Draining Runoff Water From Your Home To Prevent Soil Erosion
Your home and the landscape on which it is built is designed to minimize the accumulation of runoff water. This helps to prevent a number of serious problems that could permanently damage your home and its surroundings.
Generally, a house is built so that water landing on the roof runs off and down to the ground via the gutters and downspouts. Properly fitted gutters (also known as eaves troughs) should be pitched towards the downspouts to accelerate water flow at a slope of at least 1 inch for every 30 feet of length. This will enable water to flow easily towards the downspouts at each corner of the house. To prevent leaks, all joints should be caulked.
Downspouts (also known as leaders), normally situated at the corners of the house, should be fitted properly with screws and sealer so that the lip at the top of the downspout is on the inside of where it meets the gutter. Then, they should be fastened to the exterior siding with backing studs. A strip fastener should be fitted every 5-6 feet to protect it from being moved and damaged.
At the bottom of the downspout, underground piping is connected for subsurface drainage, also known as a French Drain. However, this type of construction can be time consuming and costly to maintain, as clogging by such obstructions as tree roots requires excavation. French Drains are also banned in several regions throughout North America.
More common is surface drainage. At the bottom of the downspout, an elbow is fitted located just a few inches above the ground. Once the water has traveled down through the downspout and elbow, it hits a splash block, pad or plate made from concrete or plastic. Because a drop of falling water has the same destructive affect as a bomb, a splash block cushions the blow before it can hit the ground. It is pointed towards a drainage path, which directs the flow away from the house with the help of the surrounding landscape, designed to be sloped at a minimum of 5%. Splash blocks must extend at least three feet from the house on ground sloping at least six inches every 10 feet. They should also be maintained, an easy task requiring the temporary removal of the splash block to repack the soil. This will ensure that it it remains standing high enough to accommodate falling water.
Soil also helps if it is comprised of a high clay content so water doesn't easily soak through to the foundation, where it can unsettle the house.
The benefits of a retractable downspout extender
Unfortunately, if you still experience soil erosion despite proper fittings and design of your drainage system, Rainguard™ Downspout Extensions is an innovative way for erosion control. Simply attach Rainguard™ to the bottom of your downspout and when there's runoff water, it rolls out long enough to drain water away from your home. When it stops raining, it rolls up and out of your way. It is a simple erosion solution.