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Of the many inspections I do yearly, the lack of proper placement or installation of gutters and downspouts is a very common issue. Whether the concern is lack of gutters, debris in gutters or downspouts that are not the proper length one problem is common. That problem is potential moisture entry into the basement or crawlspace. Let’s discuss each issue and how it affects moisture conditions in basements or crawlspaces.
The number of gutters installed is dependent on the type of roof your home has. Two types of roofs, which are common in many parts of the country, are:
- Hip or Mansard Style: four-sided roof. This roof style needs gutters on all four sides of the home.
- Gable: two-sided roof. This style needs gutters on both sides of the home.
- A clogged gutter is also another way for moisture to enter the home. With gutters that are clogged, water can run over the edge of the gutter and drop next to the foundation. Next to downspout extensions, this is one of the easiest ways of keeping water from the basement or crawlspace. Keeping the gutters clean will aide in keeping moisture problems minimal. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year; once in the spring or early summer and again in the fall. Remember; always think safety when cleaning gutters.
- Lastly, downspouts that divert the water away from the home are vital for keeping basements or crawlspaces dry. Most of the time, I see downspouts that do not have extensions or are not the proper length. To be effective at diverting water away from the home, the downspout extension should be at least 6 feet in length. If your home does not have downspout extensions, by all means purchase a 12 foot downspout, cut it in half and install on each downspout not having the proper length extension.
Proper installation of gutters, keeping the gutter and downspout clear of debris, and the correct downspout extension length will aide in keeping the dreaded water from entering your basement or crawlspace. Many homeowners are unaware of the important role played by good gutters and downspouts.
For residential and commercial building inspections, DownSpout Cleanout is the one call you need to make. Whether you live in Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Rockford, St. Charles, West Chicago, Crystal Lake, Arlington Heights and all points in between, this company will meet your needs for many types of inspections including: home, commercial, investment inspections, mold inspection and sampling, Radon, or FHA Certification.