Owning a home comes with many expenses – some planned, some unplanned. When it comes to protecting your foundation, you may wonder “is basement waterproofing worth it” or should you gamble and wait to repair issues as they happen?
You look for quality in life: quality time, quality sleep, quality food, but what about quality air? Have you thought about the indoor air quality in your home and how it can affect you and your loved ones? When the quality of air in your home is poor, you can experience health problems. How can you get quality in life and improve your quality of life? One simple step is improving your indoor air quality.
Performing your own rain gutter repair is often a lot easier than you expect, even for novice DIYers. Find out the most common gutter and downspout problems and how to fix them from EverDry Toledo!
Common Gutter Problems & Solutions
Clogged & Obstructed Gutters
One of the most common problems with rain gutters is clogging. Over time, debris builds up in your gutters and prevents water from flowing properly. In severe cases, it can even dam the flow of water completely, which puts your roof at risk for damage.
How to Repair It: While clogged rain gutters are common, they are fortunately easy to fix. Depending on the size of your house, all you may need is a ladder and a pair of gloves. Simply go around each section of the gutter, removing debris and inspecting it for possible damage.
Most homeowners will only need to do this about once per year, and spring is one of the best times to do it – not to mention some other important outdoor maintenance. However, if your house is surrounded by one or more trees, you may want to consider cleaning you gutters a few times each year. The more trees that can drop leaves or branches into the gutters, the quicker the buildup can hit critical mass.
It may also be worth investing in a gutter guard that helps prevent debris from entering your gutter in the first place. This doesn’t mean you never have to clean your gutters again, but it can help keep them flowing better between cleanings.
Leaks, Holes, or Deterioration
Your gutter is made up of multiple sections that are sealed or connected with gutter joints. Over time, no matter how they are joined together, the connection will deteriorate. Even well maintained gutters can sometimes suffer physical damage that opens holes or gaps. This results in leaking that drops water right against your siding or foundation.
How to Repair It: There are two ways to fix a leaky gutter. If the leak is coming from a tiny hole, such as one the size of a nail head, all you need is a little caulk. Silicone or gutter caulk can seal the leak without any additional help. Just make sure the gutter is free of any debris before you begin.
If the leak is much larger, you may need to use metal flashing to patch your gutter. Many home improvement stores sell gutter patch kits. Even if you can’t find a kit, you can create a patch by using tin snips to cut out metal flashing and using sealant to glue it in place.
Downspout Draining Too Close to House
A perfectly functional gutter system can be ruined by a downspout draining improperly. It’s important to make sure that the end of the downspout is taking the water an appropriate distance away. If it’s not, all the water caught and flushed away by the gutters will come right back.
Drainage plays a significant factor in the health of your home’s foundation
While you’re outside enjoying the warmer temperatures, take a moment to look around your house and property. Because your view won’t be obscured by foliage, it’s the perfect time to see what winter left behind and what needs to be repaired. The time you spend taking care of home maintenance business now will save time and money in extensive repairs down the road. To help you start tackling those projects, we’ve put together these Top 5 Spring Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips.
Tip #1 – Check the Roof
An easy way to inspect the roof to find damaged, loose, or missing shingles is to use a pair of binoculars. If you see loose or broken shingles, fix those as soon as possible to protect your home from leaks. If the problem extends beyond a few shingles, you’ll want to contact a professional roofer. Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys, too.
Tip #2 – Check for Cracks in the Foundation
A cracked foundation is often the result of frost heaves – soil movement caused by the freeze-thaw cycle – which can leave cracks in your basement walls and floor. If the cracks are less than a nickel-width wide, you can take the following steps to minimize further damage:
- Replace the soil surrounding your foundation with more porous alternatives such as gravel and/or fill sand, which is a blend of sand, soil, and clay.
- Add a drainage system at the base of a foundation, like a French drain, to drain the water away.
- Dig top-level and subterranean reservoirs to redirect water away from your home’s foundation.
- Insulate your home’s foundation to minimize heat loss between the foundation and the surrounding soil. When heat transfers to the surrounding soil through foundation walls, it enhances the freeze-thaw cycle.
- Make sure your gutters are in good working order and drain rainwater at a sufficient distance away from your house – at least 6 to 8 feet.
If the cracks are large or extensive, have the foundation professionally inspected and repaired.
Tip #3 – Replace Caulk & Weather Stripping Around Windows & Doors
If the gap around a door or window is wider than a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk to keep your home energy bill down and the insects out. Check window-glazing putty, too, which seals glass into the window frame. Add weather stripping around doors, making sure that you can’t see any daylight from inside your home.
Tip #4 – Clean the Gutters
The decomposed leaves and twigs that nature leaves behind after winter may be worse than those in your gutter during the summer months. Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak. Add extensions to downspouts to carry water away from your home’s foundation.
Tip #5 – Inspect Your Driveway & Sidewalks for Cracks and Heaves
Broken concrete or asphalt is more than just an eyesore. It’s a tripping hazard that can lead to painful results. Fix any breakdown in concrete or asphalt before it worsens. You can patch or fill surface cracks, chips or flaking in concrete yourself using cement-repair products. For deeper cracks, settling or sunken concrete, or frost heaves, call a professional.
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Prepping your Basement for Guests
While your first thought when it comes to preparing your basement for guests might be cleaning, making beds, and decorating or adding other amenities, your initial focus should be on making sure the structure itself is in good guest condition. The last thing you want when you have family or friends staying in your basement is any flooding, freezing, or drains overflowing. To avoid those kinds of holiday disasters, follow these five tips before your guests arrive:
Tip #1 – Check for Water
Windows are a primary source of unwanted moisture in the home, so take a moment to check all basement windows for any signs of water. Any signs of water pooling can be an issue if you have any foundation cracks, so if you see them, either replace your window wells or purchase bubble window treatments for a more affordable, quick and temporary fix.
Tip #2 – Inspect Your Sump Pump
Look for any pooling water around your sump pump hose, including dips in the basement floor that could collect water. When it gets cold out, any water around your sump pump could freeze and cause the pump to stop working. Water should always flow away from the pump without issues, so if you do encounter any water, it’s important that you call in a professional for repairs as soon as possible.
Tip #3 – Seal Cracks
Exterior basement cracks can let water in during rain or snow storms, and the freezing temperatures can cause any trapped water to widen the cracks, setting the stage for mold issues down the road. To protect your basement from these problems, fill any foundation cracks with a silicone or hydraulic cement.
Tip #4 – Prep Your Pipes
If water freezes in your pipes, it can expand and cause cracks, leading to serious flooding issues. To avoid such costly damage and repairs needed after, prepare your pipes for the cold by wrapping them with heat tape or cables.
Tip #5 – Shovel
To avoid the ice accumulating near your foundation that can lead to flooding issues once melting begins, be sure to shovel any snow away from your home’s foundation as soon as possible. Also, avoid piling any snow or ice against your house when you do shovel, as this can also lead to excessive moisture and possible flooding in your basement.
Contact Team EverDry Today!
Don’t have the time to prep your basement for the holidays yourself, or just want to make sure every potential issue is spotted and resolved before your guests arrive? EverDry Toledo can help! Schedule an appointment today and get your free 20-point inspection. Contact us