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Gutter and Downspouts 101

Let’s talk about the drainage system that is responsible for carrying all that excess water away from your home or office building. If you do not already have a system installed, this is the first step you need to take to help protect your investment. Without an adequate way to carry rainwater from the structure, it is just a matter of time before the devastating effects will begin to show.

When excess water is allowed to sit around a foundation, it creates multiple issues. The wood and siding on the outside of your structure was never intended to remain wet for long periods of time. Prolonged exposure damages these materials. Additionally, when the ground upon which the foundation sits is subjected to continual changes in the moisture level, the process of shrinking and then swelling creates an environment of constant movement. This shifting can cause beams and piers to move.

When installing a drainage system, it is important to properly select the right sized downspouts to handle the amount of rain that can potentially fall in the area. If inadequately sized downspouts are used, rain will back up in the guttering and begin overflowing in various unplanned spots. It is not necessary to go overboard and buy huge downspouts, but knowing the maximum amount of potential rain for your area can help determine the size of drainpipes you will need. It is also important to place downspouts at adequate intervals to aid in efficiently moving rainwater as quickly as possible.