A downspout is responsible for carrying excess water from your home and roof to a disposal area like a gutter or ravine. Installing a downspout for your home is a straightforward task and one that many homeowners accomplish without professional assistance. Unfortunately, there are a number of common mistakes that can occur during this installation process that may result in damage to your downspout or to your home. Learn to avoid these errors before you begin your at-home downspout installation process. By taking the extra effort to install your downspout correctly, you'll prolong the life of your spout and prevent your home from water damage in future years.
Tip 1 - Avoid Negative Pitch
Negative pitch is one of the most common mistakes affecting downspouts, and occurs when shifting pipes or soil causes the water to flow in the reverse direction of the intended one. This causes damage to the foundation and soil around your home over a number of years.
In order to avoid negative pitch in your downspout, install the pipe at least 5 feet away from the foundation of your home. The soil surrounding the foundation may settle over time and may cause the downspout pipe to move slightly. In some cases, this causes negative pitch; in others, it may even crack or break the downspout. By ensuring that you install the pipe in soil that hasn't been tilled or moved, you help to protect your downspout from these potential damages.
Tip 2 - Build Your Pipe on Solid Ground
If you lay your downspout pipe over a hollow area of ground, dirt that piles up on top of the pipe will put unnecessary pressure on the downspout itself. Downspout pipes are not designed to bear a great deal of weight, and this pressure may result in broken pipes and other damages. Be sure to test the area in which you'll lay the downspout before you install the pipe. This will ensure that you lay the pipe on solid ground and that you do not put undue stress on your water removal system.
Tip 3 - Do Not Bury Your Downspout Pipe too Deep
Downspouts that are buried too deep are difficult to access if you need to make any repairs. Burying your pipes too deep will also increase the likelihood of pipe damage as dirt piles up on top of them. One of the most common mistakes that occurs during downspout installation, however, is the incorrect calculation of the starting and ending points of the pipe. If you start by building your downspout from your house and move outward, you may find that your downspout isn't at the surface of the ground at the location where you'd like it to discharge.
Measure the distance and elevation change necessary for your downspout pipe carefully, and seek out professional assistance if you have any concerns. You may also find it helpful to install the pipe in reverse, beginning at the discharge point and working your way back to the house itself.