How to fix this gutter? Basement flooding

wolfsburged

Bill
Corporate Member
I've been battling this problem for awhile with limited success. The past week or so with the daily rains have meant that every day I am shop vac'ing water out of my basement wood shop. Filling the vacuum 1-2 times each day.

I believe that the root cause of the water in the basement (as well as some wood rot issues with siding) are due to this upper roof gutter to lower roof gutter connection:
KIMG4087 (Small).JPG


Basically all of the water from the upper roof/gutter is over-running the lower gutter and pouring down the siding and pooling in the ground next to the basement. This has also caused the siding at this corner to get rotten:

KIMG4088 (Small).JPG


The ground right below the stairs is very wet and there is efflorescence and spots that appear on the concrete block foundation wall when it rains:

KIMG4089 (Small).JPG


Inside the basement I have tried a few "basics" such as painting the wall with DryLock paint, but I believe that the water is actually coming under the footer and up through the floor/wall joint rather than through the blocks themselves. The lower gutter I have already connected the downspout to a black drain pipe that diverts it down along the foundation and away from the house (solid not perf. pipe).

Anyway long story short is that I think the first step is to fix the gutter issue. In a perfect world I think the best solution would be to bring a downspout from the upper gutter directly to the ground and then into a pipe to divert away. However due to the layout of the roof/upper level bump-out, and proximity to the front door I don't see a great way to route it down.

Otherwise, originally the upper gutter just dumped out onto the roof, rather than how it is directed down into the lower gutter (I did that to try to fix a similar issue, but may have made it worse..). When the gutter dumped onto the roof and ran down, the main lower gutter would heavily over-run the gutter and make it unpleasant to try to go through the doorway. The lower gutter has a gutter guard on it from the previous owner. I'm not sure if that is helping or hurting the problem.

I'm thinking that to start making the lower gutter larger (these are just 4" gutters) might help. Or maybe putting some sort of diverter/guard along that edge to help push/funnel water towards the right?

Looking for any ideas.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
Hey Bill, as one homeowner to another, I agree the best strategy it to drain the upper roof directly to the ground versus draining it onto the lower roof.

- see if a better option is to re-pitch the upper gutter to drain at the back of the house (it would mean you'd need to rehang the upper gutter and figure out the downspout)
- if you can't reroute the upper gutter 'to ground', move the point where it drains into the lower gutter away from the house. I realize that's probably not aesthetically appealing, but will give you more 'buffer space' for managing the water before it overflows the end of the lower gutter onto the siding.
- regardless of the above, add a kickout flashing to the left side of the lower roof immediately above that roof's gutter, to keep the drainage from overflowing onto the siding
- you likely need larger gutters on the lower section, but for a quick fix, try installing 3x4 downspouts if you don't have them already.

Also time to pull off the siding to the left of the door and see how much rot you've got. You could install Tyvek or ideally even an ice and water shield to protect the repaired sheathing.

-Mark
 

woodworker2000

Christopher
Corporate Member
A larger lower gutter might help as well as re-directing the existing downspout further away from the corner by putting a horizontal 90 at the end. Another option might be to split the upper downspout so 1/2 of the water from the upper roof runs to the other side of the lower roof (the side we can't see in the picture).
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I feel for you, you have a lot going on there. First off more photos would help. photos showing the entire house so I can judge how much roof area is draining into each gutter. Second, remove the connection from the upper gutter to the lower - the one you added. Then add a diverter on the roof above the door to divert the upper discharge away from the door. A four or five foot diverter would send the water down to the light area or further right.
The drain from the lower gutter MUST discharge away from your foundation - how far depends on the slope.
A more permanent fix requires pulling the dirt away from the foundation and repairing/redoing the waterproofing and most likely adding positive drainage

Good luck
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
I would recommend that you remove the double elbow segment from the upper roof and bring it straight down to an elbow with a long piece of downspout aimed diagonally across the roof to the right in your first picture. That section can discharge onto the roof or be taken to a downspout at the lower roof level and then to the ground. The key is to divert the water from the upper roof away from the main foundation and siding.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
If it were me, I would redo the upper with a down pipe at the rear of the view shown in the picture. The down pipe should go all the way into a drain line with an outlet somewhere suitable in your yard.

