Your gutter system is an important part of the exterior of your home. Each and every part of that system plays a vital role. Likely, no role is more essential than that of your downspout, the part of the system that keeps water away from your home’s foundation, helping you avoid damage that could be catastrophic.
However, it’s commonplace to take a look at your gutter system and assume all is well if everything that’s attached to your house appears to be in good working condition. What some homeowners forget is that it’s absolutely essential to inspect your downspout system along with the rest of your gutters because a problem with the downspout might mean disaster for your home.
Consider these potential downspout issues:
- Downspouts may be damaged due to things like ice, animals, splits, holes, and more. As a result, they will not function properly.
- Your downspouts may have moved from their original position and are now emptying too close to your home. This means water will build up around the foundation and you may start to see wetness in the foundation walls or basement.
- Your site grading is improper and your downspout might be emptying onto soil that slopes back, allowing water to flow towards your home. Again, this could result in water concentrated around the foundation.
- Downspout connections may be facing the wrong way, causing leaks to occur.
- Downspouts can become clogged at the gutter connection, elbows, or other places along their routing.
- Downspouts may be of an insufficient size to handle the amount of water flowing through your gutter system. Similarly, there may be an insufficient number of downspouts to handle the volume of roof drainage water that regularly flows through the system.
- Downspouts may become disconnected from the rest of the system, demanding swift action.
Whatever the issue with the downspout, be it any of these or something else, the problem needs to be addressed pronto.
Dealing with a disconnected downspout
If you find that your downspout has fallen off and is no longer doing its job, you will need to make a decision as to whether it can be reattached or if it needs to be replaced.
When you find the disconnected downspout, examine it carefully to determine whether it is still in good condition. Is it bent? Do you see any cracks or holes? If it’s not damaged beyond fixing, you should be able to reattach it. If not, you can replace it with a new oneand may even be able to do it yourself.
- Start by gathering the tools and materials you need. This includes a new downspout, of course, as well as a silicone sealant. You might also need a scissors or utility knife to trim the old pipe and a hacksaw if you’re replacing an elbow gutter downspout.
- Next, you should be able to remove the old downspout by unscrewing it from the gutter. Cut about an inch off the end of your new downspout and fit it over the existing pipe. You can then apply the new sealant and screw both ends of the downspout back together again.
- Measure the length of pipe you need and cut it with the hacksaw. You’ll also have to replace the end of the downspout that protrudes from under your shingles if you’re working up near the roof.
- Attach one end of the new pipe to your house’s exterior wall with screws, using a drill. Then reconnect your downspout with your house’s gutter system on the first floor by screwing on its final end.
That’s just a quick overview of a DIY downspout reattachment project. Getting the job done completely and correctly can be difficult and time consuming. Many homeowners do it on their own, when necessary, but if you don’t have the tools you need, it’s often quicker and more cost effective to hire a gutter installation company to do the job.
Because there are many nuances involved with installing and maintaining a gutter system – like making sure everything lines up correctly and is pitched properly – it often pays to employ the services of a professional. Furthermore, once you establish rapport with a trusted gutter installation company like Advantage Gutters, you can call on them for regular inspections, cleaning, and more.