Gutter downspout drainage: Considerations for installation and preventing foundation failure
A 2,000 square foot roof will put out nearly 1,250 gallons of water for every inch of rain.
Are your gutters and downspouts clear? Even if they are, you more than likely also need to properly direct rainwater away from your foundation.
Water must be directed away from your house to prevent basement leaks and foundation cracks. Gutters and downspouts move the rainwater away from the house. However, most downspouts stop within a foot of the foundation and cause problems for homeowners.
Gutter splash pans, splash blocks, or downspout extensions are common means of drainage correction as they may direct water several feet from your house, but that’s not enough to prevent water damage and foundation failure. They are not but permanent solutions as they can also get moved or loosened very easily and allow the water to drain back towards your home.
Gutter downspouts are the main cause of water and foundation issues in homes. When gutters drain directly against the home’s foundation or negative grade brings the water back towards the house, the rain might be washing away the soil and eventually cause a leak or crack in your foundation.
To fully protect your home from water damage and foundation problems, you need to install downspout extensions that direct any excess rainwater along a sloped path toward a low point away from your house. Usually, an experienced contractor will be able to evaluate your yard’s topography and devise a customized yard drainage plan for your home.
At Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair, we offer free consultations for this very reason. It gives you an opportunity to get an estimate for the necessary work. It gives us an opportunity to ascertain your home’s exterior waterproofing needs and work with you to develop a comprehensive waterproofing plan.
Water that pools for longer than 30 minutes points to drainage problems.
Important considerations for installing a downspout extension for your home
Extending your downspout without proper planning is asking for further drainage problems. You need to plan where the water is going to end up, how far from your home you need to extend your downspout and how you will maintain your drainage correction system, including frequent cleaning.
Properly planning the pitch of the downspout extensions Water flows down, not up. To ensure the drainage correction serves its intended purpose, the flexible downspout or PVC downspout extension must slope away from your home. As such, a downward sloping pipe will convey water away from your home. A “U” shaped or upward sloping pipe will force water back up into your downspout, preventing proper drainage.
Ensuring the downspout extension travels far enough from the house The soil immediately surrounding your house—usually within a radius of about 10 feet—is usually comprised of backfill that was packed in after the construction of your foundation. Water that drains into this extremely porous soil will flow almost directly into your foundation, weakening the concrete and flooding your basement. At Helitech, we know that all downspout drainage corrections must extend far beyond this area and drain into a safe, low point in your yard.
Downspout Extensions from Helitech
Helitech can solve these issues and direct water away from your home’s foundation by burying your downspouts several feet away from your house. It is a very quick and a noninvasive process that can be completed in a day, or even a few hours depending on the size of the job.
Downspouts can be installed 2 different ways – hand trenching or using a small walk behind trenching machine. Let’s show you both ways …
First, all public utilities are marked prior to Helitech’s arrival. Homeowners should also have marked all private lines, such as sprinkler, pet fence, water, etc.
The drain lines will be laid out to verify locations and exit points.
The trench is dug, either by hand using a tile spade to remove the sod and excavate the trench, or a walk behind trencher is used to cut through the soil and create a smooth, even trench or installation.
Once the trench has been excavated, the crew will install the downspout lines by attaching each section of pipe and properly securing them to make sure all water flows out to the exit point.
All pipes are verified for flow to the exit point.
Depending on the grade of your yard, Helitech will install a yard grate at the end of the downspout line to allow the water to flow freely or a pop up for water to be pushed out of if your yard is flat. Both of these are easy for homeowners to mow over or around and virtually maintenance free.
All soil is backfilled into the trench and any excess is removed from the job site.
If sod was removed, it is replaced. Seed and straw are placed over the excavated trench.
All items are cleaned up and you are left with peace of mind when it rains.
My home is now dry, even after severe rainstorms. Thank you, Helitech team, especially Kevin Estes and Lucas S.(foreman). Everyone advised me to hire a company that had experience and was in business for a long time. I see the wisdom in that. My house needed that experience and teamwork. After two phases (1 – sump and drainage, crack repair, and wall anchors and 2 – concrete leveling, pier, and French drain), I no longer even check the weather forecast. Lucas S. was the foreman on both phases and his work ethic and concern about the job are very much appreciated. They show up on time, show consideration for you and your home, and complete the work, including clean up. Thank you, Helitech, for all of your hard work on my home.
Alex P & Brad C were courteous and did a good job and cleaned up after themselves. They also explained every step they were taking to make my wife and I feel comfortable. Most of all they were very patient with all of my questions. (I know I am not very patient when I am sweating).
Our Homeowner Maintenance Checklist will serve as your plan for regular maintenance – particularly as it relates to foundation issues, concrete settlement, and structural repair. It is intended to be used all-year round and will help you ensure your home is healthy and protected through every month and season.
With our installation and product videos, you will be able to better understand our processes and visualize the installation so you can have a higher level of comfort in trust with us to heal your home.
**For 24-Hour Sump Pump and Waterproofing Service, please call our office at 800-246-9721.**
The safety and health of everyone is the ultimate priority right now. It is also important that homes remain dry and sump pumps continue to work to help eliminate further health-related issues that can be caused by mold and allergens in the air from wet basements and crawl spaces.
We are currently open for business as deemed essential to maintaining the safety of homes during the State of Illinois and St. Louis City and County stay at home orders. We will continue our sanitation protocol and use of PPE should you need our service. Please contact us today if your home is experiencing water or foundation damage.
Dear Helitech Customers,
I hope this message finds you safe and healthy.
As our communities and customers continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, Helitech continues our commitment to safety and service. We are taking every measure possible to ensure COVID-19 does not interrupt our ability to serve you in the way that you have come to expect from us over the past 5 decades.
At Helitech, our number 1 priority is the safety of our team and our customers. It’s the lifeblood of our business. We are implementing preventative measures and closely following the recommendations by the CDC – canceling non-essential travel and group events, instituting remote working, ensuring proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for all our field teams, as well as keeping everything sanitized, from trucks to tools to workspaces.
With heavy rain expected throughout our service area over the next few days, we want to let you – our valued customers – know that as the area’s highest-rated waterproofing and foundation repair contractor – we are still here for you.
If you notice an issue – water coming into your basement or crawlspace, a cracked foundation, or anything that concerns you – give us a call. Our staff is highly trained to meet your foundation needs in a healthy manner – whatever your situation may be.
We can talk through your issue and come up with a solution, whether that be inspecting your foundation remotely via video, sharing photos, or a phone conversation with one of our foundation specialists – we are available to help you with your home’s issues in the safest way possible.
Throughout our 5 decades of service – all the way back to 1987 – we have weathered many storms and economic challenges.
We will all get through this together.
Thank you for your support as we work together to heal your home.
And most importantly, I hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy.
Sincerely, Jason Courtney President, Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair.