Gutters collect the rain from the roof and the downspouts direct the runoff away from the foundation of your home where it can do the most damage. If your driveway is damp around the edges or your yard never seems to entirely dry up after a good downpour, you might need to check your gutter system. Creating proper drainage is a key factor in protecting your home and maintaining its landscaping.
For above ground configurations, downspouts should ideally empty downhill and be seven to ten feet away from the house. If the water is currently draining too close to the foundation, you will need to find a solution in order to avoid any potential damage such as the settling of the foundation or cracking of the exterior walls.
Incorporate a rain barrel into your gutter system. It will safely collect water, which can then be use on your lawn or shrubs. Recycling runoff this way also has the added benefit of reducing your water bill in the summer months.
Add a splash block underneath the downspout. A splash block resembles a shallow tray or decorative plate and is designed to carry away rain water emitted from the downpipe.
Use elbows and extensions to deposit runoff into a garden bed or to direct water over a pathway or under a deck. There are a variety of extensions, including the flexible type that can be routed around obstructions.
Whatever solution works best for you, keep in mind the following:
- avoid directing rainwater from your downpipes into your neighbour’s yard, the street or the sewer system
- examine the design of your landscaping – it should be properly sloped to direct water away from the foundation
- inspect the gutters on a regular basis and clear out downspouts of any debris, especially after a wind storm or heavy rainfall