For the homeowner, nearly nothing is as bad of a problem as is undertaking a foundation repair project. Foundation repair is costly. It is time consuming and it is messy work. More often than not, foundation repairs could have been mitigated if proper gutter maintenance was used. This is especially true during the winter months. Here is why it is important to maintain your gutters in winter.
If your gutters have not been cleaned or maintained or if an ice dam has been created, the water is going to flow over it and onto the ground surrounding the house. The ground around your house is already going to be saturated. Adding more water so near the foundation is inevitably going to create seepage. This seepage is what is, ultimately, going to wreck your foundation.
The first signs of infiltration will be in the form of moisture in the basement. This may be accompanied by the smell of mold. If the problem is not remedied, it will get worse. As the freeze/thaw cycle of winter and summer goes on, cracks and visible seepage into the basement may occur. Ultimately, these cracks become larger. This leads to a general weakening of structural integrity and potential structural failure.
All this could have been prevented if you had maintained your gutters in winter. Here are some tips to help you avoid this nightmare scenario.
Use long lasting materials. When people look at the cost of roof products, they need to look both at the price and its longevity. The longer the product lasts, the longer the period of time the cost can be amortized. In my experience, cheap products lead to more, sudden, failures than ones built with heavy duty ingredients.