Downspouts are a critical component of roof drainage. They carry the rainwater from the gutters down and safely divert it away from the house. When rain falls on your roof, that water needs to go somewhere. Without a proper drainage system with functional downspouts, excessive rainwater can collect around the foundation, leading to flooding, moisture seepage into basements, and costly water damage.
Downspouts work as part of a system with gutters. Gutters collect the rainwater runoff from the roofing system and channel it to the downspouts. The downspouts then act as vertical conduits, transferring the water down the side of the house. At the top, an elbow fitting connects the gutter to the upper end of the downspout pipe. The pipe, typically galvanized steel or aluminum, then runs vertically down the exterior wall, secured by brackets anchored to the siding. At ground level, a concrete, plastic or rubber splash block helps diffuse the downspout's water energy and prevent soil erosion. Downspout extensions are often attached to carry the water flow farther away from the foundation.
The proper sizing, quantity, and placement of downspouts is critical for managing rainwater and protecting the home's foundation. As a rule, downspouts should be positioned so water drains at least 5-10 feet away from the foundation around the entire house perimeter. Proper drainage techniques like downspout extensions, French drains, rain barrels and correct slope grading help facilitate this.
This article will explore everything homeowners need to know about downspouts. We’ll cover the different downspout styles and materials available. You’ll learn professional tips for installing and integrating downspouts with your existing gutters. We discuss best practices for downspout drainage and management. Read on for the information you need to choose the right downspouts to efficiently divert rainwater away from your home’s foundation. Contact us to discuss the downspout solutions that meet your home’s unique needs.
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Downspout Installation Options
Downspouts come in a variety of styles to suit your home’s exterior design:
- Galvanized Steel – A traditional choice, galvanized steel downspouts are extremely durable. They come in plain or decorative designs.
- Aluminum – Lightweight aluminum downspouts feature maintenance-free convenience. Available in colors to complement your home.
- Vinyl – The option we don't recommend! Not very durable.
- Copper Downspouts – Naturally gorgeous copper develops a unique patina over time for an eye-catching designer look.
How To Maintain Drainage Flow
To keep water away from the foundation, proper drainage management is key. Here are some top methods:
- Splash blocks at the downspout base dissipate energy and prevent soil erosion.
- Downspout extensions carry water 6-10 feet or more away from the house.
- Slope grading directs water flow away from the foundation.
- Dry wells collect and disperse water into the ground.
- Rain barrels store water for irrigation use in gardens.
- French drains move water to municipal storm sewer systems.
Avoid draining downspouts onto driveways (a common problem for concrete driveways phoenix), walkways or patios to prevent slippery conditions. Careful drainage management is vital for downspout effectiveness.
Downspout vs Gutter Drainage Systems Comparison
There are two main approaches to handling roof runoff – downspouts or gutter drainage systems. Here’s how they compare:
|Factor||Downspouts||Gutter Drainage Systems|
|Description||Vertical pipes carry water down exterior walls||Pipes hidden within gutters carry water to ground|
|Appearance||Downspouts visible on exterior||No exterior pipes or drains visible|
|Installation||Attach to existing gutters||New gutter system required|
|Cost||$2 - $4 per foot||$12 - $16 per foot|
|Pitch Needed||Rainwater falls vertically||Minimal pitch needed in gutters|
|Maintenance||Occasional cleaning required||Less susceptible to clogs|
As you can see, downspouts offer a more affordable and easier option, while built-in gutter drainage provides hidden functionality. Choose the best solution for your home’s setup and budget.
Downspout Installation Tips
Properly integrating new downspouts with your existing gutters requires expertise:
- Evaluate drainage layout needs for number and placement of downspouts.
- Match downspout size to gutter width and expected rainfall volume.
- Secure brackets and hangers at proper intervals for a solid mount.
- Ensure connections are leak-proof.
- Position elbows to prevent overflow and back-ups.
- Direct extensions away from home and landscaping.
Our gutter professionals have the skills to seamlessly incorporate new downspouts into your current system for optimized performance.
Maintaining Your Downspouts
With proper downspout installation from a reputable gutter company, downspout maintenance is minimal:
- Inspect elbows and clear any debris obstructions.
- Check pipe attachments yearly and refasten any loose brackets.
- Confirm drainage extensions direct water away from home.
- Monitor splash blocks for proper positioning.
- Use a downspout cleaner to clear any interior clogs.
Routine inspection and cleaning will keep your downspouts working properly for long-lasting protection.
Let the Experts Handle Your Downspouts
Downspouts, whether being replaced, or installed for the first time, require expertise to work correctly. To be sure they are positioned to optimize water flow and drainage for your home, trust our professional installers. We’ll handle your downspout project quickly and efficiently from start to finish. Contact us today for a customized downspout solution!