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Downspout Gutter Extensions

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.

Learn how a simple downspout extension can help.

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 …

  1. 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.
  2. The drain lines will be laid out to verify locations and exit points.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. All pipes are verified for flow to the exit point.
  6. 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.
  7. All soil is backfilled into the trench and any excess is removed from the job site.
  8. If sod was removed, it is replaced. Seed and straw are placed over the excavated trench.
  9. All items are cleaned up and you are left with peace of mind when it rains.

Let Helitech Heal your Home’s gutters and direct it away from your foundation. Download our informational brochure here.

We’ll give you a free quote for your home’s gutter downspout drainage system.

We’ll get back to you with a cost-effective solution.


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