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Protect Your Foundation

The strength of a home lies in the foundation. Your homes foundation should be of utmost importance. This blog will provide you with a maintenance program.  Besides supporting the load of the entire structure, a foundation will keep water from seeping in and creating havoc.

With so much weighing on the foundation, we want you to know how to keep it protected. Our two part blog is going to look at the major preventative measures you can take.

  • Gutter Cleaning
  • Gutter maintenance
  • Downspouts
  • Zip Hinges

Preventative Maintenance

Like most things you own, having a maintenance program is essential. The extent and regularity of maintenance depends on the item. Truth is, preventative maintenance can save homeowners thousands of dollars a year.

Maintain Rather Than Replace

The same principle applies to your gutters. They need regular inspections and cleanings once, twice and in some locations even three or more times a times a year.

Why are we talking about gutters when the article is about protecting your foundation?  Gutters play a major role in defending your foundation from water. How so?

Fact: Water takes the path of least resistance. Window wells, windows and foundations make an easy pathway for water to get inside.  Your foundation has natural microscopic holes. When water sits around your foundation it will wear at it even cracking it if  it freezes. 

Protect your home by making sure water is diverted away with a proper functioning gutter system.

When gutters are left unchecked and uncleaned leaves, needles, moss, asphalt from your roof, and even animals and insects make their home inside. Eventually these elements will prevent water to flow through the gutters and downspouts.

Water Pouring over Gutters

Rain water has no where to go except over top of the gutter, down the siding and pools around your home. Not long after, water will cause trenches to form in the landscape. Once this occurs, water takes the easiest route, even if that route is toward your home.

Water pooling around foundation

If water is pooling and creating trenches around your home, take immediate action and call Clear Ottawa to asses your gutter system.

If you are telling yourself that your foundation can handle a little water take it from Mark Twain. He said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Your foundation was never meant to take care of water, your gutter system is!


Another feature of your gutter system that needs regular attention is your downspouts. These take rain water from the eaves trough and deter water from pooling around your home.

Many homes do not have enough downspouts for the size and pitch of their roof. Sometimes, if you do not have enough downspouts you can compensate with larger ones. If you are going to have a larger gutters, you need to compensate with proper sized downspouts.

In Ottawa we have medium to heavy rainfall. We at Clear Ottawa go above and beyond the required 2×3 downspouts and will recommend 3×3.  That might not seem like a lot. However, that added 1 inch increases water capacity by 30%, and the bigger the downspout the less likely debris will plug it.

Zip Hinges

Many downspouts we service are designed to drop the water right beside the house. This really defeats the purpose of a gutter system, which is to divert water away from your home.

Man mowing lawn

The bottom of your downspout should have an elbow leading on to the lawn or an underground drain. In some cases you can use a splash block. However Clear Ottawa recommends using an elbow at the bottom of your downspout to divert rainwater away.

You might say, I don’t want to have my gutter protruding on my lawn. Not to worry, ask us about our Zip Hinge Installation service. If you dread cutting your grass because you have to remove the downspouts, than this is the perfect solution. Instead of having to remove the downspouts, simply lift them up against the house and let them down after your finished mowing.

In fact we even offer this service without booking a gutter cleaning service.

Stay tuned for our next article How to: Protect your Foundation Part 2 where we will address more gutter accessories that will increase the protection to your foundation.

Contact Clear Ottawa Windows Today!