Author Topic: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT  (Read 1882 times)

BrandNewPapa

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Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« on: July 11, 2017, 06:59:07 AM »
I've been getting water in my basement since I owned my house (about 4.5 years). It usually just a small trickle from one of the walls during heavy rain storms. Due to various life issues, its been at the bottom of my priority list. Now that I've got some more free time, its really starting to bother me.

Last summer we had 2 basement water proofing companies come out and take a look at it, and at one of our foundation walls. They both had the same recommendation - replace downspout tiles to the street and reinforce the wall with carbon fiber strips. We went with the cheaper company - speed of work was good, but they didn't glue any of the tile pieces together properly.

This summer we've had a few heavy downpours, and I'm still getting water in my basement. I've been going out in the rain and watching the water on my roof and gutters and I have determined the problem. The gutters/spouts on the front of my house seem to be inadequate for the size of the roof. I'm not sure how to fix it, but I'd like to do it myself.

Some pertinent details:
1. The area of my roof draining to the gutters on the front of my house is huge. The gutter measures about 5 feet in the long portion and about 14 inches in the short portion. You can see over half my roof is draining to this.
2. The gutters are overflowing and water is pooling near the foundation. This is right where it is coming into my basement.
3. I have a rain barrel connected to the downspout. It partially blocks the spout to divert water into the barrel, but is supposed to have enough opening to not significantly affect the flow. See attached picture for the downspout insert. I'd like to keep the barrel if possible.
4. Downspout and gutters seem typical size to me. The spout is 3"x2", not sure on the gutter, I didn't want to get my ladder out just to measure.
5. I clean the gutters of debris 2X a year (spring and fall)

My thoughts for a solution:
1. Do they make bigger/wider gutters? I could replace with larger gutters. How to attach/replace?
2. Do they make larger downspouts? I could replace with larger spouts to get more flow.
3. Might need to remove rain barrel, but I believe we still had this issue before the barrel was installed. I can't remember for certain.
4. Extend the wall thingy that is in the corner?
5. Add another downspout to the short portion of the gutter. I could run this down the edge of the house and tie it into the drain tile from the other downspout (see yellow in the picture). I'd like to avoid this because I'd have to dig up my yard.

I'm open to suggestions. I'm pretty handy and do most of the work on my house, but I'm not experienced at all with gutters.

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 08:39:42 AM »
I feel your pain. I'm about to climb on my roof and fix my gutter issues, hopefully tomorrow :(    Since I have been doing a lot of research on the matter, I can advise you of what I would do.

I have only found one size of downspouts, so getting a bigger one will probably be difficult. Because of that just add another downspout and run it as you have listed with the yellow marks. Should be easy and cheap.

As an added precaution I would excavate your mulch area where water is pooling and add a nice layer of concrete sloped towards the grass. I would add a nice thick bead of silicone caulk to where the concrete meets the wall in order to prevent water from getting behind the cement. Then cover it with mulch.  You will lose those little tress but that's collateral damage.

My father always said, "You can't stop water, you can only divert it.". You want the water to get as far away from your foundation as possible. Do anything you can to make it happen.
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craiglepaige

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 08:42:01 AM »
You can also just run the new spout straight out into the front grass. Will probably be less noticeable.
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Sibley

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 09:46:31 AM »
I just had my gutters replaced. I believe that they said something about different size gutters.

However, what criglepaige said makes sense.

paddedhat

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 09:59:08 AM »
You have an issue with a very small section of gutter. Simply put, it is not move enough water, at adequate speed, during heavy rain events. It doesn't need to be bigger, it just needs to be reworked so it preforms better. There are several possible reasons. First, the gutters many not have adequate pitch toward the downspout. Water runs downhill, obviously, and it the gutters are too "flat" the water will fill the gutter, THEN take it's sweet time draining down the spout. Second, the gutter might be clogged with pine needles, or leaves. Third, a leaf guard product, installed on top of the gutter, to eliminate debris clogging, could be severely limiting the capacity of the gutters. I just bought an existing home that has similar problems. In my case, it's caused by the poorly designed leaf guards, that are thick covers with small holes punched in them. during high volume storm events, the water overwhelms the capacity of the silly little holes and water cascades out of the gutters at inside corners. Good luck, this should be a cheap, easy fix.

lthenderson

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 10:38:13 AM »
I would add that one of the most simple options often overlooked is regrading that corner so that water doesn't pool. Whenever I have bought a house, grading around the perimeter is almost always zero. I always add several inches of grading that extends out several feet from the foundation and that always has an immediate affect on water penetration into the house. You should of course take care of any water spilling from the gutters as well as that can cause a number of other problems.

