Capitol Gutter Blog
A gutter system is a cruicial part of your home that collects the water captured by your roof. Without it, rain runs off of your roof, splashes against your house and erodes the ground. Over time, this can result in permature wear and damage to your siding, erosion of your landscaping, and potentially even flooding of your basement or crawl space and damage to the foundation of your home.
However, just as important as collecting the water from your roof is carrying the water away from the perimeter of your house.
The picture below, which we found at givemetalk.com, demonstrates how NOT to handle the runoff coming from a downspout. In this photo, water is being collected into a shallow pool of gravel. While this may prevent the water from splashing and eroding the immediate area around the downspout, it doesn't address the distribution of runoff. It's like putting a funnel in a cup and then pouring a gallon of water through: the cup overflows and the water has nowhere to go. The end effect: water will oversaturate the soil underneath the gravel, destabilizing the soil and potentially flooding the crawlspace. Over time, it could even damage the home's foundation.
At a minimum, this downspout should have an extension to carry the water further away from the house. If the grading of the land slopes away from the home as it should, the water will continue down hill, away from the house. However, above-ground extensions are prone to being damaged or knocked loose and they are not particularly attractive.
A better solution is to install a catch basin and then carry the water away through an underground drain pipe to the closest stormwater drain. The video below from Apple Drains in Charlotte, NC does a great job of demonstrating how this type of drain system works, as well as showing how to carry water away to an area not accessible by a storm drain.
We highly recommend installation of underground drainage systems here in the Olympia area to handle the large volume of rain handled by your gutter system during the winter months. While we don't install the catch basins and drainage systems as part our new gutter systems, we will be happy to work with your landscaper or other contractor to advise them.