When it comes to diverting water away from a home, downspouts are just one part of a larger system of drainage solutions. Other components of this system may include gutters, underground drainage pipes, and surface-level drainage features such as swales or catch basins.

One of the most important aspects of effective water diversion is ensuring that downspouts are properly sized and positioned. In general, downspouts should be large enough to handle the volume of water that will be flowing through them, and they should be positioned in such a way that water is directed at least five feet away from the foundation of the home.

In addition to proper sizing and positioning, it is also important to ensure that downspouts are clear of any debris that could block the flow of water. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can accumulate in gutters and downspouts over time, creating blockages that can lead to overflowing water and other problems. Regular cleaning and maintenance of downspouts can help to prevent these issues from occurring.

Another important consideration when it comes to downspouts and water diversion is the grade of the surrounding landscape. Ideally, the ground around the foundation of a home should slope away from the house, creating a natural pathway for water to flow away from the structure. If the landscape is not graded properly, it may be necessary to install additional drainage solutions, such as French drains or swales, to ensure that water is being diverted effectively.

Diagram showing how water. Runoff can leak into crawlspace

Finally, it is worth noting that downspouts can also play a role in water conservation efforts. By directing rainwater into a collection barrel or other storage device, homeowners can capture and reuse water for irrigation or other purposes, reducing their reliance on municipal water supplies. If electing to capture water, we recommend ensuring that your collection barrels have overflow devices that discharge excess water at least 5 feet away from the home. We also advise that you check your local rules and guidelines on rain water collection as some jurisdictions have placed restrictions or have prohibited rain water collection entirely.

Overall, downspouts are a critical component of any home’s drainage system, and they should be properly installed, maintained, and positioned to ensure that they are effectively diverting water away from the home. With the right approach, homeowners can protect their property, their landscaping, and the environment by managing water effectively.

Whether you’re looking to buy and need a home inspection, or need an annual home inspection, Main Inspections is here to provide a thorough inspection of all of your home’s systems and components. For a free, no-obligation quote, give us a call today at (253) 279-3525.

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