What Are the Possible Lengths of Long Downspouts?

long downspout

Your home should be protected from the inside and out. Water damage is considered one of the most serious hazards to your property. That’s because it causes the growth of mold.

Mold itself can do two things at the same time: one, it can harm the structural integrity of your home. And two, it can be harmful to the health and safety of your household and visitors. That’s why it is important to consider installing long downspouts on your property.

This guide will explain the possible lengths of a long downspout. Selecting the right one will be crucial if the need for installing one arises. Once finished, your home will be protected from precipitation or water that may gain access to your home.

You’ll also learn how to connect gutter downspouts if you choose to get the job done yourself. Let’s get started with everything you need to know.

What to know about long downspouts?

Before going further, it should be a good idea to give you a basic overview of long downspouts and the purpose they serve. These are extensions that are connected to the bottom of your gutter system. The purpose is channeling rainwater that is collected by your gutters – ensuring that they are rerouted from your home’s foundation.

As such, water diversion is their chief purpose. They also have the ability to prevent soil erosion while maintaining the current state of your landscaping such as your garden and flower beds. Aside from preventing damage inside your home, they’ll also prevent exterior damage.

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Which means it will prevent stains, mold, and any type of water damage from occurring.

Possible lengths of long downspouts

When determining the length of long downspouts, you want to consider plenty of factors. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Your home’s architecture
  • The climate in your location
  • Distance needed to divert rainwater

The common lengths for long downspouts go from 6 feet to 20 feet (and beyond). With that in mind, here’s what you need to consider before deciding on the right length:

Evaluate your home’s layout

The first step would be to assess the layout of your home. This includes measuring the distance between your gutters and the ground. From there, you will need to factor in the distance that will be required to direct water away from your home’s foundation.

If you have a basement in your home, you want the downspout to be extended far enough so water is not pooling around it.

Consider your local climate

This step is crucial. If you reside in areas where heavy rainfall or frequent storms are normal, a longer downspout will be your best option. That’s because it is designed to handle increased amounts of water. Likewise, shorter downspouts will be ideal for residents of drier climates.

For example, if you’re a homeowner in the Pacific Northwest, you know that heavy rainfall is normal. So it would make sense to have a longer downspout installed. However, that won’t always be the case for those who live in places like Las Vegas or Phoenix, where the climate is much drier.

Don’t forget the landscape and terrain

It should be noted that your landscape and terrain should not be overlooked. This includes the slope of your yard and any landscaping features you may have such as gardens and flower beds. These can affect water runoff and not in a good way.

If you have a steep slope in your yard, a longer downspout might be a good idea. Once again, it will prevent the pooling of water that can threaten your home’s structural integrity.

Local building codes

While a home improvement project sounds like a no-sweat thing to do, there are building codes and regulations to be aware of. It’s important to find out what they are and whether they allow a minimum downspout length for residential properties. The codes and regulations are created in order to ensure proper drainage while protecting your home from water damage.

Connecting Gutter Downspouts

For DIY’ers like yourself, this will be the fun part. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to connect gutter downspouts:

Measure and Cut Downspout

Make a determination regarding your required length based on the factors we’ve discussed earlier in the guide. Cut the downspout to your desired length using either a hacksaw or a downspout cutter.

Attach elbows and connectors

This will depend on the layout of your home. But nonetheless, you will need to connect these crucial downspout parts with the help of elbows and connectors. This will be useful to ensure that the downspout itself can go around corners and other obstacles.

If necessary, use rivets or screws in order to firmly secure the components. Check to see if they are secure before moving on to the next step.

Secure the downspout to the gutter

Now, you’ll need to secure the downspout to the bottom of the gutter. You will need either gutter straps or hangers to do this. Since heavy rain and winds tend to be a problem, you need to make sure that the downspout is properly and firmly secured.

Direct water away

Make sure the lower end of the downspout is directing water away from your home’s foundation. If you want to guide the water farther away, you can use downspout extensions or splash blocks.

Downspout Extension Ideas

If you are considering enhancements for the purpose of improving the functionality and aesthetics, here are some ideas to consider:

Rain Barrels: This will be useful for collecting rainwater for your garden. It’s great for those looking for something eco-friendly for the purpose of conserving water and reducing runoff.

Burying Downspouts: Burying your downspouts underground and directing water to a dry well or a drainage area will be great for minimizing the visual impact.

Rain chains: If you are looking to replace traditional downspouts, rain chains can be an exceptional option. This will not only be a unique option, but it will also be visually appealing in the way you channel rainwater.

Gutter Downspout Parts: What You Need

Here are the following gutter downspout parts that will be needed for your do-it-yourself project:

Downspout sections: Straight segments of the downspout that are used to connect to form the length.

Elbows: These will be available in 45 or 90 degree angles. This will be useful to ensure your downspout goes around corners and obstacles.

Connectors: Designed to join the downspout sections securely.

Gutter straps or hangers: Useful for attaching the top of the downspout to the bottom of the gutter.
Splash blocks: Installed at the end of the downspout. These will be used to direct water away from your home and the foundation.

Downspout extensions: You can add additional sections that can be used to lengthen the downspout and direct the water farther away from the home’s foundation.

Rain barrels: These will be used to collect rainwater that will be intended for later use, such as watering your garden or other purposes.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for the perfect long downspout for your home, choosing the right length will be crucial. It’s one of the most important things to have in your home so water damage doesn’t become a problem. Once you have a downspout system in place, you’ll have even greater peace of mind knowing you have an excellent protection system that will keep water away from the foundation and be taken elsewhere.

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