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Downspouts and Foundation Problems

You might want to look at your downspouts as you put up your outdoor lights and Christmas inflatables this holiday season. Improper drainage from your downspouts can cause erosion around your home, which can then lead to foundation settlement.

The purpose of your downspouts is to allow water from a gutter to reach the ground without dripping or splashing down the building structure. Then what? Well, downspouts not properly draining away from your home allow water to collect around your home’s foundation, creating voids under your home’s footings. This allows the corners of your home to sink and settle into the voids, making those dreaded stair-step and horizontal cracks along your foundation walls, leading to thousands of dollars in foundation repairs.

So, how do we stop water from collecting around your home? It is recommended that your downspouts be directed 10-12 feet away from your home. The most common method is to attach a corrugated pipe to the downspout. However, common doesn’t always equal correct, which does not work in this case. What about trip hazards? What about the eyesore? What if your lawn mower runs over it? Connecting 4-inch PVC piping to your downspouts and burying them 10-12 feet away from your home eliminates eyesores, trip hazards, and the occasional rogue lawn mower, but it also is a long-lasting solution. This solution will discharge water away from your home’s foundation in a manner that is less likely to fail in the coming years. Thus, this is one less reason to worry about foundation settlement in the future.

Thank you for reading, and we hope it helps! We’ll catch you next month when we discuss the causes of cracked and sinking concrete slab causes.

Happy holidays to your family from ours!


Andrew E. Howard

Carolina Foundation Solutions

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