Much has been said about how gutter systems work and why your home needs it: it catches rainwater as it falls from the edge of the roof and protects your home from damage to the foundations. But where should the rainwater go? In today’s post, the gutter and roofing contractors at Sentry Exteriors share a closer look at how gutter systems route rainwater away from your home.
Where Does the Rainwater Go?
A typical gutter downspout routes rainwater towards areas that allow drainage into storm drains, such as driveways and especially-designed canals. Extensions may be required if a standard downspout wouldn’t fit or would result in an awkwardly-positioned end point. Rainwater can also be routed using the following:
Drainage Pit — A drainage pit, also known as a dry well or drainage well, is a pit or trench that’s about three cubic feet and partially filled with polished stone. It’s intended to lead rainwater away from the building and into the drains.
Rain Barrel — Rain barrels are used for harvesting rainwater for non-potable purposes such as watering the plants or cleaning the family vehicle. Some gutter companies can install a diverter on the downspout, which allows switching between drainage and rain barrel. It’s worth noting that harvesting rainwater is restricted or illegal in some states.
Rainwater Collection System — A rainwater collection system is similar to rain barrels in that it collects rainwater. However, instead of outdoor barrels, rainwater collection systems have large underground tanks. These tanks are linked to a filter and a pump for pumping out water as needed.
What Happens If Downspouts Fail?
Whether due to improper design, damage, or long-term wear, failing downspouts wouldn’t be as efficient in performing its primary function, which is to route rainwater away from the house foundations. This can result in the soil around the house becoming too wet, causing the house to settle. Excessive moisture may also weaken the concrete foundations.
If you notice signs such as pooling water near the downspouts or water stains around the house foundations, as well as efflorescence, mold, and moss around concrete areas, the downspouts may be part of the problem. It’s best to contact a gutter professional like us as soon as possible to minimize the damage it could cause.
Sentry Exteriors is your leading provider of gutter systems and gutter guards. Give us a call at (434) 239-6722. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Charlottesville, VA, and nearby areas.