Gutters and downspouts are a critical component of your house. Not merely a cosmetic addition, gutters protect the value of your home in ways you may not have thought about.
First off, there is a difference between gutters and downspouts. Gutters are the metal, copper, or aluminum channel that runs around the perimeter of the roof. Not every side of the roof is required to have a gutter.
The gutter carries the run-off water from the roof to an opening, which then directs the water down the downspout. The downspout is usually found at a corner of the house, although this isn’t always the case. At ground level, the downspout should have a bend or elbow, which would carry the water away from the house.
Damage to Foundations
If run-off water from the roof is not channeled away, it will fall directly next to the foundation. This saturates the soil around the area. As soils take on water, it expands. This expansion will cause pressure on the concrete foundation.
Continued pressure can actually cause the foundation blocks to move. Once there is a movement of the foundations, it is no longer stable and can become a safety issue.
Leaks in Basement
Rain water can also cause erosion of the concrete between foundation blocks. This can even happen from stationary water. If you have water pooling around the foundation, you are inviting trouble.
Once water finds a crack in the foundation, it won’t take long for it to seep inside. Left unattended, this water can invite mold to grow. Excessive leaking can also lead to flooding, damaging the contents of a basement.
Without gutters, run-off will pummel the ground below, causing the soil to loosen and move. This is erosion. Erosion can damage landscaping around the home. Plants and trees can become waterlogged and die, affecting the curb appeal of your home.
When erosion occurs, it can also create depressions in the soil. This invites pooling water that can lead to eroding of the concrete as mentioned above.
Protecting the roof
It is not enough to have gutters on your home, but you must have functioning gutters. Clogged downspouts will prevent water from draining. This causes water to back up onto the roof. This accumulation of water can then find its way into your attic causing all types of damage.