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Ensuring your gutters are clean flowing is important to your homes water management system. Downspouts are a pipe that carries rainwater from the gutters to a drain or out and away from your home's foundation. Downspouts should be placed far enough away from your home's foundation to prevent water from running back to the foundation.

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What Is a Downspout?  

Downspouts are vertical tubes that are connected to horizontal gutters. Since they direct water away from your home, they are an important part of the gutter system and can prevent foundation problems and soil erosion. Although it may seem that downspouts are such simple elements that need no maintenance, you need to look after them and keep them in good shape so they can do their job well. 

How Many Downspouts Do I Need  

While all homes need downspouts, it can be tricky to figure out how many. To solve this problem, you will need to factor in several things, from the climate in your area to the slope of your roof. Usually, downspouts are installed on every 30 to 40 feet of guttering. This way, the rainwater will rush down the downspouts before it starts spilling over the gutters and onto the ground. Also consider:  

Roof Watershed Area:

The bigger the roof surface the more rainwater it will collect. Therefore, you may need to adjust the downspout location to about one downspout for every 20 feet of the gutter or less to compensate.   

Gutter Size:

Bigger gutters generally hold more water, easing the load on your downspouts. Smaller gutters, on the other hand, may require more downspouts to compensate for their low volume.  

Roof Slope:

The higher a roof slope, the faster it drains water. Ultimately, this leads to more water draining through your downspouts. In case of spills, consider adding extra downspouts to fix this issue.  

Rainfall Intensity:

Because of the huge water volumes, areas with high rainfall may require more downspouts than dry areas.  

It’s nice to know that rainwater or snowmelt is going down the roof without splashing. But it’s even more important that this water goes as far away from your building as possible. When installing downspouts, the roofer needs to make sure these fixtures extend at least four feet from your house. 

How to Maintain Downspouts  

Just like any other part of your home, downspouts need regular maintenance to stay in good shape and serve their purpose. If you want your downspouts to last for years you will need to inspect them twice a year and see whether everything is in order. In case there is a clog somewhere, use a plumber’s snake to remove them and clear up the downspouts.   

Also, pay attention to rust and impact damage. If there are some corroded parts, your downspouts are losing their structural integrity. Impact damage caused by hail can cause clogs, so you should replace damaged fixtures as soon as possible. Otherwise, they won’t function properly and you might end up with peeling paint, soaked walls, ruined landscape, damaged foundation, and costly repairs.  

Downspouts are important fixtures for properly waterproofing your home, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. If you want to waterproof your home to avoid expensive repairs and learn about your other waterproofing options, contact your local contractors at Groundworks. Schedule a free estimate today. We will take a look at your home, assess the situation, and recommend waterproofing measures that will ensure your home’s health. 

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