Rainwater expelled from downspouts should be deposited a minimum of five feet away from the foundation of your home. When it’s too close for comfort, especially if the water pools or is left standing, serious water damage could develop. Using some kind of downspout extender can prevent the foundation and exterior walls from shifting or cracking as the result of water damage.
Choose a Type
Downspout extensions are designed to direct water away from the base of your home. There are several different types to choose from. Select the one that best fits your needs. For example, to avoid steering the lawnmower around the downpipe every time the lawn needs cutting, choose a hinged or flexible downspout extender. Available types include:
- metal – resembles a metal section of downpipe; is fixed in place
- vinyl – resembles a length of vinyl downspout; is fixed in place
- flexible – typically made of some type of plastic; can be moved around obstacles, shrubs, etc.
- accordion – made from malleable materials like rubber and plastic; can be moved around like a flexible downspout extension, but can be extended as needed
- splash block – resembles a shallow trough with a slight built-in slope; made of various materials including concrete and plastic
Install the Extender
Most types of downspout extenders are easy to install, requiring little more than a couple of screws. A splash block just needs to be placed underneath the downpipe, directly below the elbow. To install a hinged downspout extender, the existing downpipe might need a short piece cut away and the elbow removed. Follow manufacturer instructions.
Inspect the downspout and the extender from time to time. Ensure that it hasn’t been moved or is a victim of some mischievous prank. Also check for foreign objects, clogs, etc.