All You Need to Know about Downspouts

When purchasing a gutter system, the importance of downspouts is sometimes overlooked. A downspout carries water from the gutters to ground level, directing it away from your home and protecting it from the dangers of water damage. Knowing the purpose of downspouts is just the beginning; to ensure that your gutters will work optimally, there are other things to keep in mind when considering the downpipe(s) that will best complement your gutter system.


A standard 5 inch gutter system is typically accompanied by a 2 x 3 downspout in areas with a light to medium annual rainfall. In geographic locations where the annual amount of rain is high, you might need wider gutters and a larger sized downpipe.


Where downspouts are located is particularly important. The water from the roof collected in the gutters now needs to be effectively disposed of. You want to ensure that rainwater from you gutter system and channeled through the downpipe is not deposited near the foundation of your home or too close to a driveway or sidewalk. The downspout should be at least 5 to 7 feet away from the foundation of your home, and should not drain into a neighbour’s yard or public space.


Homeowners often think of a gutter system as consisting of gutters and a single downpipe. But in actuality, you may need more than one downspout to properly drain the water away from your roof. A general guideline for determining if how many downspouts you might need is one downpipe for about every 30 feet of guttering. However, other factors might come into play, such as if the 30-foot section is part of a corner; the overall size of the roof area; and how much water the gutter system will be handling.