Downspouts are an essential part of the gutter system. They channel rainwater from the gutters to the ground, ensuring that it is deposited at a safe distance away from your home’s foundation. However, in order for the downspouts to do their job efficiently, they should be placed where they will be the most effective. Even if you intend on hiring a professional to install new gutters or upgrade the existing downspouts, it’s good to know why downspout placement is so important in protecting your home from water damage.
Benefits of installing a downspout in the right place.
Proper downspout placement helps the gutter system in performing optimally 24/7 year-round. Benefits of installing downspouts correctly include:
- Leads rainwater away from exterior walls
- Being able to easily handle the volume of water in a medium to high annual rainfall area
- Providing drainage to a yard not properly graded where water flows toward the foundation instead of away
- Prevents a basement from flooding
- Prevents a basement from condensation and mold issues
How downspout placement impacts your home’s exterior.
Downspouts installed in the wrong location won’t be able to provide proper drainage. The improper placement of downspouts can cause the following:
- Pooling water underneath downspouts or parallel to the foundation
- A flooded basement
- Soil erosion
- The shifting of the foundation and/or the appearance of cracks
- Standing water – can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other types of insects
- Mold growth due to excess moisture
Improves your curb appeal.
Downspouts are typically positioned at the corners of a house. Downspout placement and the addition of any accessories you might need such as downspout extensions or splash blocks can improve your curb appeal when installed correctly. Downspout extensions that cross pathways and sidewalks or downspouts that are awkwardly connected or deposit water in the wrong direction will affect the overall appearance of your home’s exterior.
Tips for the proper placement of downspouts.
Every 40 linear feet: Install one downspout for every 40 linear feet of gutter. This general rule of thumb will provide sufficient drainage and gutters from overflowing.
Away from the house: The endpoint of a downspout should deposit the water from the eavestrough at least five feet away from the house. When it’s too close, water can seep into the foundation, erode soil next to exterior walls, and flood the basement.
Where the water ends up: Give some thought to where the water will end up. Do you the downspouts to drain the rainwater into a specific part of the lawn? You can also create curb appeal focal points such as a rain garden or a rock garden that will absorb the collected rainwater from the gutter system.
When the yard is flat: If your front yard or backyard is flat, the downspouts will have to be extended a distance of seven to 10 feet to ensure the water drains far enough away from the foundation.
When the yard slopes: The ideal scenario for effective downspout drainage is that the yard slopes away from the foundation. If pathways, flowerbeds, or the lawn slopes toward the house, regrading or installing downspout extensions can correct the problem.
When downspouts can’t be relocated: If your gutter system includes downspouts that are unable to drain rainwater away from the house, they should be repositioned. Consult with a gutter installation professional. When downspouts can’t be relocated, install downspout extensions. Choose a type that will improve the functionality of the gutter system; the extenders should