 1000 square foot roof, 1 inch of rain feeds 623 gallons of water into the gutters and downspouts. If that roof empties into 4 downspouts that aren’t extended, then each one is spouting 150 gallons of water right next to the foundation.
FACT – Rain barrels hold about 50 gallons of water. So, the 623 gallons mentioned above would easily fill 12 of them. Most houses with rain barrels usually only have one or two. Where does the rest of that 150 gallons of water go? You guessed it – next to the foundation.
FACT – During a heavy storm the velocity of water rushing out of the downspout is equal to a bathtub filling at full blast. Research has found that typically 67% of home downspouts are either partially or completely clogged with leaves, dirt or going into a pipe to nowhere. If the roof water can’t get through the downspout, it backs up, spills over the sides of the gutters and right next to the foundation.
To summarize, we’ve just learned that when a downspout dumps water next to a house THAT is a primary contributor to basement seepage AND a major cause of foundation structural issues. Here’s the most important fact of all. Downspout water can be effectively controlled for A LOT less than what it would cost to repair the foundation damage caused if the water from downspouts.
If you have questions about the water from the downspouts of your home, or if you want reassurance that your home’s foundation is solid, give Toledo Basement Repair a call. Our foundation repair team uses engineering data and the latest technology to ensure that each foundation we repair is done right, on time, and cost-effectively. Contact us for a consultation TODAY.