A basement flood can cause some serious damage. It can be difficult to remove the water, and you may even need a professional service to help get things back in order. The home itself can get damaged, the water could damage your possessions and you might end up with a mould problem. By the time you assess and repair all of the damage, it can be a costly event.
To prevent floods in the future, you are going to need to take the time to determine the cause. When it comes to basement flooding, one of the most common factors that can put your home at risk is clogged or poorly maintained eavestroughs. While the gutter system might be about as far away from the basement as possible, they are one of the most important defences that protect your home against basement floods.
Before we look into the reasons why eavestroughs are important for basement flood prevention, we think it would help to understand how they work. Eavestroughs and gutters can be made from different materials and there are different designs, but there are some basics that are generally the same.
In case you don’t know, eavestroughs are the water collection channels that run along the eaves of your roof. When it rains, water runs down the roof, and the eavestroughs collect this water and channel it to the downspouts. The downspouts allow the water to flow down to the surface level, and then there are additional gutters that channel the water away from the structure. In some cases, the downspouts might flow into a drainage system that channels the water into the municipal storm drains.
If your rain gutters are designed correctly and well maintained, they will channel the rainwater and snowmelt from the roof and away from the home. If the home did not have eavestroughs, the water would just flow down the roof and to the base of the structure. This could put the home at risk in a number of ways.
One of the most important purposes for having gutters is that it protects the foundation of the structure. If rainwater is allowed flow freely off the roof, it would pool up around the foundation. If enough water sits there long enough, it can seep into the foundation and put it at risk for developing cracks. In addition to that, if the ground around your foundation becomes overly saturated with water, it can cause the soil to settle in ways that could result in the shifting or displacement of the foundation.
If cracks form in your foundation, this could put your basement at risk for flooding; not to mention the expensive foundation repairs that may also be needed. Beyond water seeping through a foundation crack, allowing water to build up around the foundation can expose your home to other flooding risks.
You might not realize it, but there is a number of ways that water could get into your basement. Many homes have basement windows, and some have doors that lead directly into the basement. You may also notice that you have things like pipes and air conditioner lines that enter the home through the basement. When water s allowed to pool up around the base of the home, it can very easily leak in through these points.
Even when you have eavestroughs and gutters that are working well, there is still the possibility that flooding can occur. Gutters are a preventative measure, but if the rain is heavy enough, the eavestroughs could get overwhelmed, and in the instance of significant overland flooding, the gutters on your roof will do nothing to prevent basement flooding.
This is why many Toronto homes will have different drainage solutions to protect the basement against flooding. Some homeowners will have a weeping tile system installed on the property to drain water away from the foundation, and most home’s will have a sump pump installed to remove water after it has gotten into the basement.
If you are having problems with basement flooding, checking your sump pump and getting a weeping tile system can be a good idea. As another point, you could consider upgrading the eavestroughs and the gutters on your home. If the rain gets heavy enough, your gutters can get overwhelmed by the volume of water. With larger eavestroughs and additional downspouts, your gutter system will be able to handle more water without overflowing.
With the eavestroughs being so important for maintaining the integrity of your foundation and preventing basement flooding, you need to provide the rain gutters on your home with regular maintenance. This includes regular cleanings, and you need to inspect them for damage.
The most important step in eavestrough maintenance is cleaning out all of the leaves and debris. When this stuff builds up, the gutters can overflow, and this will not only put your foundation and basement at risk, but it can cause damage to other parts of the home. Along with your foundation and basement, clogged eavestroughs can damage the roof, siding, fascia, window frames and more.
For most homes, cleaning and inspecting the eavestroughs should be done annually. At the beginning of the fall, you should clean them out, inspect for damage and repair any parts that are in poor condition. If there are a lot of trees on your property, you may need to have your eavestroughs cleaned more than once a year.
Since cleaning the eavestroughs is a tough job, many homeowners do not do it as often as they should. If you find that it is a job that you have a hard time getting motivated to do, then you may want to consider hiring a professional gutter cleaning service. These professionals will not only make sure that your eavestroughs are cleaned, but they can also inspect for damage. It is well worth the cost when you consider the types of damage that can result from clogged or poorly maintained eavestroughs.