Gutter Downspout Drainage Issues

As rain splashes down onto your roof during a rainstorm, it is collected by your gutters and then channeled into your gutter downspout drainage system. The downspouts’ job is to direct and carry the water away from your home’s foundation. As long as the downspout drainage system is in good working order, there should be no problem. When there is a problem with the downspouts, major types of damage to your home may occur. If this type of problem does happen, you may want to contact our experts at 877-960-0491. Our local certified and pre-screened experts know that with the right size downspouts and the right locations of the downspouts, most downspout drainage issues can be avoided.

gutter downspout drainage

Downspout Drainage Issues

Here are several steps to ensure that your downspouts are up to their task of moving all of that water away from your home and your home’s foundation:

It’s not the downspout, but the gutters that can cause this first issue. If there is a large amount of debris in the gutters, it is just as likely to clog the downspouts, as it is to clog the gutters. All those hundreds of gallons of water that are pouring down the roof and into the gutters may cause debris to be swept into the downspouts. If the downspouts get clogged, there is no place for all that water to go other than to back up into the gutters and then running over the top of them. Overflowing gutters allows the rainwater to flow down the side of your home and eventually collect around your foundation, where it can do all types of damage. So keeping your gutters and downspouts free of clogging debris is your number one priority.

The next aspect of downspout drainage involves the size of the downspouts in relation to the gutters. For the most part, downspouts should be the same size as your gutter’s width. If the gutters can deliver a certain amount of water to the downspouts, having downspouts of equal size just makes sense. However, it might make more sense to have downspouts that have a slightly larger capacity to move water than the gutters do.

Another thing to consider when choosing what type of downspouts to install is downspout style options. The newest thing in downspouts, although they have been used in Japan for over a century, are rain chains. Rain chains are artistic downspouts that deliver the water to the ground similar to the way a waterfall would. The water travels down a chain, and then cascades through a series of decorative vessels to the ground. Because they are made of chains and vessels with large openings they are less apt to clog.


Underground downspouts can be used to move water greater distances away from your home. This is just a matter of digging a trench, extending your downspouts into the trench, and then covering the trench over with gravel and dirt. If you are thinking about using an underground system, always use a downspout that can handle a greater capacity of water than your gutters. That way they will be less likely to clog and will be easier for you to maintain. You may want to place a screen over the end of underground downspouts where they come to the surface to keep small animals from entering them and getting stuck.

One thing that downspouts must have is a tight connection to the side of your home. They should have brackets or attachment straps that firmly anchor them to the building. If they happen to come loose or they are knocked out of line they will do you and your home no good whatsoever.

One last idea is to use splash blocks or water diverters. These devices are usually made of plastic or concrete and should be located under the bottom of the downspout. Splash blocks will keep the ground from eroding away at the bottom of the downspouts and also direct the water further away from your home’s foundation. If you decide to install splash blocks, be sure to check on them periodically because they will take a beating from the water and they are very easily displaced. Splash blocks can also be fun and decorative because there are so many different styles of splash blocks that you can purchase. You can choose splash blocks that look like animals and other forms. Some are plain plastic, some are made of concrete and still others may be made of metal or copper, a material that turns beautiful shades of blue-green as it weathers and ages.

Fixing Gutter Downspout Drainage Issues

Getting rainwater to move off of your roof, through your gutters and then down the downspouts and away from your home is very important. By using any of the above ways to divert water away from your home through your gutter downspouts, they will help you to maintain the beauty, health, and structural integrity of your home. And as just a note, gutter downspouts do not have to be merely functional; they can also be very stylish and decorative.

If you need assistance with selecting, repairing, or installing new gutter downspouts, or cleaning up any water damage has been caused by your malfunctioning downspouts, you can get help by calling 877-960-0491 any time of the day or night. You will be connected to a local expert who can answer your questions and can visit your home and inspect your downspouts for any signs of problems. If your home has been damaged by any water problems resulting from your downspouts, they will point out the issues to you and offer sound advice on what should be done to correct the problem. They will also provide you with an estimate if any repairs are needed. This initial home inspection and estimate are free, with no obligation on your part.

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Written by Mark Huey.