Do you need help installing your downspouts? At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’re here to help you understand how to install gutter systems. We provide quality insulation installation and gutter installation and repair services across the Triad area. If your home or business is located in Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, or surrounding areas in North Carolina, let our professionals help you with all your insulation and gutter needs today.

According to the US Department of Energy website, gutter systems consist of two parts: gutter channels that run horizontally along the edge of your roof in order to collect runoff, and the downspouts that carry the collected water down to grade level. In all but the driest climates in the US, gutters or other drainage systems are necessary. 

If you’ve decided that you need to repair or replace your gutter system, you should consider installing or re-installing downspouts. Here’s a step-by-step instruction guide from the US Department of Energy site (linked above) that should guide you in this process:

How to Install Downspouts

  1. Install downspouts every 20 to 50 feet along the gutter. The more closely downspouts are spaced along the gutter, the more water can be conducted away during peak rainstorms.
  2. Connect the end of the downspout to lateral piping made from non-perforated flexible ABS or Schedule 40 PVC pipe.
  3. Extend the lateral piping at least 5 feet from the building. Use a level and tape measure to ensure that the pipe is pitched away from the foundation at a minimum 5/8-inch per foot (a 5% slope).
  4. Terminate the lateral pipe to daylight (or to a catchment system or storm sewer). It is critical that a daylight drain empty onto a sloped grade that directs water away from the building and does not allow water to drain back towards the building. A splash block placed at the end of the lateral pipe will help control erosion to this location (EPA 2012).

How to Install a Downspout Drain

  1. Install drains for the gutters and downspouts that terminate to an underground catchment system at least 10 feet away from foundations or direct water to an underground storm sewer or other approved discharge point. Use a non-perforated, smooth or corrugated plastic pipe as the drain.
  2. If a rainwater harvesting system is installed, properly design the drain to adequately manage the overflow and meet the discharge-distance requirement of 10 feet.
  3. Connect and seal the pipe directly to the downspout.
  4. Bury the drain pipe at a slope consistent with the final grade around the home (i.e., sloped ≥ 0.5 inch per foot away from home for ≥ 10 feet). Do not connect the gutter drain pipe to the perforated foundation drain pipe; this practice will soak the foundation.

When your gutters, downspouts, or other drainage systems aren’t working properly, you’ll have much bigger issues to deal with. Stay proactive and get your drainage systems repaired the first time you notice any issues. At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’ll check out your gutters for you and determine how best to move forward. Contact us today!