What are Rain Gutters?
Rain Gutters are designed to protect the foundation of your home or a building. They channel rainwater away from your home to reduce the risk of erosion, leaks in the basement, protects the pain on your home and even your landscaping.
As you can see Rain Gutters are very beneficial and helps protect you greatest assess…your home!
Rain Gutters are great but all that water needs a place to go, it can’t just sit up there in the gutters.
This is where the downspouts come into play.
The Importance of Gutter Downspouts
The downspout is a pipe that carries rainwater from the gutter down to the ground or down to a rain barrel that collects the water.
You want to make sure these downspouts are positioned on the corners of the house and pointed away from the foundation.
I can’t tell you how many times we have walked the outside of a client’s home and noticed an area around the foundation, or exterior wall of the home experiencing erosion problems because the downspout was not pointed away from the home. This is caused by the water pressure coming out of the end of the downspout and washing away the dirt/grass from in front of the downspout.
The best way to explain it is to think of the Colorado River and how it made the Grand Canyon. Get the picture?
A gutter downspout in time and with a lot of water can do the same thing to your yard and even go as far as washing away the foundation of the home creating settlement and structural issues. Something we don’t like to see when inspecting homes.
An excess of water around the foundation can cause many other problems besides erosion. Homes are very heavy and here in Central Florida, the ground is only sand. If the ground has a high water content, the weight of the home will settle into the wet sand and create structural and settlement issues as well.
Many of the issues we see in inspections from high water amounts in the soil are the cracks in the exterior wall covering stucco and concrete block mortar joints. Stucco is only a thin layer of cement and with only slight movement it will crack. Typical cracks in the stucco are hairline cracks and do not represent an issue as long as water is not having access through the crack.
The downspouts extended away from the foundation by three to five feet will keep the foundation dry and greatly decrease these cracks as long as the slope of the ground does not flow the water back toward the home and the area has proper drainage.
If the area does not have proper drainage, then a French drain may be an alternative to extending the downspouts.
Types of Rain Gutters
If you’re in the market for rain gutters there are several different types that you might be interested in. It all depends on what your needs are, your budget, your climate and your preference. We’ve listed the main types of gutter below.
If you are doing restoration work then Copper or Wood is going to be your best bet.
If you’re looking for durable, long lasting and a price for those on a budget then Aluminum is the way you want to go.
- Aluminum – most commonly used gutters, very durable, come in many colors and do not rust
- Vinyl - easy to install, great for the do-it-yourselfers, can discolor over time, crack with ladders and in cold weather.
- Stainless Steel - very strong and indestructible, anti-corrosive element, no rusting, are expensive
- Galvanized Steel - strong and durable, come in already painted, various types of steel, cost and longevity a big concern plus it’s heavy to work with
- Copper - usually used for classic restoration, strong, durable, should use professional to install, much more expensive then other gutters
- Wood - usually used for restoration work, brings beauty to a home, needs lots of maintenance, expensive
Alternatives to Downspouts
These chains give a whole new meaning to keeping the water away from your house by doing it so elegantly and decoratively.
Believe it or not Rain Chains actually came from the Japanese who would use these chains mainly for decoration but also to guide the water from their roofs into a rain barrel to use for the household. They also used them on temples and homes to add character and functionality to both places.
It’s just been in the last decade, really since Japan hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics that rain chains, also know in Japanese as kusari-toi or kusari-doi (meaning chain gutter), that they have become so popular in the United States.
Don’t let these beautiful chains fool you. They are just as durable, efficient and effective as a regular downspout but are much more decorative and calming while enhancing the beauty of your home .
Check out the Best Selling Rain Chain Downspouts and decorate your home with the sound of rushing water today.
Decorate your Gutter Downspouts
You can decorate it with some really cute or sophisticated designs that go with the overall design of your home.
Decorative downspout extensions are also a nice way to spruce up your yard. There are designs to fit most anyone”s taste.
No matter how pretty and interesting you make your gutters and downspouts, remember the important thing is to get the water away from the foundation of the home without creating your own personal Grand Canyon.
Check out some of these cool designs and start decorating your gutter downspouts