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Are underground downspouts worth it

Waterproofing solutions are plentiful in the Colorado Springs, CO, area. Whether you deal with minor dampness or major flooding, you’re going to want to do what you can to ensure your home stays as dry as possible.

Underground downspouts are subtle waterproofing solutions designed to redirect water away from your home. When compared to other waterproofing solutions, though, are they worth the investment?

What Do Underground Downspouts Do?

Underground downspouts help redirect water away from the perimeter of your home. These downspouts have been around for ages and are perfect for families with large yards who don’t want to move a downspout every time they mow the lawn.

More often than not, underground downspouts pair with an interior French drain and sump pump to waterproof your home. Water that would otherwise damage your belongings is collected by the drainage system, directed to the sump pump, and then pumped out of your home. This water exits through exterior discharge lines, which can be tied into downspout lines. Instead of ending up back in your yard, underground downspouts will transport it onto the street, into your garden, or into your local sewer system.

Unfortunately, underground downspouts can get clogged, just like your gutters do – and they can be difficult to clean. If you let your underground downspouts go, though, the water that would otherwise get directed out of your home will end up back in your basement along with a bunch of leaf, wood and animal debris.

With that in mind, are underground downspouts really worth the effort?

Installing Underground Downspouts: The Perks

If you’re looking for a simple and out-of-the-way waterproofing solution, underground downspouts are worth the investment. These downspouts, as mentioned, work in tandem with other waterproofing solutions to protect your home from the worst of Colorado Springs, CO, flooding. Because they’re underground, you won’t have to worry about them disrupting your landscaping or getting in the way while you’re trying to care for your home. They also make a reasonable selling point when you go to put your house on the market.

It’s worth noting, of course, that underground downspouts work best in homes that see minor to medium flooding in Colorado’s spring and fall. Homes with more serious histories of flooding may need to stack waterproofing solutions to see the best results. Some of the waterproofing solutions you can have installed at the same time as your underground downspouts include:

  • French drains
  • Sump pump
  • Hydrophobic insulation
  • Vapor barrier
  • Temporary sealants
  • Dehumidifiers

Installing Your Underground Downspouts

Many people want to jump on the DIY train to tackle repair jobs themselves to try to save time and money. Unfortunately, this trend can lead homeowners to make their flooding situation worse than it already was. It’s always best to reach out to a professional basement or foundation repair contractor when you’re considering waterproofing your home. More often than not, these contractors will provide you with a free inspection and quote on which you’ll be able to base your repair budget.

That said, the process of installing your underground downspouts, should you choose to invest them, isn’t especially strenuous. Your average Colorado Springs, CO, contractor will be able to get your downspouts in within a day or two, depending on the size of your home and lawn. The process typically involves the following:

  1. Laying the trench, or determining where your underground downspouts are going to run through your lawn
  2. Marking the trench line
  3. Digging the trench
  4. Inputting thick polyethylene pipe or pipe of an equally supportive waterproof material
  5. Installing a starter elbow near your home
  6. Inserting adapters and reducers where applicable
  7. Connecting your downspouts
  8. Directing the flow of water out toward your street or local sewer system
  9. Backfilling the trenches until the pipes are no longer visible

Unclogging Your Underground Downspouts

As mentioned, you’re going to need to clean your underground downspouts with the same frequency – and roughly the same enthusiasm – as you would your gutters. If you leave your underground downspouts to their own devices, you risk them backing up and filling your basement not only with water but with natural debris.

You’ll know it’s time to clean your downspouts when you notice:

  • Excessive moisture in your home
  • Overfull gutters
  • Pooling water around the trench lines where your pipes are buried

Cleaning your underground downspouts can be a chore. You can either call a professional to unclog them or take on the challenge yourself. The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Release the underground drain.
  2. Insert a plumber’s auger, or a snake, into your downspouts.
  3. Twist clockwise until you come in contact with the blockage.
  4. Pull the blockage back toward you.
  5. Clean out your gutters with a garden hose to ensure water flows smoothly through the pipes.

Reaching Out for Professional Guidance

If you’re worried about the safety of your home this spring, don’t wait until your basement starts to flood. Get in touch with a local Colorado Springs contractor for a free inspection of your home. Afterward, you’ll be able to determine which of the available waterproofing solutions is the best for your basement.