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What are Downspouts, and What Do They Do Exactly?

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by James Redding

Rain is a vital part of the water cycle, and one of the most important things that it does is provide fresh water for plants and animals.

But what happens to all that rainwater once it falls from the sky?

When it comes to your home—especially your roof and foundation—you definitely don’t want rainwater pooling around or seeping in.

Whether they’re sectional or seamless, rain gutters are great for keeping water away from your home. But they don’t do much good if that water just overflows off the edge of the roof. That’s where downspouts come in!

A picture of What are Downspouts, and What Do They Do Exactly? with Holy City Gutterworks

What is a Gutter Downspout, Exactly?

Downspouts are vital components of any gutter system—they are the vertical pipes that carry rainwater from the gutters down to the ground (and away from your home) where it can be safely discharged.

It’s important to have sufficient downspouts to handle the amount of rain your home receives. If water is spilling over the gutters or coming out of them in heavy rains, you need more downspouts. Likewise, if the soil around your foundation is flooding or you’re seeing watermarks on your basement walls after a storm, that’s a sign that your downspouts aren’t doing their job.

If you’re not sure whether your home has enough downspouts, or if they are placed properly, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look.

The ends of gutter downspouts should be directed so that water flows away from your home’s foundation to avoid pooling and potential flooding.

Note: Some areas require that downspouts be connected to a stormwater drainage system.

A picture of What are Downspouts, and What Do They Do Exactly? with Holy City Gutterworks

Downspouts are usually made from the same material as the gutter system they belong to, so they’re usually made of metal, plastic, or vinyl. Copper gutter systems will nearly always have copper downspouts, aluminum systems have aluminum downspouts, and so on.

Downspouts come in various sizes and shapes to suit different types of homes and roofs. Some gutter systems may have round or square downspouts, while other systems may have rectangular downspouts.

Most downspouts will match the color of the gutters, but you can also find them in other colors to match the exterior of your home. You can even find downspouts that are decorative and come in a variety of colors and styles.

If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall (like here in Charleston, SC), it’s especially important to make sure that your downspouts are in good working condition.

Clogged or broken downspouts can cause water to back up into your gutters and overflow, which can lead to water damage on your roof and around your home.

A downspout that doesn’t direct water far enough away from your home can lead to flooding in your basement or crawlspace, as well as soil erosion around your foundation.

If your downspouts are leaking, they may be able to be re-sealed/repaired by a gutter repair company. However, if they’re severely damaged, or if your gutter system as a whole has significant wear/damage, you may need to replace them entirely.

Regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts—and making sure that they’re in good repair—is the best way to prevent problems and keep your home in tip-top shape. That’s why it’s important to regularly check your downspouts and make sure they’re clear of debris. It’s also a good idea to have a professional gutter company come out and inspect your gutter system to ensure that everything is in good working condition.

A picture of What are Downspouts, and What Do They Do Exactly? with Holy City Gutterworks

Gutter Downspout Installation in Charleston

Downspouts are an essential part of any gutter system, and they play a vital role in keeping your home safe from water damage. It’s important to make sure that they’re the right size and shape for your home, that you have enough of them for the size of your gutter system, and that they’re placed properly so that water is directed away from your foundation. It’s also important to regularly check your downspouts and gutters to ensure that they’re in good working condition.

If you’re ever unsure about the condition of your gutters or downspouts, don’t hesitate to contact a professional gutter installation and repair company. If you’re in South Carolina, contact Holy City Gutterworks at (843) 352-9269, or click here for a free estimate.

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