There are homeowners out there constantly check every aspect of their home’s exterior, and keep everything in tip-top shape — but if you’re like most people, details tend to slip through the cracks now and again. Downspouts are one thing that people often forget about completely, even during key maintenance seasons like Spring and Fall. Even though checking your downspout may be the last item on your list of priorities, here are some simple ways to tell if yours is in need of repair.
1. Peeling paint and disturbed landscaping around the downspout
If you have noticed the paint peeling off around the downspout, this could be due to improper draining. Furthermore, any signs of missing mulch or soil erosion near the downspout means that it probably is not effectively channeling the water away from the foundation of your home.
2. Look for wire strainers in the downspout
Downspouts feature wire strainers, which keep debris from collecting and blocking the water flow. A professional will be able to tell you easily if they are in place and functioning properly. Until then, just know that if the rest of your gutters have been crowded with leaves or debris, you may have to expect to purchase a new downspout since the weight of the strainer may have broken the pipe.
3. Gaping or collapsed joints
If you see the joints of your downspout failing to properly meet up, this will prove to be a problem. Essentially, problematic joints will prevent proper drainage from the gutters. Sometimes the joints can be bent and finagled back into place. If not, a new installation may be required.
4. Flooding basement
Rainwater that is not carried away from your house will (sooner or later) begin to seep into the basement, and/or weaken the home’s foundation. If you have a crawlspace, you should make it a point to periodically check for any signs of water leaking in — especially since this is an area visited so infrequently.
Why is gutter maintenance so important?
Keeping your gutters in good shape is among the most important things you can do to prevent water damage from occurring in your home. Downspouts channel away from the foundation to prevent this. Unlike clogged gutters, however, downspout repair may be a bit more difficult for homeowners to carry out on their own. A professional can help you perform regular checks of your entire drainage system, thus helping to preserve the safety and well being of your home.
Finding the best professional
When you realize that the time has come to repair the downspout on your home, it pays to find a trustworthy gutter repair specialist. Look for someone who gives you easy and affordable solutions, both functionally and aesthetically. Fixing your gutters and downspouts may not be the first thing on your to do list — but if you end up with serious water damage issues as a result of faulty downspouts, you’ll probably wish you’d have paid closer attention! Thankfully, regular maintenance will prevent these issues altogether and keep your downspouts in perfect working order.