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How Can Clogged Gutters Cause Foundation Cracks?

Posted on May 26, 2024

Clogged Gutters Cause Foundation Cracks

As seasoned gutter installers with over a decade of experience, we’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects that clogged gutters can have on a home’s foundation. It’s a common problem that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late, and the damage has already been done. That’s why we are here today to shed light on the connection between clogged gutters and cracks in a home’s foundation, in order to provide you with valuable insights on how to prevent this from happening to your home.

The Connection Between Clogged Gutters and Your Home’s Foundation

Whether you consider it or not, clogged gutters might be the cause of cracks in your foundation, and that’s a big deal. Here’s a closer look at what happens when your gutters clog: 

1. Water Accumulation Around Your Home

When rain gutters become clogged with debris like leaves, twigs, and dirt, they prevent rainwater from flowing freely through the downspouts and away from your home’s foundation. Instead, the water accumulates in the gutters, creating a pool of standing water that puts immense strain on the gutter system with its weight, causing it to sag and pull away from the fascia boards (the horizontal boards that attach the gutters to your roof).

As a result, water can easily overflow the gutter system and seep behind the gutters, dripping down the sides of your home and saturating the soil around the foundation. And when that soil becomes oversaturated, it can lead to problems with your foundation.

2. Foundation Damage

Foundational damage can be one of the most concerning forms of damage to happen to your home. When rainwater overflows the clogged gutters, it cascades down the sides of your home, creating small pools of water that erode the soil around the foundation. Over time, this erosion causes the soil to shift and settle unevenly, putting immense pressure on the foundation walls.

As the soil around your foundation becomes more and more unstable, it becomes unable to support the weight of your home, leading to cracks in the foundation and potentially, even more severe structural damage. 

Also read: 7 Common Gutter Problems That Require Repairs

Signs of Clogged Gutters

In order to prevent foundation damage to your home, you have to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. To do this, you’ll want to know the signs that your gutters are clogged in order to step in and prevent issues from getting worse. 

If you notice any of the following signs, it is a clear indication that your gutters are clogged and your foundation may be at risk. 

1. Overflowing Gutters

Overflowing Gutters
Overflowing Gutters

This one’s a no-brainer. If you notice water spilling over the edges of your gutters during a rainstorm, that’s a sure sign that they’re clogged and need to be cleaned out. Don’t ignore this warning sign. 

2. Sagging Gutters

Sagging Gutters
Sagging Gutters

As mentioned earlier, the weight of standing water in clogged gutters can cause them to sag and pull away from the fascia boards. If you notice your gutters sagging or separating from the roof, it’s time to grab a ladder and take a closer look. 

Related: How To Fix Sagging Rain Gutters & What Will It Cost?

3. Water Stains on Exterior Walls

If you see unsightly water stains or streaks running down your exterior walls, it could be a sign that water is overflowing from blocked roof gutters and running down the sides of your home. These stains are not only unsightly but also indicate that you may have a gutter issue that needs to be addressed.

4. Plant Growth in Gutters

Plant Growth in Gutters
Plant Growth in Gutters

This one might seem a bit counterintuitive, but if you notice any plants or vegetation growing in your gutters, it’s a clear sign that they’re clogged and holding onto moisture, and probably debris too. Gutters are not designed to be planters, they’re meant to channel water away from your home. 

5. Basement Flooding

Basement Flooding
Basement Flooding

If you’ve ever experienced flooding in your basement after a heavy rainstorm, it could be a result of clogged rain gutters. When gutters are blocked, the water has nowhere to go except down the sides of your home and into your basement. 

Signs of Foundation Damage 

Along with looking out for the signs of clogged gutters, you should also be checking for the following signs that your foundation is damaged: 

1. Cracks in Walls or Floors

Cracks in Walls
Cracks in Walls

One of the most obvious signs of foundation issues is the appearance of cracks in your interior walls or floors. These cracks can be horizontal, vertical, or even zigzag patterns, and they’re a clear indication that something is wrong with your home’s foundation.

2. Misaligned Doors and Windows

Are you observing that your doors and windows are getting harder to open and close? This could indicate that your home’s foundation has shifted, leading to door and window frames becoming misaligned. It’s important to address this issue promptly in order to prevent further damage.

3. Cracks in the Foundation

Of course, the most obvious sign of foundation damage is the presence of cracks in the foundation itself. These cracks can appear on the exterior or interior of your home, and they should never be ignored. 

4. Gaps Between the Foundation and Exterior Walls

If you notice any gaps or spaces between your foundation and the exterior walls of your home, it’s a clear sign that something has shifted or settled. These gaps can allow moisture and pests to enter your home, which is never a good thing. 

How To Prevent Clogged Gutters and Foundation Damage

While professional cleanings and service may be the best way to prevent your gutters from becoming clogged and damaging your home’s foundation, here are a few steps homeowners can take themselves: 

1. Regular Cleaning

The most obvious solution is to clean your gutters regularly. It’s not the most glamorous task, but it’s crucial for maintaining the health and integrity of your home’s foundation. Aim to clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall, when leaves and debris tend to accumulate.

2. Install Gutter Guards

Gutter Guards
Gutter Guard

Consider investing in gutter guards. These nifty devices are designed to keep leaves, twigs, and other debris out of your gutters, reducing the need for frequent cleaning. It’s not a total cure-all, but they can certainly make your gutters a whole lot easier to maintain.

3. Trim Overhanging Branches

Another way to prevent gutter clogs is to trim any overhanging branches or trees that may be shedding leaves, needles, or other debris onto your roof and into your gutters. Regular tree maintenance can go a long way in keeping your gutters clear and functioning properly.

4. Check Downspouts


While you’re up there cleaning or inspecting your gutters, don’t forget to check the downspouts as well. These vertical pipes are responsible for carrying water away from your home’s foundation, so it’s important to ensure they’re free of clogs and debris. If water can’t flow freely through the downspouts, it can lead to overflowing gutters and all the problems we’ve discussed earlier.

Contact The Gutter Experts In Hattiesburg, MS 

If you find any issues with gutters or notice any signs of clogging, contact the professional roofers at B&A Roofing in Hattiesburg, MS. The professional roofers at our company can proficiently handle any gutter project, be it new gutters installation or gutter repair. Contact us today at (601) 520-3183 and consult with one of our skilled professionals.

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