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.
Helitech did a great job from start to finish. The sales rep was knowledgeable and super easy to work with, giving me multiple options and payment choices. They began the work sooner than expected and left with a perfect fix of a terribly leaky crack in my basement wall. I …
Candice R. — 9.14.2017
I wanted to send a note to let you know how much my family and I appreciate the work that your employees did at our home. In this historic flood, the river is currently touching our foundation and, while MANY in our neighborhood (and others we know) have flooded basements, …
Marie G. — 3.11.2019
Lebanon, IL, USA
Crew did an amazing job, Aaron, Juan, and Tyrone.
Lou T. — 6.25.2019
Warrenton, MO, USA
Great company to deal with. Jon the salesman was very knowledgeable and helpful with all questions and concerns I had.
David G. — 6.20.2019
Rock Island, IL, USA
Helitech and our estimator Mark rock! 5 years ago they waterproofed our basement – not a drip of water. We are now having them help with some outside draining. We wouldn’t call anyone else!
Robert L. — 6.19.2019
St. Louis, MO, USA
Chad Ross and crew doing great, represent the company very well.
Aaron J. — 8.22.2017
They were great, they got the whole thing done in one day and the next day it rained more than it has all year and no water in the basement thanks to the great work and perfect timing.
Mike M. — 6.19.2017
St. Louis, MO
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 …
Darin K. — 3.11.2019
Kewanee, IL, USA
Chris and crew made me feel comfortable in choosing your company to fix our basement. Chris and guys were absolutely amazing. Very polite and took time to answer any questions.
Ashley D. — 6.19.2019
St. Louis, MO, USA
Kevin was accommodating and really nice worker.
Jason D. — 5.5.2017
They really stepped up to the plate when I needed them most as a client. I could write 5 pages about everything they did right as a company when I had an incident after they did some work for me. They worked with me the whole time and being in …
Shannon W. — 12.12.2017
Lake St Louis, MO
Aaron Bauer and crew did an awesome job. They were polite and courteous. We are thrilled with the work we had done.
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.