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Which type of downspouts should you choose? How many downspouts should you have? How can you maintain them? Here is everything you need to know!

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While a lot of homeowners are aware of the level of damage water can cause when it comes to their foundation, they usually invest only in waterproofing solutions such as sump pumps or drains and completely ignore the importance of downspouts.  

Although sump pumps and drains play an important role in keeping your home protected from water damage, they will not prevent rainwater from pooling next to your home’s perimeter. That’s the job of downspouts. If your home didn’t have any downspouts, water would flood the area around it during heavy storms and eventually damage your foundation.  

The purpose of all waterproofing solutions, including downspouts, is to direct the water away from your home. Not only do they protect your foundation, but they also ensure the longevity of your walls and landscaping. Without downspouts, your home could become a victim of mold infestation and your walls would become an eyesore full of cracks and peeling paint. Read on as we take a closer look at downspouts, their types, and ways to maintain them. 


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 perfectly. 

Types of Downspouts 

Nowadays, there are three types of downspouts you can choose from. 


K-style downspouts are often paired with 5” K-style gutters. They come in two sizes and homeowners like them because they look like stylish crown moldings. If you wish to add a touch of glamour to your home’s exterior, K-style downspouts are the right choice. These downspouts not only look good, but they can carry more water than round downspouts. 


As mentioned, these downspouts do not carry a large volume of water, but they have their upsides. Since they are smoother on the inside, they will last longer. Water loves to collect in various nooks, which leads to rust. With round downspouts water doesn’t have any other choice but to swiftly leave the pipe, leaving it dry. These downspouts can be found in sizes that vary from 3″ to 6″ and in all kinds of colors. 


Rectangular downspouts come in three different sizes, 2 x 3, 3 x 4, and 4 x 5. These are very strong and durable. 

The Number of Downspouts 

So, how many downspouts do you need for your home? To get an answer to this question, you will need to consider several factors such as the type of climate in your area and the slope of your roof. Usually, it is recommended to install a downspout on every 30 or 40 feet of guttering. This way the water will be directed down the downspouts and away from your home before it manages to overload the gutters and overflow on the ground. 

What Should I Consider When Installing Downspouts? 

Unfortunately, many homeowners do not pay much attention to the downspouts. Nevertheless, these fixtures are a very important part of the gutter system. These can maximize the effectiveness of the drainage system and save you a lot of money you would spend on repairs. With downspouts in place, you don’t have to worry about roof water ending next to your home’s perimeter. If you want to make sure that you have chosen the right downspouts for your home, here are several factors you need to consider. 

Rainfall intensity – If heavy rainstorms happen quite often in the area where you live, don’t hesitate to invest in large downspouts. Smaller ones won’t have the capacity to take in large volumes of water, which will result in an overflow. 

Area to be drained – Something else you should consider is the size of your roof. Naturally, the bigger your roof is, the more water will collect on it. This is why you will need to get a larger number of downspouts. 

Design and size – There are three types of downspouts, and they vary in design and size. To make sure you have made the right choice, contact your local contractor. 

Roof slope – Whether you will need larger or smaller downspouts also depends on the grading of your roof. If your roof is very steep, the water will quickly fill the gutters, so you will need larger downspouts to quickly drain the water and direct it away from your home’s perimeter. 

How far should downspouts extend – If the downspouts dump the water right next to your home, they won’t fulfill their purpose. Instead, they should extend at least four feet from the foundation on sloping ground, and even 10 feet if your home was built on flat land. 

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 contractors at AFS. We serve areas in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, so 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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