Via Wiki Commons
One inch of rainfall can drop 623 gallons of water onto the roof of a 1,000-square-foot home – and ultimately through the gutter downspouts. This water can cause serious and expensive flooding problems if it collects around your house. More often than not, homeowners will experience a leak, think it is the roof, call a roofer and get a proposal for a new roof. The problem may not be from the roof itself, but from clogged roof drains and gutters.
After years of rain and storms, a house’s drain and gutters can become clogged with debris causing the water to overflow and leak into the home. If the gutter becomes clogged, it may cause water to back up and flow over the drain flashing and into the building itself. From there it may leak down the walls or into ceilings. Regular maintenance of the roof gutters is necessary to prevent a leaky roof, the best way to complete this regular maintenance would be by regularly bringing in a professional to make sure everything is up to par.
There are several relatively simple solutions for poor roof and gutter drainage, including straight and flexible extensions and various piping plans.
Pipe Water Away from House
One major way to prevent drainage issues is to pipe the water further away from your house. Instead of pooling around your house, which could cause even more leaking, the water will have a more successful chance of soaking into your grass or garden. To divert water farther from the house, consider a French drain or other trench drainage system. A French drain is a trench that slopes away from the house and empties out onto open ground far from the house. It’s a good idea to fill the bottom of the trench with gravel, then lay in a flexible or solid pipe and cover with more gravel and soil or sod to create even better drainage further from the house.
Add Downspout Extenders
Simple downspout extenders may be all you need to improve downspout drainage. The easiest way to install a downspout extender is to consider a straight, folding vinyl extension. Another option is the accordion-style flexible extender. These extenders can be twisted into any angle to move the down-flow away from a patio. They may not be the perfect solution for downspout drainage issues, but at least the extenders will spread water so it does not pool directly under a narrow downspout.
Diverters can be used in along with these other methods, but they are not a complete solution to drainage issues. Diverters draw water into a rain barrel from your downspout. These rain barrels can be used for irrigation and to spread water. Rain barrels will probably not capture all the water flowing off the roof in a heavy rainstorm. A good diverter is designed to overflow back into the downspout and spill out onto the ground. You will still need extenders or piping to solve the majority of the drainage problems.
Improving downspout drainage can be as simple as installing an extender or as difficult as collecting the water in a barrel, but any method is cheaper and simpler than fixing potential foundation problems caused by rainwater pooling around your house.
If you experience a leak, you can call a professional to find out where the leak is coming from. If it’s something as simple as a clogged gutter, a professional might be able to clean out the gutter and make sure it is working properly. Not all drainage problems are solved as easily as cleaning them out. If the roof or gutter is old, you may need to replace it to permanently stop the leaking. Although this is uncommon, it can happen. An experienced inspector would be able to tell you if the roof or gutter is just clogged or in need of replacement.
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