When it comes to maintaining the stability of your foundation, water management is essential. Several questions may dictate what the ideal water management system looks like for your home, such as:
- Is my house built at the bottom of a hill?
- What are the characteristics of the local weather and environment?
- What kind of soil was my home built on?
At AquaGuard Gutter Solutions, we offer free inspections to help answer these questions and assess the effectiveness of your current gutters and drainage systems. It’s our goal to help you build the perfect water management system, giving you peace of mind that your foundation is protected against water damage.
In the meantime, let’s look at how water can damage your home, the critical elements of water management, and how gutters solutions work together to protect your foundation.
How Can Water Damage Your Home’s Foundation?
When we talk about protecting your home from water damage, you may wonder what exactly makes water such a threat to your foundation.
Foundations should be sturdy and pass the test of time—yet, no foundation is strong enough to hold up against the weight of excessive water pressure. When water accumulates in the ground surrounding your home’s foundation, that soil can become oversaturated. In Georgia, our homes stand on a type of soil referred to as Georgia Red Clay. An expansive soil, Georgia Red Clay will shrink when it is dry and expand when it is wet. When the soil shrinks due to drought, it can cause foundation settlement.
When soil becomes oversaturated, it can lead to these three things:
When soil becomes too wet, it expands and places thousands of pounds of pressure on your foundation walls. This pressure is called “hydrostatic pressure.” As your foundation is up against hydrostatic pressure, it can start to bow inwards and eventually crack. Not only do these cracks compromise the structural integrity of your home, they can lead to basement or crawl space flooding.
Excessive amounts of moisture due to improperly-sloped yards can cause underground streams that washout the soil beneath your home. The soil beneath your home once supported your home’s weight, so when it gets washed out, your home has no option but to settle into the void. Settlement often leads to foundation and structural damage.
As the soil becomes more saturated, water can find its way into your home through the smallest of cracks in your foundation walls. Basement and crawl space flooding can lead to foundation damage and interior water damage.
For more information about water’s impact on your foundation, read more about water management and your foundation.
What Contributes to Oversaturated Soil Around My Home’s Foundation?
Several things can lead to the oversaturation of the soil surrounding your home’s foundation. Here are a few of the major contributors:
- Your gutter system is failing to prevent roof water from falling onto the ground surrounding your foundation.
- Your home is built at the bottom of a hill, allowing water runoff to accumulate around your home’s foundation.
- Your home is built in a wet environment and on top of expansive soil, but the proper water drainage solutions are not being used to control groundwater.
How Do I Keep Water Out of My Home’s Foundation?
To keep water out of your home’s foundation, investing in a complete water management system is critical.
Let’s talk about the different components of water management and how they all work together to keep water out of your home.
What Are the Key Components to a Complete Water Management System?
When it comes to protecting your home’s foundation against water damage, several components come into play. First, there are the elements that protect your foundation from roof water: the gutter system and gutter drainage systems. The gutter system captures rainwater as it runs off your roof, preventing it from falling to the ground below. The gutter drainage systems take the water that your gutter has captured and divert it away from your home—this includes gutter downspouts and their accessories. Then, there are elements that prevent groundwater from damaging your foundation. These include both exterior and interior drainage solutions, as well as foundation waterproofing solutions.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements.
1. Gutter Systems
As the first line of defense against rainwater, your gutter system is one of the most important elements of your home’s water management system. Without a properly installed gutter system, rainwater would fall off your roof to the ground below, leading to the foundation damage mentioned above.
With that said, not every home’s gutter system is going to look the same. For example, most gutters installed in the U.S. come in two sizes: five-inch and six-inch. Five-inch gutters are generally appropriate for regions that get less rain. At AquaGuard, however, we only install six-inch gutter systems because of the potential for extreme weather conditions in our area. Georgia frequently gets heavy rain, meaning your gutters need to be bigger to handle the large amounts of water.
Here are the top benefits of installing a gutter system that captures rainwater and fully diverts it away from the home:
- Keeps the Surrounding Area Dry: Installing a gutter system prevents rainwater from gathering on the roof of your home. A quality gutter system can also prevent heavy precipitation, such as rainfall, from splashing on the porch or surrounding areas around the home.
- Keeps Your Basement Dry: Heavy rainfall can do some significant damage to a home. It can completely destroy the floors, walls, and can even cause mold build-up. Installing a gutter system is crucial to keeping rainwater away from your home and keeping the basement dry.
- Protects Your Foundation: The purpose of a gutter system is to capture all roof water and properly drain it away from your home. Unfortunately, not all gutter systems do this properly and can cause the roof water to sheet over the gutters and freefall onto the ground around your home’s foundation. Over time, this water saturation can cause the soil to shift and cause your foundation to settle.