Lulee

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 11:01:54 PM »
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/how-to-size-gutters-and-downspouts  This article about sizing your gutters and downspouts properly from This Old House says you can get larger gutters but likely as a custom order from a professional installer.  Craiglepage and lthenderson's suggestions on grading water away sound quite helpful but this isn't an area I have experience in personally.

Jon Bon

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 05:37:42 AM »
Yeah that is lots of roof and a small gutter.

Adding a downspout on a 1 story house is pretty dang easy. That is for sure the route I would go, worse case your out like $12 in materials.

The stuff is sharp so be careful and wear gloves. I would put the downspout near that corner and tie into your existing downspouts from there. I would not mess with a rain barrel or try to dump the water into the yard, id want to traveling as far away from the house as possible.

As paddedhat said clogged gutters are a huge deal, but this feels like just too much water coming from the roof.


paddedhat

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 06:00:58 AM »
JonBon may very well be right about needing an additional downspout. Before I go that route, just me, but I would literally be on a step ladder, in one hell of a rain storm, to see what is actually going on, real time. If you do need a new leader (downspout) there are two things that trip DIYers up. First, a pro uses a very heavy duty hand punch to make a neat round hole in the bottom of the gutter. Doing it without the this tool involves a drill, tin snips and working upside down. It is difficult, and a VERY easy way to put some deep gashes in your hand. There is a pair of hand tin snip made that can cut very tight circles. Leather gloves are a great option here. Second, you need to seal the transition fitting into the bottom of the gutter. pros use a special gutter sealant that works. Nine of ten caulk products you find on the shelf at the store will work, many for a short time. Try to find actual gutter sealant, it makes a big difference. You should be able to find big toothpaste tubes of the stuff for around $5.

Jon Bon

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 07:58:54 AM »
+1 to walking around and looking when it rains.

Its really easy to spend lots of time money and effect 'fixing' water issues that are not actually issues.

Ask me how I know.......

paddedhat

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 08:19:01 AM »
I would go past walking around in a downpour. I would have my face in that gutter while it's raining buckets. It could be something as simple as some knothead mounted the gutter an inch too low, and during extreme events some of the volume  simply overshoots the gutter. There are larger gutters available, and some outfits that roll and install gutter have a "6" K gutter machine" on their truck, to make and install the stuff, onsite. That said, in my area, where we get 45-90 inches of rain a year, I have never seen the larger stuff used on anything but large commercial work.

Bosco4789

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 08:46:55 AM »
You only have one issue. Before changing anything with the gutters, other than making sure they are clean and free flowing, address the major problem.

Water leaking into your basement.
     -  water pools in corner. It can't leak if it doesn't pool.
          -eliminate the ability to pool
               - regrade the area so water flows away from the house. As simple as higher dirt around the foundation, or  making a path for water to flow away

If this hasn't stopped the leakage, address the gutters.


Work backwards, fixing one problem at a time, until the problem is eliminated.

paddedhat

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 01:25:47 PM »
You only have one issue. Before changing anything with the gutters, other than making sure they are clean and free flowing, address the major problem.

Water leaking into your basement.
     -  water pools in corner. It can't leak if it doesn't pool.
          -eliminate the ability to pool
               - regrade the area so water flows away from the house. As simple as higher dirt around the foundation, or  making a path for water to flow away

If this hasn't stopped the leakage, address the gutters.


Work backwards, fixing one problem at a time, until the problem is eliminated.

