How a disconnected downspout can do serious damage to your foundation

- Wednesday, November 04, 2020

In this episode, we have Adam Tracy -- AKA The Crack Daddy -- with us to share an important case study and wake-up call for homeowners. The foot stomp couldn’t be any louder. Check those downspouts today!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Adam Comeras. Adam has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: How a disconnected downspout can do serious damage to your foundation. A case study in Watertown, MA.

Narrator: Today we have Adam Tracy, A.K.A. The Crack Daddy with us, to share an interesting case study. What do you have for us today, Adam? Adam: Yeah, we had an interesting call come in a couple of weeks ago. A guy in Watertown called us up, he was doing some landscaping in his front yard and was pulling out some shrubs around his property, around the foundation there. He found that there was a little hole in the foundation right where the downspout came down. And so he called us and said, hey I have a hole in my foundation. Now a lot of people will call us and say they have a hole in their foundation. Sometimes they do this when they’re describing a crack, or they’re describing a sewer pipe penetration. So I wasn’t exactly sure what the situation was. So, I said, no I think there’s a little hole that’s developed from maybe where the downspout is.

So, I asked him, is your downspout from the gutter disconnected? Do you have a shoot that goes out into your yard? He goes, no it’s just the pipe that ends a few inches above the ground. I said, okay I think I know what you have going on there, why don’t you send a photo over. I said, do me a favor, dig out some of the holes you have there, just a little bit, just to get down a few inches to see kind of the scope of the issue. As he did that, he sent the photo over and said, I think this issue is bigger than what we initially thought.

We found it was a hole about the size of a softball, maybe a little bit bigger, in the corner of the foundation. Now his house was a concrete block construction, and when they do this, nowadays they fill all the cells if they’re doing new construction. But prior to that, in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, it’s very common for the cells of the cinder blocks to be empty. And as they stagger up the blocks, they basically just stack them on one another and just have the mortar that holds everything together. The disconnected downspout really did a number on this corner, and it put a hole right into the masonry unit and you had a 4 foot down into the dirt on the inside of the foundation, so water could get in there. Ice could form in there and cause issues, and then obviously any sort of animals and insects could get in there as well.

So the issue that we had to resolve is actually a pretty critical one because if this one were left to go for maybe even another season, he could’ve lost the whole corner of that house. It was a major structural concern. So after going out and taking a look at it, getting to discuss the full scope of the job, what we’re able to do is we’re able to basically fill that entire corner section up with a high strength concrete and then we’re able to rebuild that corner for him. And of course we provided the pre-servicer thing, make sure you have the downspout connected all the way out into the grass, so that way any water that does come off the roof flows into the dirt and doesn’t undermine your foundation.

Narrator: Wow, thanks Adam. This is an important wakeup call for homeowners. The message couldn’t be any louder, check those downspouts today.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit or call Adam at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Adam at Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

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A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.

Toll Free: 866-929-3171

Call Us Today at 866-929-3171

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.