Gutters are installed around the home to prevent the water from pouring off the roof and landing around the home where it damages your foundation, yard or landscape. Installing gutters to catch the water is a great solution. Once the gutters catch the water, it is directed toward a downspout which lets that water flow out a singular pipe down to the ground. Gutter downspout drainage can destroy your yard if not dealt with correctly.
How Gutter Downspout Drainage Can Destroy Your Yard
The focused and concentrated water that flows from a downspout drain can cause soil erosion. This happens because the water is directed toward the ground at a high rate of speed in a singular location. If there isn’t a hard surface such as a splash block or a concrete driveway, the water can cause the soil to erode away.
If a downspout directs water into one small area where it can’t run off naturally, the ground can become oversaturated. This causes grass roots to rot or get moldy. It can cause the death of a plant or yellowing of certain shrubs. It may also cause a muddy area in the soft soil that you can sink into if you drive over it in a vehicle or walk through it.The oversaturation can also do damage to plants and vegetation
Solutions for Gutter Downspout Drainage
A lot of different types of damage can happen from gutter downspout drainage so the water needs to be directed properly and safely. Once you’ve concentrated the water into a downspout and the water is traveling to one location, here are a few things you can do to solve the problem.
Install Additional Downspouts
Additional downspouts can be a solution for gutter downspout drainage. If there are more downspouts around the property it can help distribute the water a little more evenly to multiple locations. This will reduce the chances of water oversaturating one particular part of the yard. To add more downspouts, you are looking at a cost of around $50 to $150 per downspout, depending on what type of product you have. Vinyl or copper lead downspouts can be expensive, but adding them can help mitigate your drainage problems.
Upgrade to Larger Gutters
The standard gutter on a residential home is five inches. Upgrading to a larger gutter would essentially require you to buy an entirely new gutter system. It’s worth mentioning that six inch gutters are only a dollar to two dollars more per linear foot. On a home with two or three hundred feet of gutter, you’re looking at maybe three to six hundred dollars more to go with a larger system. For that reason, a lot of people just go with larger gutters because of the low cost difference and the amount of value that you get from the utility. Five inch gutters can handle about one gallon of water per square foot. A six inch gutter can give you an extra gallon and a half of capacity per square foot. That is more than doubling your water capacity for just a few hundred dollars. It’s the way to go if you’re in doubt.
One of the best solutions for gutter downspout drainage is an underground drain. Once the water is directed to the ground through the downspout you can send it underground and away from your home. You always want to use a solid underground drainpipe for this. There is a lot of variability to the cost of an underground drain depending on what you are digging under, digging through, going around, or putting in the underground system. The type of yard, sprinkler systems, sewer drains, the water lines, can also be factors when installing an underground drain.
A downspout extender is a more affordable but less effective option for gutter downspout drainage. Downspout extenders connect to the bottom of the downspout and are usually just a singular elbow that turns the water out away from the foundation. This usually is no more than six to eight inches off the wall and is not a suitable distance to prevent the saturation of the soil. They are basically used to slow the water down and get it to a further location. Many times when basements or crawl spaces are flooding, downspout extenders can be used. $20 to $45 dollars per downspout would get this done.