I would politely disagree on this one.  The issue is that the gutter is overloading. Address the issue, the wet basement goes away. Should there be proper grading around the perimeter, and is it a good idea to address? Absolutely. Is it top priority, or even all than important, in this case? Probably not. No different than having a leaky bathtub faucet and a partially clogged tub drain. Every morning you wake up, look in the tub and say, "damn, there is still an inch of water in there, and nobody used it yesterday, I need to clear the clog" Yes you do, but first you need to stop the leak.  A deluge of excess water cascading off the gutter, opposite the downspout, is the issue here. Improper grading is a problem, but so is splash back on the wall and repeatedly soaking the exterior wall of that corner.

The ISSUE is a failure of the gutter to perform adequately. The RESULT is repeatedly saturating the exterior wall due to splash back, and a moisture in the basement. Grading at this point means little, since it won't cure the cause, prevent splash back, our guarantee that the area below the waterfall will not get saturated and seep into the basement, or create erosion issues.


BrandNewPapa

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2017, 05:39:10 PM »
You only have one issue. Before changing anything with the gutters, other than making sure they are clean and free flowing, address the major problem.

Water leaking into your basement.
     -  water pools in corner. It can't leak if it doesn't pool.
          -eliminate the ability to pool
               - regrade the area so water flows away from the house. As simple as higher dirt around the foundation, or  making a path for water to flow away

If this hasn't stopped the leakage, address the gutters.


Work backwards, fixing one problem at a time, until the problem is eliminated.

I would politely disagree on this one.  The issue is that the gutter is overloading. Address the issue, the wet basement goes away. Should there be proper grading around the perimeter, and is it a good idea to address? Absolutely. Is it top priority, or even all than important, in this case? Probably not. No different than having a leaky bathtub faucet and a partially clogged tub drain. Every morning you wake up, look in the tub and say, "damn, there is still an inch of water in there, and nobody used it yesterday, I need to clear the clog" Yes you do, but first you need to stop the leak.  A deluge of excess water cascading off the gutter, opposite the downspout, is the issue here. Improper grading is a problem, but so is splash back on the wall and repeatedly soaking the exterior wall of that corner.

The ISSUE is a failure of the gutter to perform adequately. The RESULT is repeatedly saturating the exterior wall due to splash back, and a moisture in the basement. Grading at this point means little, since it won't cure the cause, prevent splash back, our guarantee that the area below the waterfall will not get saturated and seep into the basement, or create erosion issues.

I agree with paddedhat. I've regraded the area several times, and it keeps washing away and pooling up. I think the next logical step is to fix the gutters.

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 06:54:48 AM »
Just walked out of Lowe's after buying the final materials for my gutter fix - they have in stock larger sized downspouts.  The normal 2x3 is priced at $8.99 for the 10' section.  The 3x4 is priced at $12.99 for the 10' section. 

I cleaned out my gutters and added two new downspouts to attache the second floor gutters to the first floor ones(split level home) in order for them not to ruin my roof.  Easy peazy.
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hoosier

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 08:19:35 AM »
Unless that gutter is overflowing during heavy rain, adding an additional downspout isn't going to help.  If it is, then you could add another downspout or replace the whole thing with a 6" gutter.


BrandNewPapa

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2017, 11:04:17 AM »
Just walked out of Lowe's after buying the final materials for my gutter fix - they have in stock larger sized downspouts.  The normal 2x3 is priced at $8.99 for the 10' section.  The 3x4 is priced at $12.99 for the 10' section. 

Heading to Lowes this weekend. I'm going to approach this in steps. Here is my plan for those following along:
  • Remove rainbarrel from the downspout.
  • Replace current 2x3 downspout with a 3x4 downspout. According to the link provided by Lulee, this should double its capacity.
  • Wait for rain. Check performance during downpour.
  • If performance is good, reinstall rainbarrel in new downspout.
  • Wait for rain. Check performance during downpour.
  • If performance is maintained, I'm done.
  • If no good, install second downspout (or just remove rainbarrel if I'm feeling lazy).
  • If adding a second 3x4 downspout and removing the rainbarrel doesn't resolve the issue, I'll have to custom order some 6 inch gutters.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 11:06:07 AM by BrandNewPapa »

lthenderson

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2017, 11:42:21 AM »
Just walked out of Lowe's after buying the final materials for my gutter fix - they have in stock larger sized downspouts.  The normal 2x3 is priced at $8.99 for the 10' section.  The 3x4 is priced at $12.99 for the 10' section. 

