Don't Sink Money Into Underground Drains - Use Retractable Downspout Extensions
Retractable automatic downspout extensions and longer flexible downspout extensions are more cost-effective and adaptable than underground drains. Read on to learn more about this topic.
Most homes come equipped with simple downspouts and splash blocks, at the base of the downspout, to redirect rain water. Often, this is not enough to keep water from entering basements and crawl spaces, eroding soil under foundations, or damaging walls. Splash blocks often shift as a result of water impact, reducing their effectiveness. Two methods for moving water further away from the home is to dig a trench for an underground drain, or to install retractable rollout or flexible downspout extensions.
While underground drains are effective at moving water safely away from structures, their cost alone makes them a less desirable choice. Also, once they are installed, changing the discharge point means even more work and expense.
Due to the variety of ordinances and codes for different communities, it may be necessary to hire a professional to install an underground drain. Some homeowners opt for installing a French drain, which is a trench filled with gravel. Installing a 50' drain means digging and disposing of approximately 75 cubic feet of dirt, weighing 4 to 5 tons, and then adding 4 to 5 tons of gravel. Also, the slope must be consistently downhill, or the drain will turn into a mud pit, defeating the purpose of all that work.
Automatic Downspout Extensions
A more affordable and convenient alternative are rollout downspout extensions that are simply attached to an existing downspout, where they stay neatly out of the way until it rains. At that point, they unroll themselves, moving water 4' to 9' away from the structure and into landscaping areas that can handle the extra water. When the rain stops, they automatically roll themselves back up.
Cover More Ground With Flexible Downspout Extensions
While not automatic, flexible downspout extensions provide similar convenience with added distance and customization possibilities. Flexible downspout extensions attach to gutters in the same way, but are available in lengths of 25' and 50', making them the perfect tool for moving rain water to thirsty hedge rows, trees, and shrubs, or to paved areas, such as driveways or curbside. These flexible gutter extensions can go around corners and vulnerable landscaping, making it easy to customize where the water is discharged.
Moving rain water away from structures and vulnerable landscaping is important in protecting the structural integrity of your home and the health of your family. After considering the cost, labor, and flexibility to both options, it is clear that aboveground gutter extensions provide a far more efficient and cost-effective solution to potential water damage.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rainguard Corporation helps homeowners understand the benefits of retractable downspout extensions and flexible downspout extensions over expensive underground drains.