Have you been doing a good job of protecting your investment in your home? Your home is most likely the biggest investment that you have.
Doing your best to keep it safe is imperative. One way that people protect their homes is by using gutters and downspouts.
Your gutters are meant to drain water and keep it away from your home. You might not understand how to drain gutters properly, though.
Continue reading to learn more about gutters and how to direct water away from your house. This will ensure that your house will be protected from water damage.
Installing a Gutter and Downspout System
Installing a gutter and downspout system is the most common way to drain gutters away from your home. Typically, gutters are going to have downspouts installed at certain spots.
Some homes will only have one downspout, but it’s also possible for there to be multiple downspouts. A downspout is a long pipe that’s made out of the same material as the gutters.
It’ll act as a drain that will direct the water away from the house. A downspout will have a hole where the water will go down and then travel through the long portion of the pipe.
At the end of the downspout, there will be a wide opening where the water will be dispersed. Generally, the water will be directed somewhere safe where it won’t harm your house or your yard.
The gutters slope in such a way that the water will flow through them and go toward the downspout. Then the downspout can safely direct the water away from your home.
This is a great system that keeps your house safe. It’s highly recommended to install gutters and downspouts on your home.
Where Should Downspouts Be Directed?
Where to direct downspouts will be very situational. Not every property is the same.
You want to direct the water somewhere safe where it won’t do any damage to your home or your yard. There might be portions of your yard where the water won’t cause problems.
For instance, you might have a ditch on your property where you can safely get rid of the water. You might want to direct the water that way.
Some people live on city streets that have storm drains or sewer drains. If you live in such an environment, this will be the best spot to direct the water.
Make the water flow toward the drain so that you can get rid of it safely. You simply have to figure out the safest spot on your property to direct the water.
Ideally, your property will be sloped so the water can run where it needs to go. You can make alterations if necessary to slope the downspout somewhere safe.
How to Extend a Downspout
Extending a downspout is easy enough. You can buy downspout extensions and then attach them to the end of the downspout.
Downspout extensions are used to make the downspout go further. You might need the downspout to be a little longer to properly direct water away from your home.
Often, people who have huge yards need to use downspout extenders. You might need to direct the water away from the yard and toward a safe ditch that’s quite a distance from your home.
Using downspout extensions is a way to accomplish this. You can add several feet of length to the downspout by using these extensions.
Downspout extensions don’t cost too much money either. You should be able to get what you need for $20 to $40, depending on what you want.
Most popular downspout extensions are made to be flexible. So you can bend them and direct them where you need them to be.
Do Downspout Extensions Work?
Yes, downspout extensions work very well. You can use downspout extensions to direct water further away from your home.
Sometimes you just need to direct water several feet further away from your home. You might need to do this so the water will reach a slope and travel where it needs to go.
So long as you install downspout extensions properly, everything will work as intended. These extensions fit snugly on the downspout and work to direct water in the direction that you point it.
If you need to get water away from your home and your downspout isn’t quite long enough, it’s sensible to buy a downspout extension. Doing so won’t cost a ton of cash, and installing the downspout extension won’t be difficult.
How Far Should Downspouts Extend From Your House?
How far a downspout should extend from your home depends on various factors. It’s mostly related to what type of land your home is sitting on.
If you have sloped land, it’ll typically be fine for the downspout to extend three feet from the foundation of your home. On flat land, the downspout will likely need to extend ten feet away from the foundation.
Sometimes you might need to extend the downspout a specific length away from your home so it will reach where it needs to go. For example, you might be trying to get the water to flow toward a specific ditch or drain.
The way that your property is will play a huge role. Some properties are flat, while others have obstacles that prevent the water from flowing properly.
You might need the downspout to extend in different directions, or you might even need to bury it underground. It all comes down to the specific needs of your property.
How to Extend a Downspout Underground
Extending a downspout underground involves digging a trench. You need to dig a trench for the downspout and lay out the lengths of the pipe.
Plan things out before you start digging, and have a clear line to follow. You can even dig underneath objects to make the downspout travel in the right direction.
Sometimes it’s necessary to have downspouts travel underground to get the water to a safe location. For example, you might need to bypass rocks or some type of landscaping feature to properly direct the water to safety.
It’s practical to extend a downspout underground, but it will require a bit of elbow grease and planning. Once the trench has been dug, you can use pipes and downspout extensions to make everything work as intended.
Cover the downspout with dirt when you’re done. Many people choose to make downspouts travel underground for practical reasons.
It can be nice not to have a downspout in the middle of the yard. Having a downspout in the yard might be impractical when it’s time to mow the lawn.
Also, you don’t want people to trip over it. So look into extending the downspout underground if you need to extend the downspout quite a distance away from your home.
French Drains Can Also Work
It’s worth noting that downspouts aren’t the only solution that you can rely on. Some people choose to utilize French drains.
A French drain is a system that makes it easy to get rid of roof runoff. Water will come down from the gutters, and it will go into the French drains.
You’ll be digging trenches that will collect rainwater. These trenches are sloped in such a way that the water will be directed away from your home.
It’s possible to direct the water toward drains or ditches. Digging a French drain will allow you to accomplish the same thing as using a downspout.
Of course, there’s a lot more effort involved in digging trenches than there is in installing a downspout on your gutters. Also, it’s unusual for gutters to exist on a home without a downspout.
So the practicality of this idea might not be there for everyone. Regardless, it’s worth noting that French drains can be handy.
Some people even use French drains in conjunction with downspouts. It’s a method for getting rid of the water safely without harming your yard or other parts of your property.
Make a Dry Well
Making a dry well is another way to handle water runoff. If you don’t have a downspout, a dry well can be a good method for getting rid of the water safely.
The basic idea isn’t too different from digging French drains. The major difference is that you’ll be digging a well where the water will be collected.
French drains are meant to guide water to a different point. Dry wells collect the water, and it disappears into the ground harmlessly over time.
Digging a dry well will take a fair amount of effort. It’s a good way to get rid of excessive amounts of water when it storms regularly in your area.
It’s best to dig dry wells three feet deep. This should be deep enough to allow the well to handle the water runoff.
Generally, it’s best to have the dry well located a fair distance away from your home. You don’t want the water to negatively impact your basement or crawl space once it seeps into the ground.
Sometimes it’s fine for the dry well to be ten feet away from your home, but many experts recommend having it be further away than that. You’ll likely need to come up with a way to create a slope so the water will run toward the dry well.
It’s common for people to use dry wells with downspouts. You can make a dry well on your property and use a downspout to direct the water toward the well.
It’s wise to install downspouts on your property. Downspouts do a great job of directing water away from your home.
You can even use downspout extensions to take the water further away from your house. Sometimes people also choose to use French drains and dry wells.
The most important thing is to ensure that you have a solution for water runoff. Ignoring water runoff issues could cause damage to the structure of your home.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.