In determining the needs of a homeowner who is considering installing or replacing an old or clogged downspout on their home or investment property, it is important to consider the entire drainage system. This includes whether or not the gutter system is already in place, and whether downspout drainage has been a problem.
One clogged downspout is all that is needed to produce damage. However, it is possible that a simple downspout installation is all that is required, to keep the water flowing smoothly.
Let’s review the different types of downspouts available, in terms of what materials they are made from, and how they may appear after installation. Funneling water away from specific locations is paramount. Areas that are moisture sensitive could be decks, patios or landscaping.
Copper downspouts are magnificent in appearance, and are seen on high-end homes frequently. Fittings for copper downspouts are all copper as well, to ensure consistency in appearance, function and longevity. Copper develops a patina over time, a greenish “coating” due to acid reaction with the metal.
The acid can come from rain or from other sources. This patina protects the metal, and prevents further corrosion. If the buyer wants decorative downspouts, copper may offer the best choice, when selecting the best type of material.
Galvanized downspouts have been around for about 150 years, and have an excellent track record. The galvanizing process is a “hot dip” which coats the steel with a zinc coating. This is done to prevent corrosion and oxidation of the metal. Galvanized downspouts are an excellent option.
Aluminum downspouts are a thrifty and smart choice. Aluminum is easily painted, and holds the paint very well without much chipping or peeling. Aluminum downspouts do not have to be removed to clean, sand, or paint them. Also, aluminum can withstand high winds and extreme temperatures.
If decorative downspouts are desired, utilizing a combination of downspout diverters and downspout boots, can create an attractive system. Additionally, a downspout extender can add length to a too-short gutter system.
Downspout boots can be used in at least two ways. They can be a connector into an underground tile drainage culvert, or a decorative finishing piece at the end of the downspout drainage system. The latter can be brass or other metal, and come in several pre-cast, decorative forms.
Downspout adapters allow the professional gutter installer to secure misfitted ends to downspouts together, which allow for either the decorative boot, or the underground culvert.
The underground system avoids any unwanted end pieces sticking out from the home, and allows the drainage system to go directly into the soil and under the ground. Speak with the installer of your system for more information on this design.
Additionally, with the use of a modified downspout extender, downspout adapters and downspout diverters, extremely customized systems can be created, for sheds, garages or other outbuildings. Downspout installation can be as adaptible as the homeowner needs it to be.