Heading to Lowes this weekend. I'm going to approach this in steps. Here is my plan for those following along:
  • Remove rainbarrel from the downspout.
  • Replace current 2x3 downspout with a 3x4 downspout. According to the link provided by Lulee, this should double its capacity.
  • Wait for rain. Check performance during downpour.
  • If performance is good, reinstall rainbarrel in new downspout.
  • Wait for rain. Check performance during downpour.
  • If performance is maintained, I'm done.
  • If no good, install second downspout (or just remove rainbarrel if I'm feeling lazy).
  • If adding a second 3x4 downspout and removing the rainbarrel doesn't resolve the issue, I'll have to custom order some 6 inch gutters.

With shallow eaves on your house, I would still regrade the area while I'm at it to stop wind blown rain from pooling up next to the foundation where it can cause problems. My gutters will handle any rain 99% of the time but maybe once every few years we get a real toad strangler and even they are no match for the water coming off the roof and the gutters overflow. Regrading prevents this being an issue that 1% of the time and well worth it since we have a finished basement.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2017, 11:44:40 AM »
My gutters will handle any rain 99% of the time but maybe once every few years we get a real toad strangler and even they are no match for the water coming off the roof and the gutters overflow.

lolololol never heard this term before. I will regrade once the pooling issue has been resolved.

paddedhat

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2017, 02:40:40 PM »
Upsizing the downspout is heading in the wrong direction. You have virtually no lineal footage of gutter in that small corner,  and very little possibility that you are overloading the capacity of a standard leader.  I had one fairly small neighborhood where I had about two dozens new homes built.  One Saturday evening, it rained about nine inches in a few hours. It was a disaster. Roads washed out, new ditches in yards, crawl spaces filled with water and flowing out of the vents. At no point did a customer report that they had gutters overflowing, since the downspout was full. In some cases we are talking gutters 20-25' long, with roofs no smaller than yours.  A gravity feed 2x3 will discharge at least 120 gallons a minute. I doubt you are anywhere near that volume. In a good rainstorm 120 GPM, confined to a tight discharge area, even for a few minutes, will leave one hell of an erosion ditch. Think fire hose volume here. Not to beat a dead horse, but I've done this for a living, forever it seems, and you might want to take a look at my list of potential issues to address. Say you invest the time and money on a bigger leader, (which I have yet to see on a single family residence, ever BTW). Now it rains, and you have water flowing over the top for one of the many reasons that, I and other knowledgeable folks, have addressed, What's next?  Remember, typically the outlet that transitions to the leader is a round neck fitting that drops into a 2-1/2" hole. If you leave that in place, putting a larger leader on is a total waste, since the current outlet will restrict the flow severely.  Now you need to cut most of the bottom of the gutter out and install a  3"x4" outlet, with less than a 1/4" to spare on the flat area of the bottom of the gutter. Tough for an experienced metal worker, and unless you remove the whole thing, you are doing it upside down. Doesn't matter who chimes in here, with what advice, until you are outside, in a rain storm and looking at why your gutter is not functioning, it doesn't matter if you change leaders, regrade the yard,  of hire a witch doctor to dance in the driveway, it won't help. You can't fix a problem if you haven't identified what that problem is.

