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Damp And Mold In Basements: Are Your Gutters To Blame?

Basements are more vulnerable to problems with excess moisture than any other room in your home because they are poorly ventilated and surrounded by moist soil. If your basement is becoming damp and moldy, you should act quickly to keep your basement as dry as possible. When left untreated, damp problems can cause serious issues that put your home and your health at risk.

Why Is Damp And Mold In Basements Bad?

Moisture usually gets into basements in two ways. Groundwater seeps through the porous concrete walls and floor of your basement, and humidity in the air condenses into liquid water as it enters the basement.

If your basement becomes too moist, the excess moisture can damage your basement's concrete walls and floors, causing them to crack. These cracks can weaken the foundations that keep your home structurally stable, leaving your home vulnerable to subsidence and other serious foundation issues.

Moist basements are also more vulnerable to mold and fungal growth. As mold spreads across the walls and floor of your basement, it releases spores into the air. These spores can cause serious lung problems if they are inhaled, especially if you suffer from asthma or other respiratory illnesses.

Damp and mold are especially dangerous if you have a renovated basement that you use as a family room, laundry room, or den. The moisture and mold will seriously damage wallpaper, carpets, and other fittings. If your renovated basement is connected to a central air conditioning and/or heating system, the ducts can also spread mold spores to other rooms in your home.

How Do Gutters Cause Damp And Mold In Basements?

Damaged and clogged gutters are a common cause of dampness and mold in basements, but they are often overlooked. If your gutters are clogged or damaged, they will leak rainwater down the sides of your home's walls. This water saturates the soil surrounding your basement, causing more moisture to seep through your basement walls and into your basement.

To make matters worse, if these leaking gutters are not repaired or replaced promptly, the saturated soil around your basement will start to erode. As the soil washes away, your basement will lose the structural support that the soil provides. Without this support, cracks, and subsidence become even more likely.

What Should You Do If Your Gutters Are Causing Basement Damp And Mold?

If you notice your gutters leaking rainwater, you should check to see if the leak is caused by damage or clogging. If the gutter is clogged with leaves or other debris, removing the clog should solve the issue. Have your gutters professionally unclogged if you are uncomfortable climbing ladders to reach your gutters.

If your gutters are leaking because they are cracked or coming apart, they will need to be repaired or replaced. Minor cracks in metal or PVC gutters can usually be repaired using spot welding or specialized repair tapes. Unless you have experience repairing gutters, these repairs should be performed by a professional gutter repair service, as botched DIY repair jobs can do more harm than good.

If the gutters are too badly damaged to be repaired, they should be replaced by a professional gutter installation service. When choosing new gutters, consider opting for seamless metal gutters. These gutters are manufactured as long, single-piece structures. They do not have any open seams or ridges where leaves can get caught and cause clogs.

Gutters with integrated gutter guards are also a smart choice. These gutters are fitted with protective grates or layers of foam, which prevent solid debris from falling into the gutters and causing clogs. Gutter guards can also be retrofitted to existing gutters.

To learn more, contact a gutter repair and installation service in your area such as Dun-Rite Seamless Gutters, Inc.