Lots of rain. Heavy snow. Any inordinate amount of precipitation can cause problems for you and your home if your gutter system is not set up correctly. An effective gutter system collects water runoff from your roof and channels it down and away from your house.
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or no longer function properly due to age or wear and tear, you may wind up with standing water on your roof, puddles in your yard, and – worse yet – water that flows towards your house and ruins your foundation.
That’s why it’s important to make sure downspout water flows away from your house at all times. If you suspect that’s not the case because you’re seeing hints that might indicate otherwise, it’s essential to fix the problem quickly.
What you’ll need
In most cases, you can fix this problem yourself if you have the time and stamina to do it and the right tools available. You should have a:
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Garden rake
- Flexible drainage pipe
- Drainage pipe couplers
- Gravel for lining draining pipes
- Crushed rock
- Downspout drainage trays
Directing the water away from the house
Before you start purchasing equipment or digging, you should take a close look at your house and determine where all the drainage spouts are located. You might even want to make a quick sketch that will help you get the whole picture. This way, you’ll have a better idea of where to direct the water flow and can calculate the length of pipe and number of drainage trays you’ll need.
Deciding where to direct the rainwater is an important step in the process. For example, if you have a driveway near one (or more) of your drainage spouts, you won’t want to direct the water towards the driveway because you’ll wind up with freezing problems whenever the temperatures reach below 0 degrees.
For most drainage spouts, you’ll need to dig a shallow trench. Make it deep enough that you can line it with gravel before laying the drainage pipe. Once the pipe and connectors are in place, cover the trench with soil and use your garden rake to smooth the surface. (Remember, you’ve already determined the length of the pipe required.)
If you only need to redirect the water a very short distance, you may not have to dig at all. Instead, you can attach an elbow connector to the downspout and add the appropriate length of pipe in order to drain the water away from the house. Then you simply tighten the coupler ring and use your flathead screwdriver to tighten the screws that hold it in place. It’s a good idea to then add some crushed rock and an angled drainage tray beneath the elbow connector. This will keep the coupler from loosening during heavy rains and water flow, and will add stability as well.
DIY or hire a professional?
There are certainly plenty of things most homeowners can do on their own regarding exterior home maintenance. If you’re particularly handy, redirecting water to flow away from your house might be one of those projects you can tackle as there isn’t any climbing involved as their might be with other gutter projects.
However, you will often need to dig and will likely spend a fair amount of time kneeling or crawling around on the ground in order to add pipe length, secure connectors, and more. If this isn’t something you are physically able to do or prefer not to do, gutter companies like Advantage Gutters are eager to assist with projects like this.
Also remember that regular gutter maintenance can help avoid problems like water that reaches your house instead of flowing elsewhere or clogged gutters that cause other issues. Twice-a-year gutter cleaning is essential for keeping water moving throughout your system and should be scheduled at a time when your gutters are most likely filled with debris, leaves, and move.
Talk to the experts at Advantage Gutters to determine when might be a good time to schedule regular cleaning and maintenance. Give us a call at 604-514-9886 to schedule a consultation or set up an appointment.