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Can You Bury a Gutter Downspout? (And Is It a Good Idea?)

Can You Bury a Gutter Downspout? (And Is It a Good Idea?)
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You know how important it is to have gutters on your home. Gutters are designed to direct water away from your home.

The gutters cause water to flow toward a downspout. Then the downspout directs the water toward some type of drain or an area where the water will do no harm.

In some cases, you might not have a clear line where the downspout can travel. Perhaps there are obstacles that are preventing you from using a downspout properly.

One solution could be to bury the downspout. Is it possible to do this?

Keep reading to learn about burying downspouts. This will help you to understand what you can do to protect your home from water damage.

How to Bury a Downspout

It is indeed possible to bury a downspout. You might want to do this for practical reasons such as getting by an obstruction in your yard.

You might also choose to do this for aesthetic reasons. Perhaps you simply don’t want to see the downspout because you feel that it detracts from the beauty of the yard.

Either way, it’s simple enough to do what you need to do. The first thing you need to do is map things out.

Start by determining where you want the rainwater to go. Do you have a storm drain that you’re trying to reach or do you need to direct the water toward a ditch?

Some people even direct rainwater toward garden beds. You need to know where the water is going before you start digging.

You have to map out the best path for the downspout to take. Typically, you want the downspout to direct the water several feet away from your house.

Many people recommend making the downspout direct water to go at least eight feet away from your home. Make sure that it’s going in the direction that you want it to go as well.

When this is done, you can dig a trench. You want to dig the trench on a gradual decline because you don’t want the water to back up.

While digging, be careful not to hit a utility line. Depending on where you live, you might need to dig the trench a bit deeper than usual, too.

The trench should be wide enough to leave four inches of space on either side after placing the pipe. Once you’ve positioned the pipe, you want to cover it with soil and pat it down.

Try running water through the gutters. Ensure that the water is flowing as it should through the downspout.

If all goes well, you will have done things right and your downspout will now be properly buried. This can take a bit of work, but it’s worth it in the end.

How to Bury Downspout Drains

Burying downspout drains is the same as burying downspouts. A downspout drain isn’t something that is distinct from a normal downspout.

When you’re digging a trench for your downspout, what you’ll be burying is some type of downspout extension. These downspout extensions connect to the end of the downspout and they direct the water away from your home.

Typically, these downspout extensions are going to be placed above the ground. You can bury them as well, though.

Simply follow the instructions above to bury the downspout. Make sure that you dig deep enough and make a gradual slope to prevent problems with the water flow.

You want to make sure that you pack the trench with dirt after placing the downspout, too. Be sure to pat things down really well to keep the downspout extension in place.

How Deep Do I Need to Bury Downspouts?

How deep you need to bury downspouts will differ depending on where you live. If you live in a cold climate, it’s important to bury your downspout below the freezing line.

The frost line generally falls between 36 inches and 48 inches. So if you live in an area with very cold conditions in the winter, you should bury your downspout deeper.

If you don’t have to worry about that, burying the downspout between 12 and 14 inches deep will be acceptable. Make sure that there is a proper slope as well.

How Deep Should Downspout Drains Be Buried?

You learned earlier that downspout drains aren’t distinct from downspouts. You’re just burying a downspout extension that is designed to direct the water away from your house and toward a safe spot.

So the information above will work fine. You need to bury the downspout deep enough to keep things safe.

How deep the downspout will need to be buried depends on where you live. You have to go deeper when you live in a colder area.

Why is this, though? Well, if a downspout freezes it can cause ice to travel up the pipe.

This could put your home in danger. So those who live in areas with very cold winters will need to bury their downspouts below the frost line to keep things safe.

Are Underground Downspouts a Good Idea?

Yes, underground downspouts can be a very good idea. There are some clear benefits to burying your downspouts that you should know about.

You can make it so you won’t need to worry about tripping over a downspout extension if you bury it in the ground. Many people also think that it looks better to bury downspouts.

It makes it easy to divert water where you need it to go. You can potentially go underneath objects in the yard to get the downspout pointing in the right direction.

Digging a trench isn’t that tough either. It will take some work, but it’s something that most people can do themselves assuming that they have enough time.

This is a reliable way to protect your home from water damage. You can keep water from pooling near the foundation of your home by ensuring that the downspouts direct the water away.

Granted, you can do this without burying the downspouts as well. However, that won’t be practical for everyone.

Remember that downspouts can freeze if you live in a very cold area. Sometimes it’s more practical to bury downspouts to protect from problems with ice.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to bury a downspout the right way will help you out. You can bury a downspout, but you must approach things the right way.

Make sure that you bury the downspout deep enough based on where you live. In some areas, you don’t need to bury the downspout deeper than 12 inches.

Always be careful when digging the trench for the downspout. You don’t want to accidentally pierce a utility line.

Map things out before beginning so you know the right path to follow. Be sure to direct the water to a spot where it won’t cause any problems.

You might direct the water toward a ditch or a garden bed. Or you could be directing the water toward the sidewalk, street, or a storm drain.

It’s going to be helpful for many people to be able to bury downspouts. Keeping the downspouts out of your way will be nice.

You won’t have to worry about the downspouts being unsightly either. It’s simpler to focus on making your yard look nice when you don’t have downspouts in the way.