If you want to ensure your foundation holds up against Georgia’s frequent downpours, it’s crucial to have the best gutter system and drainage solutions available. In fact, the number one reason why foundations fail is improperly channeled roof water due to inadequate drainage solutions. Drainage solutions primarily work to prevent water from oversaturating the soil surrounding your foundation. As the ground surrounding your home becomes oversaturated, your foundation can settle or bow, compromising the entire structural integrity of your home.
Let’s discuss how water can damage your foundation and how gutters and drainage solutions play an important role in protecting your foundation.
How Does Water Damage Your Home’s Foundation?
Water damage is often associated with flooded basements. However, this isn’t the only impact water can have on your home. Excess amounts of water can wreak havoc on your foundation, leading to expensive repairs down the road. Here are three of the primary ways water can damage your home’s foundation:
Foundations are strong—they were built to sustain the weight of your home for the lifetime of the structure. Unfortunately, few home foundations are capable of bearing the weight of thousands of pounds worth of water pressure.
This is exactly what your foundation is forced to do when inadequate drainage solutions and failing gutters cause water to accumulate in the soil surrounding your home. As water drains towards the ground surrounding your home’s foundation, the soil becomes oversaturated. Oversaturated soil is heavier and places thousands of pounds of pressure on your foundation walls. This pressure is referred to as hydrostatic pressure.
When the weight of the hydrostatic pressure becomes more than your foundation walls can bear, they will start to bow inwards and crack. It can also cause water to leak in through the smallest cracks in your concrete foundation.
In Georgia, our homes sit on an expansive soil referred to as Georgia Red Clay. Expansive soils expand when they are wet and shrink when they are dry. When clay soil is oversaturated, it grows and places excessive pressure on your foundation, which may lead it to bow and crack. Then, during drought, clay soils dry up and shrink away from your foundation, which can cause settlement.
Besides excess water weight and expanding soils, another way water can cause damage to your home’s foundation is through soil erosion. When rainwater and underground springs flow towards your home, they can slowly begin to wash away the soil out from under your foundation. As the soil supporting your foundation erodes, your foundation will settle and sink, causing severe structural damage to your home. Some of the earliest signs of settlement include:
- Tilting chimneys
- Unlevel floors
- Doors that won’t shut
- Sticking windows
- Drywall cracks
How Can I Protect My Foundation from Water?
Protecting your foundation from water entails preventing the soil surrounding your foundation from becoming oversaturated. Here are some of the reasons why the soil around your home might flood, along with drainage solutions that can help divert this water away from your foundation.
The primary purpose of gutters is to protect rainwater from falling to the ground surrounding your foundation. However, damaged, clogged, leaking, and too small of gutters can’t hold up against the torrential downpours we experience in Georgia. If your gutter system isn’t successfully capturing rainwater and diverting it away from your home, your foundation is already incurring water damage.
When installing a gutter system, here are some of the most important things to look for:
- Strong Bracket System: Prevents gutters from pulling away from fascia boards and failing to collect water from the roof.
- Seamless system: Prevents leakage.
- Gutter protection system: Prevents clogs that prevent the capture of water.
- Appropriate size: Ensures gutters are capable of capturing and diverting large amounts of rainwater.
- Gutter drainage systems: Downspouts and gutter extensions finish the job by directing captured water far away from your home’s foundation.
Improper grading commonly leads to erosion of the soil beneath the foundation. This is because rainwater will flow in the direction of the slope. If your home is situated at the top of a hill, all the water in your yard will drain towards your home’s foundation. This water runoff can sweep away the soil beneath your home’s foundation.
The best way to solve this problem is by investing in landscape grading and resloping. When your landscaping is graded in a way that puts your home at a high point, groundwater will naturally flow away from your foundation.
If reaching an ideal grade is impossible, you can also install additional drainage solutions to further direct water away from your home.
In certain circumstances, additional waterproofing and drainage solutions may be needed to keep your foundation and basement dry. Call AquaGuard to schedule a free inspection with a water management expert. We can help you sort through different options for additional waterproofing and drainage solutions and whether or not they would be beneficial for your home.
Why Choose Our Gutter Drainage Solutions?
If your gutter system overflows or leaks when it rains, invest in a quality gutter system to avoid headaches and foundation issues in the long run. Most standard gutters are uncovered and not durable enough to properly manage heavy rains and debris. They can easily clog from leaves or pine needles, leaving you with a mess to clean up several times per year. We use the GutterShutter™ system, which is a patented and covered gutter system that repels debris and properly manages and drains your roof water away from your foundation. It is the only certified gutter drainage solution on the market and uses a unique liquid adhesion process to capture all roof water.