Rain gutter and downspout on the wall of a house

Downspouts: Why are They Important to Your Gutter System?

Your rain gutter system plays a very important role in protecting your home from heavy rainfall and water damage. Its operation is quite simple. A rain gutter system channels rainwater down your roof and drains it away from your home. But to drain rainwater properly, your rain gutter system must include a very important accessory: a downspout.

What is a Downspout?

A downspout collects the rainwater that has accumulated on your gutters and then pours it out to the ground or a draining system. It comes in the form of a hollow pipe that connects to your roof gutter and then runs down the outside wall of your home. The bottom end of the tube is curved to help further carry away water from the foundation. A splash block is typically attached to the base of the downspout to keep the soil underneath from eroding.

While having seamless rain gutters installed will prevent the chances of water leaks, it is also important to make sure that your gutter system’s downspout works properly. If the downspout is malfunctioning, your property might end up facing a variety of problems.

Below are the most common problems that can arise from a faulty downspout:

Garden Erosion

Erosion is caused by excess water running over the topsoil, which is the most nutrient-rich part of the soil. Not only does excess water remove the nutrients from the topsoil, but it also leaves the topsoil in a muddy mess. If you have a garden, soil erosion can cause extensive damage to your plants and can also lead to expensive treatments to restore the topsoil’s fertility.

Exterior Wall Damage

If there is blockage in your downspout, it can cause rainwater coming from the gutters to travel back up and overflow. Excess water dampens your exterior walls, creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew. If your wall is made from wood, too much water may also cause the wood to rot over time, leading to costly repairs. Other consequences of excess water flowing down your walls include chipped or peeled paint and disheveled windows and doors.

Flooded Basement

If the downspout is not installed properly or if the bottom end is placed too close to your foundation, then you can expect flooding in your basement. Flooding can weaken your home’s foundation and can also cause mold formation and pest infestation.

Foundation Damage

Excess water that seeps into your home’s foundation can compromise your home’s structural integrity. This is something you want to avoid from happening as repair costs can skyrocket quickly if foundation damage is not addressed immediately.

Decreased Property Lifespan

Rain gutter and downspout on the wall of a house

Water damage can create many problems in your home. But the worst it can do is render your property inhabitable. After all, rotting walls, dilapidated roofs, a weak foundation, and mold and pest infestation are not exactly traits of a stable and long-lasting property.

Clearly, downspouts are a key piece in your rain gutter system. Making sure that your downspouts are clear and free from leaks is important to avoid the problems mentioned above.

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