Water Damage Control: Don’t Underestimate Your Downspout
AAAction Waterproofing is always happy to lend our expertise to Maryland residents when it comes to foundation and basement problems. Our experience is always available to those that need serious, professional help. But we also believe that for many people, a lot of issues can be avoided with a little diligence and prevention, and the humble downspout is one of those areas that we’d like to discuss today. It may not seem like much in the grand scheme of a home or other building, but the correct installation of a downspout can be exactly what you need to prevent costly repairs from water damage, and this is something that any home or building owner can easily do without professional assistance.
How The Downspout Works
The downspout is found on the exterior of your home, and is the network of pipes that connect directly to the rain gutter that collects rain water from your roof. Once the water travels through the rain gutter, it encounters the downspout and makes its way down to the ground, where it finally pours out. It’s a very simple, effective, gravity-driven process that requires no moving parts and little maintenance.
However, despite the simplicity of this device, there are many ways that a downspout can actually contribute to possible water leakage and damage to a building, usually the basement. This can be especially true for the older, historical homes that dot much of the Maryland area. What many people don’t realize is that the basic downspout configuration is often too short at the point of exit for the water. This means that during heavy periods of rain, concentrated amounts of water are pouring out of the downspout into an area that is usually right beside the house. Over time this can have an effect on the soil in the area, which can affect the foundation, but in the short term, that much water concentrated in one place can simply leak into the basement, where it can pose a health hazard if it’s not cleaned up, and mold or mildew takes advantage of the damp environment to start a colony.
Lengthen Your Downspout
Fortunately, the solution to this problem is very, very easy. By simply purchasing a downspout extension from any hardware store, you can “stretch” the distance the water travels before exiting, allowing it to pour out further away from your house and safely away from your foundation and basement walls. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big distance either, just a few extra feet is often enough to ensure the water doesn’t penetrate the building. By taking this simple preventative measure, you can avoid the kind of costly repair that long term exposure to water damage would incur on your basement, and it’s a cheap, easy fix that anyone can do.