Gutters and Downspouts: 5 Ways to Get That Water Away from Your Home
You've taken great pains to properly hang the gutters on your home. You are diligent in keeping your gutters clean and making sure they aren't cracking or rusting away. So when the rains come, your well-maintained drainage system gathers the water running down your roof and channels it smoothly through your gutters and downspouts.
And onto the ground right next to your house.
Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? Even the most efficient gutter systems won't help your home avoid interior flooding or moisture-related foundation problems if the water winds up near the base of your home. It's like driving 90 yards down a football field but failing to score any points.
You have to get the water away from your house in order for your gutter and downspouts to accomplish their goals. Here are five ways to do just that.
You can arrange it so the downspout terminates in a ditch or on a driveway (but not in your neighbor's yard!)
There are several sizes of downspout extensions (from straight pieces to curved or flexible tubes) that will keep funneling the water away from your foundation. You can arrange it so the downspout terminates in a ditch or on a driveway (but not in your neighbor's yard!)
These items are about two feet long and are designed to prevent water from flowing straight down next to a structure. They are made of polypropylene, plastic, or other materials, and are appropriate if the water only needs to travel a short distance.
This natural method only requires shovels, dirt, and some labor. Remove the grass or turf around your home in a six-foot radius. Then start dumping dirt in the space and packing it down tight and even, making sure that it slopes slightly away from your house. Finish by replacing the grass and reseeding any bare spots.
Think of this as extending your house's gutter system underground. Before digging, make sure that you map out a route for the trench that proceeds down a natural slope to a place where water is allowed to flow (like to an alley drain or a retention pond). A good rule of thumb is to dig a channel that is approximately six inches wide and an inch or two deep. You may wish to put rocks, gravel, or drain tile inside the trench to facilitate water flow.
This approach works much like a trench, but involves an enclosed pipe and is usually buried deeper underground. The pipe should be perforated to allow water to flow into the ground along its way out. For best results, a French drain should terminate with the opening exposed to daylight.
** Discount off dealer list price as to product plus professional installation, to be applied at time of contract execution by representative. Cannot be combined with other offers; applies to new orders. Participating dealers only. Purchase documents must be entered into on or before June 18, 2013.