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Gutters / Downspouts too close to home

Before I get started, I want to apologize for the delay in getting this blog post out as late. Life had gotten in the way and distracted me from writing this and posting it.


If you own a home, you more than likely have gutters installed on your home. The gutters are there to catch the water coming off the roof, then redirects it to the ground via the downspout. This is to help direct water away from the foundation of the home and it helps prevent soil erosion from the water making direct contact with the ground coming from the roof. This is great, except most homes have the downspouts ending a couple inches away from the side of the home and the foundation. In reality, it doesn't do much to help direct it away from the

home and the foundation. When the water is deposited here, it can erode away at the foundation as it flows besides the footings removing the dirt little by little. The most common issue I normally see happen from this is it penetrates down into the soil, against the foundational walls of the basement, leaking in through the cinderblock walls. Causing a wet, damp basement.

It also leaches it way under the home creating wet crawlspaces, or you see the evidence of the added moisture in the form of condensation on HVAC ducting. All of this added moisture creates an environment which is perfect for mold/mildew growth and the attraction of pests like termites. These little splash pans you see on homes do little, if nothing to move the water away from the home.

They are made out of many different materials but are normally all a little short 1 to1.5 feet long. I've seen them installed on old homes and even new construction homes. As a home inspector, we recommend having the downspouts extended a minimum of 5 feet out away from the side of the home and its foundation to help prevent the water from penetrating

into the crawlspace or basement area and possibly causing foundational issues.

You may want to take the extra step and have a French style drain system installed into your yard to direct the water away from your home without the visible pipes you can normally see above ground. Whichever way you choose to go, please be sure to have the downspouts extended to help protect the investment you have in your home.





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