Does this look like your home: pooling water, broken gutter seams around the discharge areas of your downspout, leaking water at the top of your downspout, and more? A poorly installed or badly sized downspout can set basement leaking, foundation cracking, and mold and pest infestations into motion. Learn more about what causes issues with downspouts and how you can retaliate.
Why Are Gutter Downspouts Important?
Downspouts are the most vital part of your gutters’ anatomy. When they’re the wrong size, or are placed in the wrong location, they can do more harm than good. Downspouts are the part of your gutter that actually drains rainwater or snowmelt out of your gutter system and away from your home.
If your downspout system is compromised in any way, from being the wrong model for your home, to being clogged or poorly positioned, it defeats the purpose of having a gutter system entirely. These issues can also damage your soffit or fascia.
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What Can Cause Gutter Downspouts to Not Work Properly
Downspout is Too Small
On larger homes with lots of surface area on the roof for collecting rain, a downspout that is too small is vulnerable to being overwhelmed by amounts of water that it can’t handle. Think of downspouts like a funnel. When the funnel is too small for the volume of liquid being placed in it, it will overflow regardless of the discharge at the bottom.
The same goes for downspouts that are undersized. If your downspouts are too small, it can set gutter issues into motion like over flowing water, gutter joints breaking or bending under the weight of debris, or frequent clogs.
Downspout is Placed too Close to Your Home
Ideally, downspouts are placed far enough away from your home so rainwater can safely drain away without interfering with your yard’s grading or puddling around your foundation. The problem is that many gutter installers will haphazardly place your downspouts right next to the cornerstones of your home, without adding any extension or protection for draining water.
When downspouts are placed too close to the home, they allow water to pool right near your foundation. This can cause major problems as water may seep into your basement or leak into your crawl space, setting into motion a domino effect of mold, mildew, hydrostatic pressure, and more.
The Downspout is Placed too Far Away
The average recommended downspout distance is four to six feet away from your home. You can take it further, but to do it safely, you’ll need to have professional downspout extensions installed. Many homeowners decide to DIY their downspout extensions, and while this may save money temporarily, any errors during installation can cause serious damage to your yard, or simply make the draining process ineffective.
Downspout is Clogged
Just like the top of your gutters gets clogged, your downspout can too. Downspouts are actually more vulnerable to clogging than the rest of your gutter system, as it is harder to notice debris within the downspout itself. You can prevent this by regularly cleaning debris from your downspout and performing downspout maintenance every few months.
FAQs – Damaged Downspouts
It’s recommended to clear out your gutters no less than twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. During the fall, leaves are obviously falling and collecting in your gutter. During the spring, pollen, tree branches, flower petals, pests, and more are extremely active and will collect in your gutter. If your yard has trees, once per season, totaling four times a year, is the minimum.
In addition to doing typical home maintenance by keeping your gutters cleared out and repairing them if they’re broken, you can have affordable and long-lasting protective measures installed. Downspout extensions, seamless gutters, gutter guards, and more are all permanent solutions that we at AFS are proud to offer you.
When you optimize your downspouts, you’re not just protecting your gutter system. You’re also protecting your crawl space, foundation, or basement, too.
The cost of all gutter solutions will depend entirely on the size of your home, placement of your gutters, and how much protection you actually need. Since every home is uniquely built, every home will need its own unique, custom-fit gutter solutions as well.
The cost of not having downspout extensions if needed, or any other gutter protection solution, may be more altogether. Gutter protections pay for themselves because the foundation issues that malfunctioning gutters can cause can add up quickly.
Free Gutter Inspections, Permanent Home Protection with AFS
At AFS, we understand how much of a hassle it is when you have an ineffective downspout system. The pressure to have it repaired can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know who to trust. That’s why we offer you free inspections of your entire home, so our certified field technicians can find the true source of your home’s ailment. We only deal in permanent solutions as well. Our goal is to only install your solution the right way, the first time—then continue to serve you through annual maintenance in Chattanooga.
We also provide no-pressure quotes for our services, so you can decide for yourself how to move forward. It’s easy to get started on your gutter revitalization journey. Fill out this form or call us today!