Downspout Extensions to Protect Foundations

Drip lines beneath your eaves troughs, and water pooling above your foundations are indications something is wrong with your roof drainage system. The first signs are often paint discoloration, and flaking on lower walls. However, the greater threat is often underground.

The three main reasons include:

1… Undersized gutters and downspouts needing clearing.

2… Inadequate drainage of water flowing from the spouts.

3… Surrounding land sloping downwards to the building.

Improving the Flow of Water Away from a Building

Clearing blocked eaves troughs and downspouts, and sloping land away from buildings are perhaps topics for future posts. In this article we focus on improving the water flow away from downspouts, which is more likely to be the problem.

We at something of a disadvantage in doing so, because roof overhangs seldom project far beyond a building. And to compound the problem downspouts attach to outside walls. Fortunately for homeowners though, there are relatively simple solutions to get around the problem.

Using Downspout Extensions to Flow the Water Away

The simplest solution is to hard-pave the area around the building, and let the surrounding gradient do the rest. This works well in industrial contexts, but is a non-starter if we want a lush garden around our home.

Downspout extensions present a solution, provided the other two factors, blocked eaves troughs and inwards sloping gradients are absent. That’s because if these problems exist, the extensions will be less than effective.

Some of the Downspout Extensions Available

1… Obtain a matching length of downspout and a coupling collar. Connect these to the existing shoe and direct as desired. This can work well on a lawn.

2…However, this will perform less well across an undulating flower bed or rockery. In these situations a corrugated flex pipe is often a better solution. But remember, water only flows downhill!

3…Depending on the layout a rain chute or open trough may also do the trick. Many hardware stores sell these in three-foot lengths. However, they do need even ground.

4… And finally, if all else fails you could install an underground drainage system beneath the downspout. These can be a bind to unblock. Consider fitting gutter guards too.

You Could Also Nip the Problem in the Bud with Valiant

A surprising number of eaves trough installers take the easy way out, and leave the consequences for home owners. However, Valiant Exteriors (Calgary (403)829-1661) takes a more holistic view. We discuss drainage with our clients after it leaves the downspouts. Because we believe that is the decent thing to do.

Recent Posts

When Attic Ducting Starts Leaking

Are Hinged Downspouts Right for You?

Downspout Extension Above a Basement (University of Maryland)