If, during a biblical deluge, you determine that the gutter is filled to the top, and the downspout if full, then rehang the gutter dead level, and add another 2x3 to the other end. A 3x4 is a pretty big piece, doesn't transition well to 5" K gutter, and will look like ass, IMHO.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 02:50:43 PM by paddedhat »

Jon Bon

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2017, 04:35:22 PM »
Upsizing the downspout is heading in the wrong direction. You have virtually no lineal footage of gutter in that small corner,  and very little possibility that you are overloading the capacity of a standard leader.  I had one fairly small neighborhood where I had about two dozens new homes built.  One Saturday evening, it rained about nine inches in a few hours. It was a disaster. Roads washed out, new ditches in yards, crawl spaces filled with water and flowing out of the vents. At no point did a customer report that they had gutters overflowing, since the downspout was full. In some cases we are talking gutters 20-25' long, with roofs no smaller than yours.  A gravity feed 2x3 will discharge at least 120 gallons a minute. I doubt you are anywhere near that volume. In a good rainstorm 120 GPM, confined to a tight discharge area, even for a few minutes, will leave one hell of an erosion ditch. Think fire hose volume here. Not to beat a dead horse, but I've done this for a living, forever it seems, and you might want to take a look at my list of potential issues to address. Say you invest the time and money on a bigger leader, (which I have yet to see on a single family residence, ever BTW). Now it rains, and you have water flowing over the top for one of the many reasons that, I and other knowledgeable folks, have addressed, What's next?  Remember, typically the outlet that transitions to the leader is a round neck fitting that drops into a 2-1/2" hole. If you leave that in place, putting a larger leader on is a total waste, since the current outlet will restrict the flow severely.  Now you need to cut most of the bottom of the gutter out and install a  3"x4" outlet, with less than a 1/4" to spare on the flat area of the bottom of the gutter. Tough for an experienced metal worker, and unless you remove the whole thing, you are doing it upside down. Doesn't matter who chimes in here, with what advice, until you are outside, in a rain storm and looking at why your gutter is not functioning, it doesn't matter if you change leaders, regrade the yard,  of hire a witch doctor to dance in the driveway, it won't help. You can't fix a problem if you haven't identified what that problem is.

If, during a biblical deluge, you determine that the gutter is filled to the top, and the downspout if full, then rehang the gutter dead level, and add another 2x3 to the other end. A 3x4 is a pretty big piece, doesn't transition well to 5" K gutter, and will look like ass, IMHO.

Ok I think I got that.....

What paddedhat is saying is up-sizing the downspouts alone is not going to help. You could make your downspouts a 10 inch pipe and it would not help. The reason is you only have a small 2.5 inch hole in the gutter itself. You can make that bigger (which would help) but its difficult with the size limitations of the gutter itself. You have a bottleneck where the downspout meets the gutter.

So I think the best solution if I'm hearing paddedhat correctly that I see is to simply cut a new 2.5 inch hole in the gutter itself and add an brand new 2x3 downspout.  That is at least what I would try first.

Good luck!

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2017, 06:09:11 AM »
So I got my butt up on the ladder Saturday afternoon to check things out. paddedhat, you were right about not fitting a 3x4 in downspout on the 5 in gutter. (As a side note, I have gone out in the rain previously to identify the issue. It is overflowing the gutter, because the its too much flow into the small gutter. I think you were implying I hadn't).

I ended up just biting the bullet and going to Home Depot (which was an awful experience, never going back there again). They were the only place close to me that stocked 6" gutters. I bought a 6" gutter, corner, elbows, end caps, sealant, and a 3x4 downspout. I fitted them all and hung this weekend. They are still draining into a 3" tile, so I got a 4" to 3" flex coupling to hook up the downspout. I'm not too concerned about 3" tile, we will see. The issue was not enough flow through the downspout causing a backup in the gutter. The larger size should fix it.

Waiting for the next storm.

paddedhat

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2017, 06:53:41 AM »
Sounds good. You didn't mention if you refitted the deflector that was installed in the corner of your original gutter.  It's purpose is to catch the high speed, high volume, narrow plume of water in the very center of the valley, and keep it from either overshooting the gutter, or hitting the outer lip and splashing all over.  You will need it, even on the bigger set-up. If you haven't done so, it should be an easy job of drilling out the existing rivets with an 1/8" bit and reinstalling it on the new gutter, with the same bit, and a few white aluminum rivets.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Need to fix gutter/downspout - WATER IN BASEMENT
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2017, 07:14:59 AM »
Yup, I replaced it. It was just installed with sheet metals screws. Easy off, easy on.