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Gutters vs. Downspouts (The Differences and Purpose of Each)

Gutters vs. Downspouts (The Differences and Purpose of Each)
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It’s not good to have water pooling on your roof. In fact, you don’t want water to pool anywhere near your home.

This is why you’re supposed to have gutters installed on your home. You should have gutters and downspouts on your home to direct the water somewhere safe.

If you’ve never lived in a home with gutters before, you might not quite understand how they work. Perhaps you don’t even know what a downspout is yet.

Keep reading to learn about these common features. This will help you to understand what you need to do to protect your home from water damage.

Understanding Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters are installed on your home by attaching them to the fascia. Generally, the gutters will be attached to roofs with some type of design that allows water to flow toward them.

Water runs down the roof and then flows into the gutters. The water enters the gutter and is then guided toward the downspout.

A downspout is generally made out of the same material as the gutters. It connects to the gutters and guides the water down and away from your home.

You might think of the downspout as the exit point for the water that the gutters are collecting. The gutters will have a hole somewhere and this is where the water goes down into the downspout.

Downspouts are long and they’re meant to take the water away from the base of your home. Generally, you’ll point the downspout in a direction where it can dump the water harmlessly.

Directing the Water Somewhere Safe

You know that the downspout directs the water away from your home. When installing a downspout, you want to think about where you’re going to direct the water.

Find a spot in your yard where the water will do no harm. You could direct the water toward a garden or something like that.

It’s also common for people to direct the water toward storm drains. If you have storm drains or sewers in your area, you should be able to direct the water so that it will flow toward some type of drain.

If this isn’t possible where you live, you might wish to direct the water toward a ditch. You don’t want to flood your yard and make everything a muddy mess every single time it rains.

Some people even install multiple downspouts. So there would be a few different points where you’re directing water away from the house.

Just think about how you’re installing everything so you can protect your home. Installing a downspout isn’t tough, but figuring out where to direct the water does sometimes involve a bit of problem-solving.

For example, you might have to make changes to your property so that there will be somewhere for the water to go well. People have dug wells and trenches to deal with water on their properties for a long time.

Keeping the Gutters Clean

Keeping the gutters clean is very important. If the gutters get clogged they won’t work properly.

Both the gutters and the downspout can get clogged. Leaves, twigs, and other types of debris can clog everything up.

Usually, you need to clean the gutters at least once per year. If you have a lot of trees on your property, you might need to clean the gutters every six months.

Cleaning the gutters involves climbing a ladder and physically removing the debris with your hands. It can be a messy job and it’s best to wear gloves to protect your hands while you get things done.

Consider Using Gutter Guards

Using gutter guards can help you to keep the gutters from getting clogged. Gutter guards are inexpensive and can be attached directly to the gutters.

Commonly, these guards use a mesh design to keep debris from getting into the gutters. This can make it easier to do gutter maintenance.

You might not need to clean the gutters as often when you use these guards. It is still necessary to clean the gutters, though.

This isn’t necessary to keep your gutters and downspouts safe and working properly. It’s just something that many people like to buy because it can make things simpler.

Final Thoughts

You should feel like you now have a good handle on the differences between gutters and downspouts. They’re designed to work in tandem to protect your home.

The gutters attach to the fascia and guide the water toward the downspouts. The downspouts then carry the water down and away from the base of your home.

Using gutters and downspouts will protect your house from water damage. It’s important to direct the water somewhere safe.

Be sure to direct the water toward a storm drain, a harmless ditch, or somewhere else where it won’t damage your home or your yard. Some people might have to make alterations to their landscapes to keep water from pooling in the yard.