Problems: Wet or flooded basements, foundation damage.
Trouble signs: Basement flooding, or water spilling over gutters during rainstorms or pooling around your home's foundations.
What you can do: Extend downspouts to direct water at least 10 feet away from your home's foundation. Replace dented downspouts. Clean gutters at least twice a year.
What it may cost: Twelve-foot vinyl downspouts cost $10-$15 each. For a cleaner look, dig trenches on a downward slope away from your house and install 4-inch PVC pipe ($17 per 10-foot sections) below grass, secured to downspouts with "offset adjuster" connectors ($2 each).
For $1 a foot, prevent future clogging with homeowner-installed gutter shield strips. Replacing faulty gutters or having gutter shield professionally installed can cost $1,500 to $3,000 for a medium-sized house. A professional gutter cleaning and inspection starts at about $60.
What you could save: Tens of thousands in foundation damage and thousands in repairs of finished basements.
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