Downspouts are an important element of your gutter system. They channel water from the gutters to a place on your property where rainwater can be safely deposited. Whatever material downspouts are made of – vinyl, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel – eventually they will become more susceptible to the elements as they age. Here are some signs downspouts need replacing.
Too Much Damage
When there are too many cracks, holes, or extensive rusting (aluminum gutter system), the damage has gone beyond the simple, periodic repair stage. The more repairs made to the downspout decrease its functionality. It’s time to replace the downpipes if you’re constantly patching up holes or resealing seams.
Nails and Brackets
If you discover nails or screws on the ground, this is often an indication that the fasteners holding the downspouts in place have become loose. The brackets themselves – straps installed to firmly attach downpipes to an exterior wall to prevent shifting – can break. Again, if the brackets are in need of repeated repair or replacing, it might be time to replace the downspout.
Peeling paint on interior or exterior walls, particularly on wood siding immediately surrounding the downspout, could be a sign that it’s no longer protecting your home. When water doesn’t exit the gutter system properly, it can leak from worn or damaged downspout seams. If rainwater seeps into the siding, moisture can build up inside and outside the home causing moisture to build up which often results in blistering paint on ceilings, interior walls, and exterior walls.
Downpipes might need replacing if water is pooling beneath the downspout. Clogs are often the cause, but when blockages constantly occur, even though the downspouts are regularly maintained, it could be an indication that a larger size downspout needs to be installed to handle the current volume of rainwater.
If water pools behind where it exits the downpipe instead of directly underneath it most likely the reason is the back seam of the downspout has been damaged. In this case, it is better to replace than to repair.
There are several reasons for water leaking into your basement, but the main one is downpipes depositing rainwater too close to your foundation. A possible solution is to use a type of downspout extender to help direct water further away from the house. If using downpipe extensions aren’t the answer, the downspouts should be replaced with new, longer ones before basement blooding becomes an expensive issue.