You have a problem on your hands if rainwater is ponding around your home. Protecting your home from pooling water is important, and adding downspouts or redirecting downspouts may be the first step. But where should you direct water from your downspouts?
Downspouts often lead water directly into the street when it rains or may be connected to the storm drain system. But there are other options.
Why Water Must Flow Away From Your House
Gutter systems are an essential part of your home that keeps it safe from water damage. During storms, rainwater run down the roof, accumulates in the gutters, and is led toward the ground by the downspouts.
You want to direct this water as far from your homeâs foundation as possible. If your gutter system fails to lead rainwater from your property, here’s what could happen:
- Damage to your homeâs structure
- Water stains
- Cracks on the concrete or foundation
- Crawl spaces molding, rusting, or flooding
- Flooding your garden
- Increased pest and mosquito activity
- Soil erosion
Places You Can Direct Water
There are a few different ways to collect rainwater so you can direct it away from your property:
Rainwater Collection System
You can install big, underground tanks that are connected to a pump and filter. They will collect water from the gutters and downspouts that can eventually be pumped out as needed and directed away from your home. Because a rainwater collection system is complicated to install, you may have to hire a pro.
By collecting rainwater, you can recycle it to water your lawn and landscape plants, which is good for the environment and saves on utilities.
Cost: A rainwater collection system can cost anywhere from $2,225 – $11,353, depending on the size of the system and whether you install it professionally or DIY.
This is another environmentally friendly option that redirects and harvests rainwater. Installation is simple since all that you need to do is attach a diverter to the end of your downspout and direct it into a barrel underneath to guide water runoff from the roof into the barrel.
Rain barrels are available in different sizes and materials. Many homeowners blend the barrel into the landscape with plants and rocks. The water caught by the barrel can be repurposed during drought.
Cost: A 40-60 gallon rain barrel typically ranges between $120 to $160, depending on the material.
Drainage pits, also known as dry wells, drainage wells, or soakaway wells, is a method that redirects water without affecting your curb appeal. They are cost-effective with a design that is close to the ground, so it is easy to hide or blend into your landscape. However, you will need to check your local building regulations to see if pits are allowed.
You will need to dig a pit that is 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep and then fill it partially with gravel before installing a drain pipe. You may need to adjust the size of the pit according to the amount of water that typically comes out of your downspouts.
Unlike the above options, this method doesnât harvest or recycle water, though it is the most cost-effective choice since all youâll need is a shovel and a bag of gravel.
How To Redirect Water
Here are a few ways to redirect rainwater away from your home:
Buried Drain Pipes
One solution to redirecting rainwater runoff from your home is to connect your downspouts to underground drain pipes and bury them. Typically made from PVC, these drain pipes guide and release the rainwater 5-10 feet away from your property.
It’s a bit of a hassle since it requires some work and elbow grease, but it’s worth it if you want good drainage. You will need to dismantle your old downspout and connect an extension, as well as dig and fill a trench.
You should bury your downspouts about 10 inches deep. Since it requires digging, you will need to check your local regulations. Never dig until you know exactly where your electricity, gas, and water lines are.
Downspout extensions, also known as gutter extensions, are attachments placed at the end of the downspout to channel water a safe distance from your home. They can be flexible so you can direct water wherever you need to, like a drain or your lawn.
Downspout extensions come in all kinds of shapes and designs! Some are open and resemble a shovel; others are tubes. Some are straight, and others bend like an elbow to help direct water in a different direction. Keep in mind that elbow-shaped extensions are prone to clogging and will need to be cleaned regularly.
French drains are trenches dug in the ground and filled with a perforated pipe covered with several layers of rocks or gravel to help filter the water and keep the pipe in place. They are an effective method of controlling and redirecting water runoff in a specific direction.
This system helps reduce standing water and prevent flooding and damage to the foundation of your home.
Rain gardens are small, shallow depressions that contain deep-rooted native plants such as shrubs and perennials. They are not only attractive but also collect and conserve water.
Rain gardens lower the risk of flooding and provide erosion control by reducing runoff. They naturally capture stormwater and filter out pollutants, making them great for the environment and directing runoff away from your property.
Roll-Out Drain Sleeves
Roll-out drain sleeves, also known as pipe socks, are DIY drainage filters that attach to the base of your gutter and help prevent clogged pipes by filtering debris.
Drain sleeves will automatically roll out and guide rainwater away from your home during storms when the water flows through the gutter. Then, when the sleeve dries, it retracts.
Splash blocks are flat, rectangular pieces of concrete or plastic that funnel water away from your foundation. They are placed beneath a downspoutâs bottom opening. They come in a lot of different designs, and some are even decorative and look like sculptures, which means they can be a nice addition to your landscape.
Splash blocks aren’t secure and can be easily moved, so they are a temporary solution. However, they still do a good job of keeping rainwater away from your home so long as it slopes away from the house.
Stealth Flow Connectors
Typically used in lawns with mulch, a stealth flow connector is a low-sitting PVC downspout extension connected to the bottom opening of your gutters to lead water away from your foundation.
It is nearly invisible from a distance and blends into your landscape when snugly tucked into the mulch, which is why it is called a âstealthâ flow connector.
FAQ About Downspouts
Downspouts should be placed every 30-40 feet along the gutter system, usually at the corners of your home or at the end of each channel.
The most common angle for downspout elbows is 75 degrees. At this angle, it prevents clogs so that the flow of water is unhindered.
Yes. Because the opening is wider, larger gutters are easier to clean and maintain because they have more space to remove debris. Because of this, they are less likely to clog.
Hire a Gutter Pro
Why spend your free time digging trenches when you could hire an experienced gutter pro instead? If youâre looking for someone to take care of the hassle of installing drain pipes, contact a gutter professional in your area.