Drive around enough neighborhoods, and you’ll start seeing a trend emerging — extending downspouts. For years, gutter systems were installed with downspouts staying relatively close to the home. At the most, you saw the use of splash blocks to help dissipate water. The notion of extending a downspout was a seldom seen practice simply because a lot of folks saw it as an eyesore.
Over the years, however, homeowners began learning the hard way that keeping downspouts relatively close to their home was causing problems. For some, the issues were mostly aesthetic, costing a bit of money in terms of replacing mulch or an occasional shrub/bush/plant. Others, however, didn’t fare so well, leading to costly repairs and a need to reassess their home water management system.
Based on recent surveys of homeowners, it seems as though the practice of extending downspouts is still not widely done. There’s a pretty good chance that if you went outside right now & looked at your gutters, as well as those of your neighbors, you’d likely find your downspouts poised to empty into a flowerbed or even run underground to who knows where. Could adding downspout extenders be the right call for you? Consider the following:
Assess Your Landscaping
Are you seeing major shifts in your mulch distribution? Do you find yourself replacing things in your flowerbed because they become waterlogged? Is there visible erosion near the downspout? These conditions could be a tell-tale sign that your downspout isn’t doing you any favors & costing you money.
Assess Your Foundation, Fascia Boards, and Gutters
Do you notice any rotting wood on your fascia boards? Are your gutters retaining water rather than redirecting it? Is there water seeping into your home’s foundation or your basement? Water will flow where it’s easiest, with a likely place being areas you’d wish it wasn’t.
Presence of Water Pooling Near Home
The whole point of a gutter system is to redirect water away from your home. While some folks want to use what is essentially ‘free’ water, there are better, more efficient systems to doing the same rather than just letting water drain right by the house.
Shifts In Home Level
Unless you have a structural engineer come in & take minute measurements, you may not notice tiny shifts in how level your home is. Nonetheless, as you walk in & around your home, take notice of cracks in masonry & drywall. There’s a chance that there may be cycles of swelling taking place as moisture around your home comes & goes. Much of this moisture can be attributed to a poorly-designed water mitigation.
In the end, you may still be asking yourself the big question — is extending downspouts something you should be doing? When in doubt, call the experts. As a responsible homeowner, you want to make sure you do all you can to care for the biggest financial investment you have. This starts with getting professional help to address current issues like your gutters & downspouts, as well as getting guidance on preventing issues down the line.
If you’re thinking about extending downspouts on your property, get some advice from the pros at Quality Gutter Systems in Boerne.