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5 Gutter Maintenance Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding

24 July 2023

Whether you use your basement as a storage space or as a “bonus room,” like an at-home gym or game room, it’s important to keep the space dry and protected. Mold, mildew, and standing water from basement flooding can result in structural damage and health issues for your family.

However, many homeowners don’t realize that basement flooding can be caused by something that feels unrelated and far away from the basement — the gutters.

How Do Well-Maintained Gutters Mitigate the Risk of Basement Flooding?

Gutters have a straightforward job — to direct water away from your home

Without gutters, melted snow and rainwater would run off your roofing system and collect in pools on the ground. If these puddles are close enough to your foundation, they can cause structural damage and leak into your basement, leading to a damp, musty, or moldy space.

Helpful Gutter Maintenance Tips for Preventing Basement Flooding

Properly installed gutters are crucial for basement water management, so gutter installation is a must-do task for homes with basements. However, simply installing gutters isn’t enough to keep your basement warm and dry. Gutter systems must be properly maintained to allow them to do their job.

Take these preventative measures to ensure your gutters are functioning optimally, so you can safeguard your basement from potential water damage and costly repairs.

1. Clean the gutters regularly.

It’s essential to clean your gutters twice a year — in the spring and fall — to clear out leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clogged gutters are unable to keep water moving through the system, which can result in overflowing water, flooding, and, eventually, basement damage.

2. Replace the existing gutters.

If your gutters are old, outdated, or leaking — it’s time for gutter replacement.

Seamless aluminum gutters, like the ones we install at LeafGuard of Cincinnati, are a great option. Not only will your gutters work correctly, but handy low-maintenance features, like a built-in gutter guard, will significantly reduce maintenance.

3. Look at the downspouts.

If you’re still experiencing basement leaks after cleaning your gutters, ensure your downspout extensions are long enough. Downspouts should have a two- to four-foot extension to direct water away from your home’s foundation. 

Homeowners often remove their downspouts for backyard maintenance, like mowing, and forget to put them back. Consider setting your phone timer before getting started to remind yourself to reattach the downspouts when you’re finished.

4. Check the slope.

Gutters must be perfectly sloped since they rely on gravity to push runoff water toward the downspouts. If your gutters were installed incorrectly, or if another force, like hail, wind, or heavy snow, caused them to bend out of place, the gutters may overflow with standing water. This problem can eventually lead to water puddling on the ground — and in your basement.  

Usually, a professional contractor can re-hang gutters at the optimal slope to fix this issue if there isn’t any damage to the gutters.

5. Evaluate the sealing.

Gutters and downspouts often have small crevices that, when not sealed properly, can be a source of water leaks. If needed, use a gutter sealant to seal these cracks, so you can ensure all water is flowing through the system correctly.

Learn More About Our Maintenance-Free Gutter System from LeafGuard of Cincinnati

Even though gutters require some basic maintenance to stay in good working order, installing gutters that need minimal upkeep would be ideal, right? 

LeafGuard of Cincinnati installs seamless aluminum gutters with built-in gutter guards and extra-large downspouts for optimal performance. This gutter system will eliminate the common problems homeowners experience with their gutters, so you can rest assured your basement will stay dry, cool, and free of mold, must, and mildew.

Learn more about our reliable gutters, and when you’re ready for gutter installation to safeguard your basement, call us!