I would also check the sealing of the outer wall at the basement area and there should be a French drain with a suitable exit point somewhere.

Built two homes overseas and built three here. Pretty much standard practice here in the Sandhills and seemingly everywhere else.
 

wolfsburged

Bill
Corporate Member
Here's some more photos.

Per a few recommendations about the upper gutter redirecting to the back of the house - can't do that due to how the roof intersects. Has to come out the front.

KIMG4090 (Small).JPG

KIMG4091 (Small).JPG


This downspout goes into a black drain pipe (solid not perforated) and runs along the entire length of the front of the house to dump out past the house.
KIMG4092 (Small).JPG


KIMG4093 (Small).JPG


This is where the downspout drain pipe exits. You can see along the length of the house there is a good slope from overall right to left, but front to back is not so great.
KIMG4094 (Small).JPG

KIMG4095 (Small).JPG


Upper view - you can see the connection down. There are these perforated gutter guard covers. The area directly below the downspout from upper gutter is cut away.
KIMG4096 (Small).JPG



I think for today to get through next rain period I am going to tear the gutter guards off the lower front gutter entirely and try redirecting the upper gutter more angled across the roof.
 

wolfsburged

Bill
Corporate Member
Well got up and tore the gutter guards off. Turns out the gutters were pretty clogged up under the covers as well. Downspout connection on the bottom gutter completely clogged.

KIMG4097.JPG


So cleaned the upper and lower gutters, and leaving the guards off both for now.

Also removed the strap holding the upper gutter downspout to the side and angled it a bit away from the left side. Don't have any more gutter parts to play with so this will be at least a temporary fix/experiment.

KIMG4098.JPG
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Route to the ground and bypass the gutter like others have recommended. But, get someone who knows how to make a soldered downspout and custom make the downspout as a solid single unit until it is turning to drop to the ground. Then, there will be no leaking from the downspout causing all the water damage on the wall. This is a common problem with homes as they always have those crappy segmented push together downspouts and they all leak to some degree.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
Here's another option:
Have someone make a tapered deflector from black break metal and install it right below the upper downspout. Slip it under the shingles and make the water empty onto the lower roof between the entry door and the windows, then add another downspout there. Oversize gutters and downspouts would definitely be a plus, and although pine makes good framing, pine needles and gutters don't mix.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Last photo. Move down spout to end of gutter, and run it all the way to the ground, and into drainage pipe. As for clogged gutters, I recommend Leaf Guard gutters. Yes they do cost more, but they never have to be cleaned. About fifteen years ago, I had to replace a facia board (carpenter bee damage) on a house with Leaf Guards. Gutters had been up for over fifteen years at that time. Pine trees adjacent to house. Only thing in gutters was some grannuals from roof shingles. No pine straw! Made a believer out of me.
 

