Sometimes homeowners forget that downspouts are the rock stars of any gutter system. While gutters channel water from the roof, the downspout diverts water away from the foundation of your home. But if the downpipes extend into an area where they have to be walked or worked around, they can be a hassle. However, it’s not just for convenience – there are other reasons you might find hinged downspouts useful.
Downspout Ends at the Elbow
The most common rationale for a contractor to install a downspout that ends at the elbow is lack of space. If the water drains too close to the basement or foundation, this could be a potential problem. Extending the downpipe using a hinged downspout allows for better drainage and freedom of movement.
Hardscaping is the inanimate elements on a property like a flagstone pathway, deck and driveway. If a downspout extends near, around or across hardscaped areas, it is in danger of being crushed, pulled loose or damaged in some other way. By replacing a standard downpipe extender with a hinged downspout, getting it out of the way when not in use reduces the risk of damage.
A hinged downpipe extension lets you lift it up and fold it out of the way when you have to trim the edges of the lawn next to sidewalks, flowerbeds, etc. It also comes in very handy when you have to mow the lawn or rake the leaves in the fall.
Downspout Hinge Tips
If you are considering in investing in a type of hinged downspout extension, here are some things to keep in mind:
- choose a downspout hinge that is easy to install and maintain
- ensure it moves easily up and down
- products made of metal tend to last longer
- products made of vinyl are prone to becoming brittle (drying out in the sun) in two to four years
- if it’s not included in the kit, installing a latch will help keep the downpipe section in the upright position
- many hinge mechanisms are available in white but can be painted/spray painted to match the colour of your gutter system