How Far Should You Bury Downspouts From the House?
Buried downspouts should run at least 20 feet away from the house so the water does not discharge anywhere close to the foundation. Here’s an example of what happens when you don’t discharge your gutters far enough away.
I want to show you guys why you do not just run a gutter out 10 feet. Fifteen years ago this buried downspout was done by a landscaper. First of all, they did not use a pop-up with a turf restrictor plate so the grass is always growing over the discharge and then when there’s a really hard rain it’ll actually blow water up out of the grass. The problem is, this should never have been discharged this close to the home. 10 feet? That’s too close.
Now actually this downspout should have been ran towards the street and ran another 20-25 feet away from the home. I’m going to show you what this ended up costing the homeowner.
The water ends up just collecting on the sidewalk and that part of the yard stays saturated. The beautiful brick veneering on the home is only 15 years old and it’s already separating because the discharge was only 10 feet away from the house. You can just see the brick veneering just separating all the way down.
Now, the decorative rock in a landscape bed, this will always act like a French drain. It’s permeable. So there’s no pipe in there, unfortunately. So this downspout comes out 10 feet. The water dumps right here. It’s not far enough to get to where the grade breaks to the street, it’s real flat in here so the water hangs around. Then, since there’s no pipe underneath the decorative rock in the landscape, the water goes through the decorative rock because it’s permeable, ends up just setting in here on the clay, destroying the brick veneer.
If you’re going to do decorative rock, have this lifted and elevated, little bit mounted, and honestly don’t dig out the clay and put top soil because that’s just going to hold water. Clay works great because it sheds water away from a structure. So I would recommend having clay at least to the height of the top of the sidewalk and then put your decorative rock so the water can only make it to the sidewalk and then drain out towards the street.
Underground Buried Downspouts: Always Take Far Away From Home
Here’s a perfect example of a downspout that was only ran 10 feet and what it can do, what it can cost the homeowner, and the damage it can do to a structure.
If you’re going to bury downspouts make sure the discharge area is at least 20 feet away from your home.