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Most wet basements, garages and crawl spaces have a simple cause and an easy solution: proper rainwater drainage. Generally water penetration into a home occurs because its major causes, water draining off the roof and washing off the ground, are not addressed. Water accumulates around the perimeter of the house and eventually seeps in.

Inspect Valleys, Gutters & Downspouts

To check how water is being shed away from your house, pick a day when it is raining steadily but not pouring.

  • Observe how the water is running down the roof valleys (the channel that’s formed where two slopes of a roof meet) and flowing into the gutters. Wind is restricted in valleys, so debris is more likely to build up in these spots. If water is being obstructed by debris in a valley, clear it away at the same time that you clean gutters.
  • Look at the end of the downspouts to see if water is running out and draining a sufficient distance from the house. We recommend a distance of at least three feet and preferably six feet from basement walls to prevent potential basement and foundation issues caused by pooling water.
  • If a gutter or downspout is blocked, an overflow of water may appear over the gutter’s edge or the water may drain very slowly. If a blockage is suspected, the gutters and downspouts should be cleared and rinsed out to ensure that they are working properly. To clear a clogged downspout, insert a garden hose into the top and turn up the water pressure as high as it will go, watching for the clog to clear and water to flow freely from the bottom of the downspout.
  • If the clog in the downspout persists, remove the hose and manually clear the clog using a plumbing snake.
  • Ensure there is a plastic or concrete splash block underneath the downspout to prevent water from eroding the soil and pooling next to the house.

Cleaning out debris trapped on your roof and in gutters will solve many home maintenance issues. You’ll enjoy better performance from your gutter system and, just as importantly, extend the lifetime of the roof shingles protecting your home. You can also install Gutter Helmet® gutter guards to ensure debris from your roof can never enter your gutters, guaranteed. For America’s #1 choice in gutter protection for over 30 years, call Gutter Helmet® at (800) 824-3772 or learn more.