One easy way to prevent water from seeping into the home is to keep gutters clean so debris does not prevent water from flowing through the downspouts. Proper placement of downspouts is the key to keeping water away from the home foundation. Downspouts should enable draining at a steep pitch so water travels away from the foundation rather than pooling in the surrounding area and eventually seeping into the house.
During installation, downspouts are placed with the goal of getting all rainwater to run off the home. This requires some careful thought because roofs have different pitches and configurations that cause water to flow in different directions. The simple act of relocating a downspout can prevent wetness in a crawl space or basement.
If downspouts are not properly positioned, their discharge can back up behind pavers, stones, soil, or unsealed cement. The water is then held against the wall of the foundation. If this wall contains any flaws, the moisture can seep through into the home. In other cases, the wet soil can rise above the foundation wall, allowing water to enter between this wall and the structure, then traveling into the interior of the home.
In urban areas, downspouts sometimes discharge onto driveways or sidewalks that are insufficiently pitched away from the home. Water can then sit against the home and eventually enter through the foundation. In this situation, the downspout should be moved to a different location on the gutter, which should be repitched so water will travel down to the new location of the downspout.
When determining where to have downspouts placed, homeowners should rely on advice from professionals. Based on previous experience, these experts know which configuration will best direct water away from the home. If dampness is present in a basement or crawl space, repositioning the downspouts may be a cost-effective solution.