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.


Which type of gutter is best?

Find out what the best type of gutter is for your home or business.

Your home is an investment. Every decision you make regarding your house needs should be considered, including choosing the gutter to use.

Gutters come in many shapes, colors, and prices. There’s no one “best” gutter, but there is a best gutter for your specific situation.

With many options available for you, it may be overwhelming to pick gutters for your home. Don’t worry; we prepared a guide to help you make the right decision for your roof. 

Common Types of Gutters

There are three common shapes of gutters available today that come in 5 to 10 inches in width. The three most common gutter shapes are K-style, half-round, and box-style. 

a k-style gutter
A K-style gutter. The outside edge is shaped like the letter K.

K-style gutters have flat backs and bottoms. Often, its front side comes with decorative shapes to make your gutter look like crown molding. K-style gutters are the most common type used in homes today. They’re easy to install, durable, can handle a lot of rainwater, and improve your curb appeal.

a half-round gutter
A half-round gutter. The gutter is shaped like half of a circle.

Half-round gutters are half-circle tubes and are typically used in old homes. They have a rustic look, and they’re easier to clean as well. While they are more expensive, they’re also less likely to corrode.

a box-style gutter
A box-style gutter. These gutters are mostly square and are often found on commercial buildings.

Box-style gutters are the third most popular type of gutter and are usually used for commercial and industrial buildings. Box styles are designed for large roofs and more water output. They come in different sizes, from 7″ to 10″. As the name suggests, they look like long boxes.

Gutter Materials to Choose From

Gutters are typically made using one of a few materials: aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, or vinyl.

  • Aluminum. Aluminum gutters are the most common material used, and they come in different thicknesses. A thin aluminum gutter is a good choice for places with no heavy rain or snow. However, if you live in an area with frequent and heavy snow, it’s better to invest in thicker aluminum gutters. They come in many different colors so it’s easy to find some that match the rest of your house. Aluminum gutters are less expensive, but they’re also prone to damage during extreme fluctuations in temperature.
  • Copper. Copper gutters off a “patina” look that many homeowners like. These are strong, heavy-duty gutters. However, that strength comes at a price because their weight causes them to come loose more easily.
  • Galvanized steel. These gutters are very strong so they can handle a lot of rainwater or snow. However, their strength makes them heavy, so they’ll come loose more easily. On top of that, galvanized steel rusts very easily.
  • Vinyl. Vinyl is also an affordable choice that’s easy to install yourself. However, it’s not the best option if your home is in a cold area. The cold causes crack over time and may result in water pooling. Vinyl isn’t as sturdy as metal gutters are, but it also won’t rust like metal gutters do.

Gutter installation in London, KY | Kirby Contracting

Now you know which type of gutter is best for your situation. But picking out your gutters is only half the problem. Now you need to get them installed! Call us today for your free estimate. If you’re still not sure what kind of gutters would be best for your home or business, let us use our expertise to help you decide.


Gutter Cleaning Tips Homeowners Should Know

Gutter cleaning and maintenance are necessary steps to ensure a working gutter system that keeps your home safe. Here are tips homeowners should know about gutter cleaning. 

Gutter cleaning isn’t just about improving your home’s curb appeal. It’s important to keep your gutters clean because you don’t want excess water on your roof to damage your home. Cleaning out your gutters helps eliminate the risk of water damage and rust corrosion.

Here are some tips homeowners should know about gutter cleaning. 

When to clean your gutters

Gutter cleaning may not always be on your list of things to do for your home. However, if frequently neglected, it could cause major damage to your roof. In London, KY, It’s best to clean your gutters semi-annually. Once in the fall before snow and ice come, and once in the spring after the cold weather has passed.

Safety first 

Always put your safety first. Wear protective gear and use a sturdy ladder. We suggest using an aluminum ladder as it’s strong and lightweight. Check the ladder before using it and inspect it for defects or loose parts before climbing up. Don’t forget to use gloves to protect your hands from debris, rotten leaves, or animal droppings. Suede gloves are recommended over leather or cotton gloves. 

Use a garden hose

A garden hose is an effective gutter cleaner. You can use it from the ground or from the ladder. Start spraying by the nearest downspout, clean the whole channel length, and then back to the downspout. If the garden hose doesn’t do the job, use a plumber’s snake instead to reach the bends and flush down the clogs. 

Pressure washing 

If you haven’t cleaned your gutters in a long time, then there’s probably a significant buildup of dirt, debris, and gunk. Cleaning it with a garden hose may not be enough. If that’s the case, then you can try using a pressure washer on the gutters. You can do it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. 

Be cautious of power lines

Inspect the power lines connected to your house before proceeding with your gutter cleaning. Check the electrical cables and where they are connected to your roof. Specifically, check to see if the wires are damaged. If they are, call a licensed professional to help. Do not attempt to clean your gutter if there are damaged powerlines nearby. Regardless of whether there’s rain or not, electrical wires should be repaired and addressed first before doing any activities on your roof. 

Use gutter guards 

Many homeowners use gutter guards to avoid the buildup of debris. Gutter guards prevent things like sticks, leaves, and pine needles from falling into your gutter. You’re certain to experience fewer clogged gutters if you’re taking an active step like this to prevent them.

Kirby Contracting | Gutter Installation Services

We are your roofing specialists in London, KY. We offer roofing, gutter installation, and general contracting in London, KY at an affordable cost. You’re in good hands with us.

If your gutters need repair or replacement, call us today for a free estimate.