Functional downspouts are essential in protecting your home and landscape from water damage. Downspouts ensure that the rainwater from the gutters is routed into drains, instead of landing near the house perimeter, or worse, near the house’s foundation. If your downspouts are not located far enough away from your home, it can cause large pools of water to form around your foundation. Too much water near the foundation can result in the following:

  • Increased Soil Moisture Levels — Pooling rainwater gets absorbed by the soil, which can result in an imbalance in the soil moisture levels. If the house settles unevenly, it could lead to the house gradually—and quite literally—splitting in two. If this happens, you will notice signs such as large cracks in load-bearing walls, uneven flooring and hard-to-open doors and windows.
  • Damage to the Foundation —Too much moisture can make the foundation brittle, resulting in cracks or even greater damage to the foundation.
  • Flooded Basement — Water near the basement can seep through the walls and windows. Whether you have an unfinished or converted basement, you do not want water to linger in the basement. Cleaning up after a flood is bad enough; the sudden increase in basement humidity is even worse. It can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as damage to the drywall and other structural parts.

We used Pittsburgh Sewer Pros & Excavating to replace rain conductors. Their proposal was accurate, they were punctual, and cleaned up when finished. The concrete repairs they performed were better than expected too. Will definitely use them again in the future.

Michael Emanuele
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Downspout Extensions

If your downspouts are not located far enough away from your home, extensions can be attached to your existing downspouts and then routed away from your house.  We recommend that downspouts drain at a minimum of 10 feet from your foundation and incorporate your yard’s natural grading to improve the drainage flow to help move the water farther from your home.  Once the extensions are in place, they are be buried at least 5 to 6 inches in the yard.

Clogged Downspouts

Clogged downspouts are also a common cause of water pooling in or around your home. Clogged downspouts are caused by the same things that cause clogged gutters, leaves, debris, and loose roofing granules. 

Obstructions within downspouts usually form gradually. All it takes is an object—a twig, a stiff leaf a clump of animal hair—to be caught in a joint, seam or bend. Smaller pieces of debris will then accumulate over time until a noticeable obstruction has formed. Here are some of the signs of clogged downspouts:

  • Overflowing Water in the Gutters — Overflowing rainwater doesn’t always indicate clogged downspouts. Nevertheless, gutters shouldn’t overflow unless rainfall is unusually heavy. If the gutters turn out to be clean yet are still overflowing, the problem may lie in the downspouts.
  • Leaking Seams — Clogs in the downspout can exert pressure if they occur near the seams. Old and worn-out sealant can be dislodged by the water in the downspout, resulting in “weeping” seams. 
  • Weak Runoff — If the runoff seems to be a little more than a trickle during moderate rain, something in the gutters must be causing a bottleneck. One way to check for a major blockage is to tap the downspout along its length. Obstructed areas will have a different sound when you tap them.

To check if you have clogged underground drains, the first place to look is at the bottoms of all the downspouts around the home. When underground drains are clogged, you will often see the water gushing back out of the drainage pipe and spilling out of the adapter seams. Pittsburgh French Drains & Excavating can perform camera service on your downspout to help diagnose the cause of the clog or backup.

Schedule a free assessment with Pittsburgh French Drains & Excavating to determine which drainage solution is best for your home.