Splash blocks are designed to direct water away from the foundation of your home. Generally rectangular in shape, a splash block is open at one end, closed at the other end, and has a gentle downward slope. It is often added to a gutter system when a downspout does not extend far enough, depositing rainwater too close to the foundation. There are several advantages of using a splash block.
Prevents Landscaping Issues
When downpipes drain into a landscaped area such as flower bed or near shrubs, soil erosion can occur as a result of water washing away the earth. It doesn’t sound like much of an issue, but over time the exposed soil is vulnerable to water infiltration. This can cause pooling water, leading to basement flooding. Absence of soil combined with excess moisture also makes the foundation susceptible to shifting and the appearance of cracks and holes. Installing a splash block beneath the downspout directs water away from your home, preventing flooding and other types of water damage.
For optimal drainage, the ground should slope away from a house 2 to 3 inches for every 10 feet. When it doesn’t, water can be pushed up toward the foundation instead of away from it. Unless more serious drainage problems need to be addressed, often a splash block will provide a convenient solution to improper sloping.
The job of the downspout to divert water might seem too basic to be of much significance. But as mentioned above, water damage to the basement or foundation can be detrimental to your home. When downspouts aren’t able to perform well – too short, draining too close to neighboring property, flowing across a pathway – splash blocks provide cost-effective, simple solutions.
Decorative Landscape Element
Splash blocks as a decorative landscape element can transform a functional object into a front yard focal point. A splash block is typically made of plastic (resin/vinyl) or concrete. Aluminum splash blocks are gaining in popularity because they are lightweight enough to move around easily but have some substance to them keeping them in place. Splash blocks made of resin, aluminum or concrete can be manufactured to resemble stone or be textured. They are available in a number of options, including decorative shapes and nature themes.