Splash blocks, typically rectangular in shape, closed at one end and open at the other, are installed underneath downspouts. They are designed to divert water away from a home’s foundation, preventing water damage that can eventually lead to crumbling, cracking or sinking. But not all downspouts need splash blocks. Here are some tips to help you decide if a splash block should be a part of your gutter system.
Concrete or Earth
Look under each downspout attached to the house. One school of thought is if the water is draining on to a hard surface like a driveway or paved space, then you most likely don’t need a splash block. When a downpipe drains into a flower bed or grassy section, use a splash block to prevent soil erosion. However, water pooling beneath a downspout, whether on concrete or earth, is an indication of some type of drainage issue. A splash block will direct water to a better infiltration area.
Toward or Away
Does the land around the house slope toward or away from the foundation? If the orientation of the house is pushing water up against the foundation, a splash block could be useful. Even when landscaping slopes downward, incorporating a splash block into a landscaped area is an added layer of protection against water damage.
When the house is too close to another structure or a neighbour’s property, there is danger of the downspout expelling water where it shouldn’t. If the space won’t accommodate a downspout extender, a splash block could be the ideal problem solver, guiding rainwater just that much further from the foundation or property line. Wherever a downpipe doesn’t carry water as far away from your home as required, you need a splash block.