A close up photo of a gutter on the edge of a roof on a house.

Gutter Maintenance Protects Wisconsin Basements from Seepage

Gutter Maintenance protects wisconsin basements from seepage 

If you own a house in Wisconsin, there’s a good chance that every fall it gets covered in leaves. Although leaves seem harmless, they are often responsible for basement seepage. Water in your basement is not only messy, but it can damage your foundation and even contribute to mold and mildew, which are health hazards.

Now wait a minute! Perhaps you’re wondering how delicate little leaves can make water seep into your basement and potentially create so many big problems?

Well, here’s how …

It Starts with Your Gutters

Rain gutters are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your house from water seepage. That’s because gutters in good working condition divert rainwater away from your house so that it doesn’t collect in pools next to it. Water that pools next to your home’s foundation can leak into cracks and cause water to collect in your basement, thus setting off the other potential hazards. 

One of the most common ways gutters malfunction is when they get clogged with falling leaves and twigs, which happens most often during autumn in Wisconsin when trees lose their leaves. 

Here are some simple ways to keep your gutters functioning properly so that your basement stays dry:

Keep Your Gutters Clean

Make sure your gutters are clear of debris, such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles. Although fall is the most critical time, be sure to stay alert year-round because in spring small animals sometimes use gutters for nesting and raising their babies. When your gutters get clogged—either by leaves and twigs or a critter’s nest—water is forced over the edge like a damn.  

Update Your Existing Gutters

If you have leaky gutters, this could be the source of water collecting in your basement. If that’s the case, invest in new gutters or have a professional give your gutters a “tune-up”.

Check Your Downspout Extensions

Each downspout should have a 2-to 4-foot extension that directs water away from your home’s foundation to keep moisture from leaking into the walls of your foundation.

If you remove your downspouts when you mow or weed your lawn, remember to put them back in place when you’re finished. 

Look For Gutter Sloping Problems

One of the most common gutter sloping issues is drooping gutters. Gutters that droop easily overflow during a heavy rain, allowing water to collect next to your foundation.

Inspect Your Flashing and Sealing

If your flashing isn’t properly installed, water can get behind your home’s gutters and eventually leak into your basement. 

If your gutters have holes, they can be sealed with a gutter sealant. 

Add More Gutters

Consider adding gutters where there aren’t any. If you’ve added onto your home’s exterior, it might be necessary to add extra gutters to those new areas. 

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