WASHINGTON — The effects of the storms around the D.C. area this weekend are being felt in a variety of ways, but one aspect of the damages often caused by storms is one that goes overlooked.

Greg Kunstbeck, owner of NOVA Contracting, says clogged gutters become a serious problem when heavy downpour like what’s expected this weekend comes down.

“Leaves back up in there, the water tends to spill over, run down the foundation and find the low point and enter the basement,” Kunstbeck says.

The ground all around the District is well-saturated after hours of heavy rain through Friday morning, and the area is under a Flash Flood Watch until 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Winds of more than 20 miles per hour could create problems, as trees have less support in the damp ground.

However, Kunstbeck says water damage to houses is something to keep an eye on. It might not be as dangerous, at least immediately, but it’s a often a problem that can be at least partially avoided.

“Preventative maintenance is the cheapest, always,” he says. “On the downside, if you do have a problem, generally it’s going to be pretty big. It can do a lot of damage to your home. Water is definitely bad because it can lead to mold and other types of water damage in the home.”

Simply getting up on a ladder and removing leaves from the gutter will alleviate most basic blockages, something Kunstbeck says to do three or four times per year.

“It is a very important thing to do, and you can do it yourself,” Kunstbeck says. “Nine times out of 10, that will solve your leaky basement issue.”

Clogged gutters can cause serious problems with heavy downpours, but they get even more dangerous with the snow that comes in winter.

WNEW’s Chuck Carroll contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.


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