Do Downspout Extensions Solve A Water Problem?

Friday, May 7th, 2021 by Kelsey Bullerdick


Do Downspout Extensions Solve A Water Problem? - Image 1

For most people, their home’s foundation seems like a pretty big deal, it’s a massive slab of poured concrete or structure of the concrete block. Your foundation is what is protecting you and your family from the outside, so it would be a no-brainer to want your foundation to be stable.

Water, on the other hand, seems like such a small, insignificant thing.  It comes down as rain, makes little puddles, and we run it out of the kitchen tap. We wash in it, drink it, even play in it. What harm can it do? It may not seem like much, however, it’s one of the most destructive forces known to humans. Water can create catastrophes – tsunamis, floods, hurricanes. Think about it, water also carved out the Grand Canyon.  When water is moving, it can erode even the densest of stone.

How Can Water Affect Your Foundation?

Gutters and downspouts play an important role in directing the rainwater around your home. When configured properly, they’ll effectively direct roof water away from your home. When they’re not, large amounts of water can dump next to your foundation causing seepage, foundation movement, and in severe cases can even cause deterioration. 

The first step you can take is to keep your gutters clean and free of leaves and debris. The next is to add downspout extensions. They form your first line of defense against basement flooding. By channeling roof runoff away from the house, these drainage devices reduce hydrostatic pressure against the foundation. Downspout extensions are also effective in preventing the erosion of soil, mulch, and ground covers from around your house.

Another option is an underground extension called LawnScape Outlet. It connects your downspout to a special outlet that sends water away from your foundation while camouflaging the end of the pipe. These also work perfectly with a sump pump discharge line.

We always ask the homeowner if they want their basement dry ALL of the time. Why? Because any of these partial solutions will only make a basement drier, not dry. So, will extending the downspouts help? Yes. And you should absolutely extend the downspouts away from the home. But they are rarely the only solution needed to solve a water problem in the basement or crawl space.

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