gutter downspout protecting home foundation

How Gutters Protect Your Home’s Foundation

Gutters are a crucial part of your roof. They help collect and direct the water that lands on the roof when it rains or snows. Gutters are certainly a key part of a good roofing system. But did you know they also play a big role in protecting your home’s foundation?

How water can hurt the foundation

An excess of water near a home’s foundation can harm the foundation in a few different ways. These include hydrostatic pressure, expansive soils, and erosion.

Hydrostatic pressure

Webster’s dictionary defines hydrostatic pressure as “pressure exerted by or existing within a liquid at rest with respect to adjacent bodies.” Basically, this is just the pressure that liquid puts on the things around it. When it comes to your home, pooled water nearby can put lots of unnecessary pressure on the foundation.

Expansive soils

Even if the water itself isn’t pooled around a home, the water can still cause problems if too much gets into the soil. Certain soils expand when water gets into them. The soil increases in volume which puts pressure on the home’s foundation. This pressure could cause cracks in the foundation which could eventually lead to a collapse.


Erosion is when water washes away soil. This can be harmful to a home’s foundation because the foundation ultimately sits on top of the soil. If too much erosion occurs, it can cause the home’s foundation to shift, causing problems throughout the home.

How gutters protect a home’s foundation

Now that we know all the problems that excess water around the home can cause, it’s easy to see how gutters help protect a home’s foundation. Gutters systems are specifically designed to collect water on the roof and send it away from the home.

Water lands on the roof, flows down into the gutter, and then flows down the downspouts. The gutter downspouts should be situated so that the water flows out a safe distance away from the home’s foundation.

It’s recommended that downspouts extend at least 6 feet away from your home. This creates enough distance between the water and your home so that the water doesn’t harm the foundation.

Protect your whole home | Kirby Contracting

At Kirby Contracting, we care about what you care about. That means that protecting your home and family is our top priority. We specialize in gutter installation. If your current gutter system isn’t cutting it and you want to protect your home’s foundation, give us a call today! We’d be happy to serve you.

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