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What are Splash Blocks? Their Role in Charleston Gutter Installations

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by James Redding

The Role of Gutters & Splash Blocks in Charleston, SC Homes

Down here in Charleston, we get our fair share of unpredictable weather. And gutters are your first line of defense against water damage from rain.

Your gutters play a critical role in maintaining the structural integrity of your home, saving it from much of the damage that could otherwise result from heavy rainstorms. But their functionality can be greatly enhanced by a deceptively simple element: the gutter splash block.

You’ve almost certainly seen these blocks before, but you may not have known what they were called. If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “What is a splash block?” or “How does it contribute to my home’s gutter system?”, this article will delve into the function, importance, and usage of splash blocks in Charleston gutter systems installations.

Defining Splash Blocks: What Are They?

A splash block is an essential addition to your gutter system, placed directly beneath the downspout to control and guide the runoff water away from the foundation of your home.

These blocks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and are typically made out of one of these materials:

  • Concrete
  • Resin
  • Plastic

Their purpose is to prevent soil erosion, water stains on your home’s siding, and potential water damage to your foundation by effectively dispersing the force of the water being expelled from the downspout.

A picture of What are Splash Blocks? Their Role in Charleston Gutter Installations with Holy City Gutterworks
Pictured above: A gutter splash block made of plastic.

The design of these splash blocks is straightforward—but effective. They typically have a slightly curved or sloped shape that allows them to channel water away from your house.

The top part, positioned right under the downspout, is typically wider and narrows down towards the end, guiding the water flow in the desired direction.

Necessity of Gutter Splash Blocks in Charleston Homes

To put it simply: Yes, gutter splash blocks are usually necessary for your house. Why? Well, they help protect the important stuff—like your home’s siding, landscaping, and even the foundation from water damage.

Imagine heavy rainfall, where your gutters are working overtime to collect and divert the water away from your home. As the water exits through the downspout, it crashes down with significant force. Without a splash block, this force can lead to soil erosion around the base of your Charleston home and potentially cause water damage or staining.

A picture of What are Splash Blocks? Their Role in Charleston Gutter Installations with Holy City Gutterworks
Pictured above: Downspout of a gutter installation with no extension or splash block to carry the water away from the structure.

Constant water deposition around your Charleston home’s foundation can also lead to dampness, eventually seeping into the basement or crawl space. This dampness creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can undermine your home’s structural integrity and indoor air quality.

Hence, having splash blocks under your downspouts isn’t a luxury—it’s generally a necessity for the effective operation of your gutter system and the preservation of your home’s overall “health.” Gutter downspout extensions and/or underground drains may be better alternatives to downspouts with splash blocks depending on the specific gutter installation and other variables—every installation is unique.

Effective Use of Splash Blocks in a Gutter System Installation

Utilizing a splash block correctly is as important as having one in the first place. The correct usage begins with the selection of an appropriate size and material for your splash block, depending on the rainfall in your region and the amount of runoff water your downspouts have to handle.

Regarding installation, you want to place the wider end of the splash block directly beneath the downspout, ensuring that the narrow end points away from your house. It should lie flat and stable, without wobbling.

Tip: It’s important to regularly check your splash blocks for any damage or displacement—especially after extremely heavy rainfall or strong winds. If that happens, your carefully directed water flow could end up pooling around your house, defeating the whole purpose of having a gutter system in the first place.

A picture of What are Splash Blocks? Their Role in Charleston Gutter Installations with Holy City Gutterworks

So the next time those torrential rain clouds roll over Charleston, Mount Pleasant, or wherever you’re based, after the storm passes, put on your rain boots, take a quick walk around your property, and make sure your splash blocks are still positioned in the right spots.

How to Properly Install & Position Gutter Splash Blocks

The positioning of your splash blocks is crucial in guiding water away from your home effectively. To avoid water intrusion and damage, they should be positioned at a slight downward slope, away from the foundation. Gutter installation experts in Charleston, SC can assist in positioning your splash blocks for optimal effectiveness.

If the ground around your downspout is flat, you may need to create a small incline or use a splash block with a built-in slope.

While the placement might seem obvious—directly beneath the gutter downspout—it’s important that the splash block’s furthest point be a good distance from your home. Ideally they should extend at least 2 – 3 feet, though longer splash blocks exist and may be preferable in certain situations.

This extra length may seem a bit excessive, but it’s an important factor in maintaining the dryness and safety of your home. It’s like a buffer zone—the farther away the water lands from your home, the less chance it has to find its way back to your foundation. This way, even if a heavy downpour causes some water to overflow from the splash block, it doesn’t pool around the foundation, keeping your home safe, dry, and protected.

Contact Our Charleston Gutter Installation Team

Please reach out to our gutter installation experts in Charleston for advice on configuring your home’s gutter system. Holy City Gutterworks is here to help you protect your home from the unpredictable South Carolina weather.

Call 843-352-9269 or click here to contact us.

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