Gutter and Downspout Runoff Drainage – Send it Underground

Feb 23, 2022
Gutter and Downspout Runoff Drainage – Send it Underground

Buying the best gutter system is a top priority for most homeowners. However, for this system to work perfectly, it must be installed properly. Meticulous planning is needed on the part of the installer. To ensure a smooth gutter drain, you also need to make sure you select a gutter that surrounds the sloped portion of the roof. Next, the gutter has to be routed to a respective downspout.

However, if rainwater ends up pooling in your flowerbed or splashing near the foundation of your home, all your efforts will be for nothing. If you cannot redirect water from the downspout safely away from your home, your efforts will be wasted and you might end up spending on eavestrough repair. To keep water from causing immense structural damage, you should consider sending the water underground. So, how can you drain gutters underground?

Some of the best downspout drainage ideas include installing an underground drainage system. The system will guide water away from the foundation and disperse it into the soil easily and gradually – no more dealing with puddles, pools, or stagnant water after a heavy downpour.

What is a French Drain?

If you are pro the idea of an underground drainage system, what you need is a French drain. This is a network of pipes that are laid in trenches that are dug beneath the ground. The pipes allow water from the downspout to flow easily away from the house. The French drain can be attached to the downspout so that it works seamlessly with existing gutters. As a result of being an effective solution to fix downspout drainage problems, French drains have become the most common way of getting runoff away from the house.

Process of installing a French drain

The first step in the installation of a French drain is the mapping out of the trenches. You need to know where the trenches will run through and where the termination point of the pipes will be. The ideal pipe termination point is a curb, storm drain or alley. As you map out the trenches, make sure they don’t cross any telephone, plumbing, cable or electrical lines. The pipes must also be placed in a way that allows water to run downhill and away from the house. You may have to re-slope the ground in some areas.

Once everything has been mapped out, a contractor will help dig the trenches. These should be about 8 to 12 inches wide and deep. More dirt will be taken out in certain areas in order to maintain a slope. The bottom of the dug trenches will then be covered with shells, gravel or rocks. Some contractors may also recommend the use of special permeable landscaping fabric.

How Do You Bury Downspouts on a French Drain?

After the trenches are ready, the next step is lying rigid PVC pipes in the trenches. These pipes should be perforated to allow water to drain gradually into the soil. The next big question is this, should downspouts be connected to French drain? The answer is yes. For the French drain to work effectively, the underground pipes should be connected to the downspout so that rainwater moves from the downspout and into the underground drain pipes. Once the pipes are laid and connected, they will be covered with a layer of shells, gravel or rocks before being covered with dirt.

The French drain system is undoubtedly one of the best rain gutter drainage solutions you can use. The system is quite simple and works effectively. When they are installed properly, these downspout solutions guarantee you never deal with rainwater splashing against your foundation, flooding your basement or ruining your landscape. However, you need to keep in mind that although the system seems easy to install, it should not be done by an inexperienced contractor. Poor installation may cause water to backflow due to an improper slope or blockage of the underground drain pipes.

Tips on How to Improve the Performance of Your Gutters and Downspouts

Away from answering the question on can you run gutters into French drain, it is time to review a few tips on gutter and downspout runoffs. Needless to say, there are many things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your gutters. Here are some of the best tips.

  • Regularly inspect and clean your gutters

You need to inspect and clean your gutters twice during fall and before spring. You also need to check and repair ditches and berms. Your gutters must be repaired as soon as possible. Get your gutters replaced every 25 to 30 years.

  • Install gutter guards

These systems keep debris out of your gutters. There are many options available. Make your choice carefully.

  • Landscape plants

The landscape can be used to solve some water runoff problems. For example, you can use a garden to manage runoffs. Ensuring the landscape slopes away from your house will also solve most runoff problems.

  • Extend the downspout

There are many downspout solutions available. Connecting the downspout to a French drain is one of the best ways of ensuring water never splashes against your house or pools in your landscape.

  • Route water into a dry well or storm drain

Your plumber can help install a sump pump that directs water away from your house into a dry well or storm drain.

  • Improve grading and slope

A professional excavator must be brought in for this. The solution ensures water drains away from the vicinity of your home effortlessly.

  • Inspect your home for low spots

Low spots around the house will hold water and cause pooling. You should fill them immediately to prevent water damage.

  • Install a ‘French drain’

This is a trench that has gravel or sand and perforated pipes that redirect water from downspout away from your home. This has to be installed properly to prevent backflows.

  • Change the impermeable surfaces

While this solution can cost a lot of money, changing concrete into gravel or permeable pavers will significantly reduce drainage problems in your home.

  • Use water collection solutions

There are many rainwater collection solutions you can use. They include cisterns, rain barrels and rain gardens. If your selected solution involves digging, make sure you start by contacting your utility company to ensure you don’t damage utility lines.

As you may already know, bad drainage puts your home at risk for all manner of water damage. Even if you install a sump pump to pump the water away, the best solution is to ensure water never gets in your basement. Installing effective gutters is the best investment you can make for your home. Do not shy away from working with an expert. D’Angelo and Sons are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding gutter systems, French drains and helping with the installation. Get in touch today to find out more.

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