Welcome back friends to part 2 of how to protect your homes foundation.
In our last blog we discussed preventative maintenance for your gutters and a couple accessories that are essential for protecting your foundation. This blog article will focus on more of our recommended gutter accessories and maintenance tips that will keep your foundation intact.
According to many roofing companies, this accessory is not necessary, mainly because, installing this accessories prolongs the job, but it provides lasting protection to your home. They may even tell you that a shingle can act like a drip edge by placing it over the edge of the roof into the gutter. In reality though a proper 3′ drip edge installed correctly plays an essential role in keeping water in the gutter.
What is a drip edge? A drip edge is a piece of aluminum that goes under the shingle into the gutter. It helps control the flow of water away from the fascia protecting your foundation by diverting water from running down the side of your home.
This vital gutter accessory actually extends the life of your roof. When a roofer extends the shingle over the gutter instead of installing a drip edge, your shingle deteriorates faster. Over time your shingles will curl, either from heat or ice damns in your gutter. With your shingles curling our breaking off, you are left with a gap allowing water to come against your house. This can lead to water damage on your roof, or foundation.
In most cases a drip edge should be installed when the roof is installed, however its not too late for you, as they can be installed later. The important thing is if you see signs take action and call Clear Ottawa right away. We want to save you thousands in repairs.
Another accessory for gutters that promote proper water shedding is a splash guard. What is a splash guard and what is it purpose?
Splash guards are a flat 90 degree aluminum flashing that is secured with screws to your gutters. This piece of aluminum is installed on the inside corners where the valley of a roof converge. These valleys in your roof are prone to more water flow. When this water converges in the valley you can have miniature river that can overshoot the gutter and land around against foundation. Signs of this will be trenching in the landscape. Depending on the roof, this crucial accessory can be purchased for under $50 and takes a team like Clear Ottawa under an hour to install. As an added bonus they often can be matched to the color of your gutter so they are less noticeable.
Gutter guards are essentially designed to act as a filter over your gutters. There purpose is to attempt to block debris from entering your gutter without inhibiting the gutter’s ability to draw water away from your home.
Although gutter guards are not the perfect solution to properly functioning gutters, they do cut down immensely on maintenance. That is why we recommend our customers consider this accessory.
Since they are not fool proof, regular maintenance is still important. For that matter even the gold wedding band on your finger, needs to be cleaned and maintained for it to reach its full potential. Gutter guards still need to be cleaned however, the time it takes to clean your gutters is significantly reduced when you have a gutter guard installed.
We even offer a free first time inspection/cleaning to ensure the gutter guards are working efficiently. Then we put our work to the test by simulating a rainfall.
Here are a couple more preventative measures you can take to ensure that your foundation is safe.
The ground around your home, is another factor that can make or break your foundation. For a home to efficiently deter water away it needs to have at least a 5 degree slope. According to thespruce.com a good slope to aim for when grading land out from a house foundation is about 6 inches for the first 10 feet.
Further here is what Mike Holmes had to say in the national post “having a five-degree slope prevents water from pooling around your foundation. You can have the most watertight foundation, but you never want it in an environment with a lot of water. Remember, concrete isn’t waterproof. That means it doesn’t matter how water tight a foundation might be; if water is there long enough, it’s going to get in.”
Well if you haven’t already done so, take a look around your home and check to see if you have any of the tell tale signs of poor grading. Signs such as:
- water pooling under gutters and downspouts
- soil around your home is eroding and forming trenches
- topsoil moves every time it rains
Lastly, gutter seams that are left without maintenance, can cause even the best gutter systems to drop the ball. Gutter seams are often found in the interior and exterior corners. When installed a gutter system will have caulking in the seams. Like any good thing though, it needs replacing after time. Unlike diamonds caulking does not last forever. The caulking in the seams shrinks and cracks allowing water through.
Proper maintenance of gutter seams includes removing the old caulking, cleaning the surface with an alcohol based product and putting fresh caulking on the seam.
This is a simple yet important job that can be an added feature to our gutter cleaning service. Usually we will plan to come and do the job when your gutters are dry however, we can also use special caulking that can be applied in wet and cold conditions.
Yes it goes without saying, a healthy foundation is dependent on a well functioning gutter system. Your foundation was never meant to take on water, your gutter system is. We discussed, in this 2 part article how to protect your foundation by maintaining and improving your gutter system:
- regular gutter cleaning
- proper sized downspouts for your home
- zip hinges
- installing drip edges
- splash guards
- gutter guards
- Proper grading around your foundation
- Re-caulking gutter seams
It may seem like a lot of work all at once, so instead of taking on everything, stick to the basics and add one tip to your service next time you call us.
Bottom line, if you see the effects of water around your foundation, don’t stick your head in the sand, take action! We want to help so that you don’t have thousands of dollars in repairs. With a little maintenance, your foundation can continue to support your biggest investment.
Thanks for reading friends, until next time!