Why Do I Need Splash Blocks Below Gutter Downspouts?

If you are thinking of buying a home, you should definitely have a home inspection performed by Imperial Pro Inspection before you agree to the purchase. One of the things that the inspector may inform you of following the inspection is that the splash blocks were not below the gutter downspouts. This is a common issue that requires a small investment to correct and can be down yourself. Splash blocks start at around $5 each at local hardware stores such as lowes.

Why Gutters

Gutters primarily protect the foundation of your home and prevent erosion, but also protect your landscaping, prevent staining to the exterior of your home, mitigate paint damage, and stop mold and mildew growth. Gutters are installed to collect and control water run off from a roofing system and to control the water until it can be carried far enough away from a building that it does not create a potential for water entry at the roof, walls, or foundation and so runoff dues not result in erosion of soil at the foundation which could result in differential settlement at the foundation. Ideally, you want water moved 6 feet away from your foundation.

Discharge Methods

There are different methods of controlling water as it is discharged from gutter downspouts.  The highest quality is a drainage plumbing system which carries water to the storm sewer or as simple as properly sloped soil drainage and gutter downspout splash blocks which prevent water being discharged from the gutter from eroding the soil at the foundation.

In the case of a drain system the gutters downspouts should empty directly into the drain system. The system should be adequately sized to prevent backup and should have some type of clean outs to allow for periodic cleaning.

The most simple method of controlling runoff is through the use of a gutter downspout with an elbow at its discharge configured to direct water away from the foundation.  The downspout should empty into a splash block that is graded and configured to direct water away from the foundation.

Getting Them Right

In all cases the configuration of the gutter and downspout is important.  The down spout should direct water away from the foundation rather than at or along the foundation and the splash block or drain should carry water far enough away to prevent erosion at the foundation.

Many builders either do not install down spout splash blocks or do not install them correctly.  If they do not exist or if they are installed backwards water will be allowed to run back against the foundation and you will often seen deep holes along the sides of the foundation which can result in poor foundation performance over the life of a building.

Down Spout With Splash
Down Spout With Splash Block
No Downspout Splash Block
No Downspout Splash Block
Improperly Configured Splash Block
No Downspout Splash Block
Downspout Drain Attachment
Downspout Drain Attachment

Houston Area Foundation Inspections

Imperial Pro’s affordable precision foundation inspections are our most utilized service that realtors, home buyers, sellers, investors, flippers, contractors, landlords and homeowners need the most. Imperial Pro is not in the business of foundation repair. We offer our clients the value of our unbiased industry-leading foundation inspections that our clients trust. Foundations in our area should be professionally inspected annually as part of regular home maintenance. Schedule your foundation inspection today. #lovewhereyoulive

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