kserdar

Ken
Senior User
Since your gutters were clogged - Did you check the black drain pipe as well?
My previous house had a similar issue.
On one side of the house, the previous owner had planted roses directly on top of the black pipe. Which had clogged 90% of the pipe.
One the other side, they had a deck added on. Several of the deck post holes were cut directly thru the drainage pipes.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
I would also replace all of the black corrugated pipe with 4" thin wall sewer and drain pipe that many also use for dust collection. If it is sloped properly, debris will not accumulate in it like the corrugated stuff.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I would also replace all of the black corrugated pipe with 4" thin wall sewer and drain pipe that many also use for dust collection. If it is sloped properly, debris will not accumulate in it like the corrugated stuff.
In my working years, I absolutely refused to install the corrugated black pipe. It was a problem waiting to happen. Every time the drain pipe made a turn, we installed a clean out
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
First off, those gutters look Too small for the roof. Most homeowners arent aware they should be sized for roof size and pitch. Looking at the one picture showing a piece of gutter attached to another, it looks like it was a homeowner install or reinstall at some point. Gutters come in 4, 5 and 6" widths and if undersized for flow or velocity based on roof pitch will overflow quite easily. I would call in a gutter installer who can make a seamless 6" gutter to start with. Then, look at the drainage downspoyt path, again, those should be sized for the same reasons. That upper roof section should probably have its own downspout to the ground as well. As for the water in the basement, rarely is poor gutter drainage the issue there. General grading around the structure is key here, soil types, elevations and if or not the foundation was sealed when constructed all play into that equation.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Pretty much summary:
Larger size gutters
Some sort of debris screen
Direct route to ground
Minimum of 3 feet away from the house.
Pay attention to the grade. Over the years it can get off leaving water to come back to the house.
For buried pipe, I too prefer smooth "irrigation" pipe, usually green.
I prefer cement based trim.

Totally unknown if the foundation was done properly, sufficient French drain, gravel bed, surface waterproofing. Unless it was a custom built home, I will bet the answer is no. Minimum code in this respect was, and still is way short of what really should be done. Retrofit costs many times doing it right in the first place, but most homes are built to minimum price competition. It is easier to sell crown molding than foundation sealing.
 

wolfsburged

Bill
Corporate Member
Last photo. Move down spout to end of gutter, and run it all the way to the ground, and into drainage pipe. As for clogged gutters, I recommend Leaf Guard gutters. Yes they do cost more, but they never have to be cleaned. About fifteen years ago, I had to replace a facia board (carpenter bee damage) on a house with Leaf Guards. Gutters had been up for over fifteen years at that time. Pine trees adjacent to house. Only thing in gutters was some grannuals from roof shingles. No pine straw! Made a believer out of me.
I looked up the Leaf Guard system - that does look better than my perforated cover style.

Any recommendations for a gutter installer that could install new gutters with those guards in Cary?
 

wolfsburged

Bill
Corporate Member
Pretty much summary:
Larger size gutters
Some sort of debris screen
Direct route to ground
Minimum of 3 feet away from the house.
Pay attention to the grade. Over the years it can get off leaving water to come back to the house.
For buried pipe, I too prefer smooth "irrigation" pipe, usually green.
I prefer cement based trim.

Totally unknown if the foundation was done properly, sufficient French drain, gravel bed, surface waterproofing. Unless it was a custom built home, I will bet the answer is no. Minimum code in this respect was, and still is way short of what really should be done. Retrofit costs many times doing it right in the first place, but most homes are built to minimum price competition. It is easier to sell crown molding than foundation sealing.
Agree, I don't know about the foundation at all. I might have to start digging and plan for the worst...
 

blackhawk

Brad
Corporate Member
As others have said, a direct connection to ground is best. But, in your situation that will be tough to make it look good. I have an almost identical situation at my home. Here is what I have done and I have not had any problems with it for the past 20 years. I direct the upper down spout into a lower gutter just like you. But my lower gutter is bigger, either 5 or 6". I have the upper gutter discharge about 8" from the end of the lower gutter. The most important thing is to be sure that bottom 90 fitting from the upper gutter extends at least 1" below the top of the lower gutter and secure it there with a strap of some sort. This will prevent the water from splashing out of the gap that you show in the original pic. Your last pic of the temporary fix where your upper downspout spills onto the roof will definitely help, but I had that setup originally and it will wear out your asphalt shingles much quicker where that gush of water exits.
 

Cuprousworks

Mike
User
Be careful with the selection of gutter covers - I have a similar drainage problem of upper roof downspout to lower roof that was made worse by covers. The higher water volume shoots off the stainless screen.
When I replace I'll probably go with larger sized guttering and will save the leaf guard costs. Probably save enough to pay to have them cleaned for 30 years or so...
 
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