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Rain Gutter Drains & Downspouts – The Complete Guide to Your Home’s Gutters

Gutters and downspouts are one of the most crucial components of your home’s drainage system. They divert rainwater away from your home’s foundation, prevent basement leakage, and prevent damage to the siding. As such, there are important considerations when laying out and installing these exterior roof features. 

Among the questions you may have as a homeowner are where gutters should drain and where do gutter downspouts go. Herein is a comprehensive look into your home’s gutters and downspouts to ensure you have a properly functioning water diversion system.

The Basics of a Water Diversion System

All homes have the necessary components to install an effective water collection system. This is an important aspect of any high-quality residential roof replacement or repair. The most basic water drainage system involves open-topped gutters running the length of your roof with downspouts at the ends. 

The gutters are attached directly to the fascia and channel water to the downspouts. The downspouts direct and release the water to ground level and away from your home. The gutters and downspouts are attached through various connectors to form a unified channel. 

This basic water diversion system is as effective as it is simple. A good layout should direct rainwater at least 6 feet away from your home, especially if you have a basement. The farther away from your home the water drains, the better.

Where Should Gutters Drain?

Your home should be able to handle the amount of rainwater it receives. Whether it’s a particularly wet season or you experience a storm with heavy rain. Your home’s water diversion system should flush this excess rainwater into a designated outlet or location. 

Where the water from gutters and downspouts ends up will vary from home to home. There are several safe options regarding where your gutters should drain. The ideal solution depends on the characteristics of your property. In many cases, it’s best to implement a combination of the solutions below:

1. A Rain Tank
A rain tank is one of the simplest ways to drain water away from your roof. It’s also a great choice if you’re an environmentally conscious homeowner. You can reuse the harvested water for other purposes like cleaning or feeding your garden. 

Rain tanks come in different types, sizes, and materials. They may be a water tank, rain barrel, or any sizeable collection container. You can choose an appropriate one based on the volume of rainwater you expect to collect. 

Installing a rain-harvesting tank is simple. You attach a diverter at the end of the gutter downspouts to direct the rainwater to the tank underneath. You can place it above or below the ground. This simple installation will safely channel runoff from your roof without potential flooding or splashing.

2. Drainage well

A drainage well, also known as a drainage pit, is a cost-effective way of storing large volumes of water. It’s constructed by excavating a section of your yard some distance away from your foundation wall. The hole is partially filled with gravel. 

A drainpipe leads water from the gutter downspouts into the drainage well. It’s one of the best solutions to safely and effectively divert water away from your home’s foundation. Drainage well hugs the ground in a low profile and doesn’t affect your home’s curb appeal.

3. Rainwater Collection Infrastructure

A rainwater collection system is a large underground tank linked to a filter and pump. A professional typically install them since they have a more complicated setup than rain tanks. 

The system is designed to collect large amounts of rainwater coming from the gutters and downspouts. You can filter and pump out the water and use it as desired. Rainwater collection systems are ideal for landscape irrigation purposes.

4. Downspout Extensions

A downspout extension is an installation that fits onto the bottom of the downspouts and juts outwards. The installation features an elbow-like end and extends into your yard to channel rainwater safely from the foundation. A downspout extension releases rainwater where you direct it, such as a public drainage system, reservoir, storm drain, or dry creeks.

5. Underground Drainpipes

An underground drainpipe is an aesthetic and neat way to keep rainwater away from your home’s foundation. It involves burying the downspouts and connecting them to underground drainpipes, safely releasing the water from your home. These drain pipes are laid in trenches running along your yard.

6. Stealth Flow Connectors

Stealth flow connectors are ideal if your yard has landscape or mulch. They are plastic connectors that attach to the edge of downspouts. 

They have a low profile and easily blend in with your landscape design. Stealth flow connectors are fixed to drain pipes that direct rainwater away from your yard to a designated location.

7. Trench Drains

Trench drains are ideal if your home is heavily paved with walkways and parking areas. These are channels lined with concrete that redirect water from the gutters and downspouts. Trench drains have filters and grates at intervals to filter out debris and prevent clogging.

8. French Drains

French drains are an intricate method of controlling the flow of water around your home. A French drain is a perforated pipe that channels rainwater in a specific direction. The pipes are typically covered with gravel or rocks to help with water flow and filtration. It’s an effective solution for preventing flooded basements.

Overall, gutters and downspouts protect your home’s exterior and foundation from water damage. As such, it’s important to enlist the services of reputable roofing professionals to plan for and install an effective gutter system.

Bill West Roofing is one of the leading providers of high-quality gutter installation and repair services in and around Kansas City, MO. Our certified and insured team has the expertise, skills, and experience to handle residential projects of all scopes. Contact us today for a free estimate or to learn more about our best-in-class roofing services.

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