Rain gutters are meant to funnel water off of the roof and divert it away from the home. For rain gutters to funnel water away from your home, it's essential to keep them cleaned out and clear of debris. Branches, leaves, and other droppings can cause rain gutters to clog, even if they have gutter guards.
Standard gutters that come on most homes are prone to issues over time from clogging or failing to manage and drain roof water away from your home. At AquaGuard Gutter Solutions, we offer a more advanced gutter system called the GutterShutter™ system. It is a patented, covered gutter system that is designed to repel debris to avoid clogging. It also prevents roof water from sheeting over the gutters and freefalling around your home’s foundation, protecting your home from foundation issues. Visit our GutterShutter™ page to read more about our gutter system.
2. Gutter Protection Systems: Gutter Guards
Another important component to your water management system is a gutter protection system, also referred to as gutter guards. Gutter guards play a vital role in ensuring your gutter system can function effectively and efficiently when it’s needed most.
Roof grit, leaves, pine needles, and other debris can clog gutters, limiting their ability to capture water and, in some instances, rendering them completely useless. Gutter guards ensure these materials stay out of your gutters, eliminating the need for gutter cleaning and increasing the lifespan of the entire system.
Our GutterShutter™ system comes complete with gutter protection. Designed with the physical principles of water tension in mind, a liquid adhesion process allows the gutter to capture roof water, properly manage it, and drain it away from your home. This system is completely covered and sealed with no vertical openings, filters, or screens, eliminating the possibility of clogging. You can learn more about gutter guards, their varieties and uses by visiting our gutter guards page.
3. Gutter Drainage Systems: Downspouts
When you install a gutter system, you’re taking a crucial step towards protecting your home’s foundation from water damage. Gutters capture water as it runs off your roof and prevent it from falling to the ground below. However, to be effective, once your gutters capture this water, it will need to be drained from them and diverted away from your home.
Our GutterShutter™ system is more than just a gutter guard. It’s a complete water protection system that repels debris, captures roof water, and properly drains water away from your home. It includes our patented GutterShutter™ system, as well as gutter drainage systems (commonly referred to as downspouts) for proper water diversion, completely protecting the entire perimeter of your home from water damage.
Georgia has intense thunderstorms where water comes down very quickly, thus making it important that your gutters are drained just as quickly to prevent overflow. Our gutters use special accessories to exit water faster through the downspouts. The wide-mouth outlet of the drainage system used increases the vertical exiting of water that goes into downspouts by 50%.
4. Gutter Drainage System Accessories: Downspout Extensions
Some homes require water to be diverted farther away from the home than others. At AquaGuard, we offer several downspout extension options to allow homeowners to control gutter drainage better. Downspout extensions are the best solution for those needing to strategically channel water around gardens or those who are working with a more challenging yard slope.
Our underground downspout extension diverts water until it can be naturally sloped away from the home. The water exits from a simple Pop-Up escape. This is a great option for those who need more control over where their roof water drains or who need longer downspout extensions due to their yard’s grading.
The RainChute EZ™ is an excellent option for homeowners with gardens and landscaping surrounding their home. This downspout extension takes channeled water about four feet away from your foundation and is perfect for homes where slope is not a concern.
5. Other Waterproofing & Drainage Solutions
Gutters and gutter drainage systems are essential water management components for all homes. However, in some instances, these may need to be combined with other drainage solutions to manage water adequately and keep it out of your foundation. For example, if your home sits at the bottom of a hill, you may need additional drainage solutions to prevent water damage and basement flooding.
Here are some of our interior and exterior waterproofing and drainage solutions:
WaterGuard is ideal for most basement waterproofing applications. It’s installed just under the perimeter edge of the basement floor, capturing all wall and floor seepage via inlet holes and channeling it away from the foundation. This solution is a great option for homes where exterior drainage is a concern because of slope or expansive soil. The WaterGuard system captures excess water and diverts it away from the home to where it can drain naturally.
With the proper exterior drainage solutions installed, a sump pump is your home’s first line of defense against flooding. Our sump pump systems provide three levels of protection for your basement to capture water and channel it out of and away from your home.
If you’ve installed gutters and gutter drainage systems but are still concerned about water entering your foundation, visit our drainage solutions page for more information about additional water management products and services.
Install Gutters and Drainage Systems to Keep Water Out of Your Home’s Foundation
Need gutters, gutter drainage systems, or drainage solutions to protect your home’s foundation from water damage? Contact us today for a free gutter inspection! At AquaGuard, we provide thorough inspections of your home’s entire water management system. You can rest assured that your gutter and drainage solutions will completely protect your foundation against water damage.
We provide free inspections throughout Marietta, Atlanta, Decatur, Alpharetta, Rome, Athens, Newnan, Douglasville, and all surrounding areas.