Rain Gutters: Critical Exterior Waterproofing Components

Managing moisture is one of the most important things a homeowner can do to protect his or her property against serious damage. Exterior waterproofing is designed to help keep water away from your home's foundation.

Rain gutters are often overlooked when it comes to exterior waterproofing, but the right rain gutters can serve as valuable assets in protecting your home against water infiltration. Take the time to improve the performance of your rain gutters and you will ensure your home enjoys maximum protection against water damage in the future.

1. Keep rain gutters clean.

Rain gutters can easily become clogged up with dirt and debris. It's imperative that you schedule regular cleanings for your rain gutters throughout the year. Removing branches, leaves, and other items that have become stuck in the rain gutters will ensure that water flows easily through the drainage system.

Clogged rain gutters can cause water to spill out over the sides of the gutters themselves rather than traveling to the downspout for safe discharge. The water escaping from your clogged rain gutters will saturate the ground near your home's foundation, eventually seeping into your basement or crawlspace.

2. Check the pitch of your rain gutters.

Although rain gutters might look like they are installed parallel to your home's roof line, these drainage devices are actually pitched slightly to help direct the flow of water. The right pitch is critical to the performance of your rain gutters.

You want your rain gutters to have 1/2 inch of drop for every 15 feet of gutter. This pitch is ideal for helping to move water to downspouts and prevent back flow that might lead to moisture problems for your home in the future.

3. Install extensions on your downspouts.

The downspouts are the vertical sections of your rain gutter system. These downspouts are responsible for safely discharging water away from your home. If you find that the ground near your foundation is saturated or that water is pooling near the exit point of your downspouts, you might need to install an extension to aid in proper drainage.

Extensions fit easily over the existing edge of your downspouts. These extensions come in varying lengths to help you offset any slopes that might be impeding drainage. Taking a few minutes to install an extension piece on each of your downspouts can be a simple and effective way to improve your home's exterior waterproofing system.