Skip to Content

Is Your Downspout Killing the Grass and Plants? (5 Solutions)

Is Your Downspout Killing the Grass and Plants? (5 Solutions)

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The rainy season poses a lot of challenges to homeowners. One of them is how to manage the rainwater on your roof so that it doesn’t cause any damage to the integrity of your house.

We typically control rainwater by installing gutters and downspouts to carry it to ground level and away from the house. But what if the downspouts are causing damage to your yard?

In this post, we’ll discuss the best ways to handle a downspout killing grass and plants. We’ll also talk about some solutions that don’t harm your house’s landscaping.

Downspouts and Erosion

Erosion is the primary reason downspouts kill your yard’s grass and plants. The flowing liquid from your downspout washes away layers of the soil in a process called sheet erosion.

When this happens, the grasses and plants around the downspout area slowly lose their root depth. The amount of water restricts oxygen and causes root rot as well.

Aside from that, the constant streaming of water is also an issue. The path of the rainwater from the downspouts will slowly create a gully in your lawn’s landscape that’s quite hideous to look at.

So, how do we manage the erosion from the downspout and keep our prized lawn grass and plants green and healthy?

5 Solutions to Downspout Problems

Here we’ve listed 5 effective ways to control water from the downspout and prevent it from damaging your home’s yard.

1 – Splash Blocks

Splash blocks are rectangular implements that you put underneath the downspout. They’re commonly made of plastic or concrete.

The purpose of a splash block is to channel the rainwater as far away from your house’s foundation as possible. It also prevents soil erosion, helping maintain the landscape.

You can purchase plastic splash blocks from Amazon. They usually cost around $20 to $40, depending on the design and size.

However, if you want something more permanent, you can try installing a concrete splash block. It’s more durable than a plastic one, and you can make your own modifications to fit your needs too.

2 – Dry Creek Bed

As we said earlier, the erosion caused by the flowing water from the downspout is the culprit that kills your lawn grass and plants. So, to solve the problem, you need to minimize erosion.

One of the cheapest ways to do that is to place a dry creek bed underneath the downspout. It prevents erosion by breaking up the water stream and controlling where it flows.

Here’s how you make a dry creek bed:

  1. Dig a small canal from under the downspout to where you want the water to flow.
  2. Your canal should be at least one foot deep and one foot wide to accommodate the amount of water.
  3. Once you’re done digging your trench, line it with heavy-duty landscape fabric for reinforcement.
  4. After lining your fabric, secure it with some landscape fabric pins to keep it in place.
  5. Finally, fill your canal with rocks of different sizes—this will break the water flow and minimize erosion.

To add some aesthetic elements, you can use rocks and stones with different colors for your dry creek. Never use gravel, as it easily washes away!

3 – French Drain

If you want a solution that’s less conspicuous but has more utility, then try using a French drain. It’s a drainage system that channels water away from underneath your house.

The primary function of a French drain is to keep surface water from damaging the foundation of your home. It’s a good way to control erosion and maintain your house’s environment as well.

The good thing about a French drain is that it empties the water into street drainages and areas where the water can’t cause any damage.

4 – Downspout Hose Extension

A hose extension is another solution to the downspout problem. It’s a cost-effective way to divert the water safely and you can easily install it too!

For your extension, use a non-perforated corrugated plastic pipe so you can channel the flow wherever you want. You can either bury the pipe or leave it above ground.

One thing to note, though, is to make sure that you redirect the water to suitable areas. Ideally, you should direct the runoff to spots where it can easily soak into the soil.

For this, you can make use of a rain garden, dry well, gently sloped vegetated area, or an existing swale. Remember to avoid dumping your rainwater on your neighbors’ properties, though.

5 – Catchment System

A catchment system is by far the most practical way to deal with downspout water issues. Plus, it can help conserve water and significantly reduce your bills.

Did you know that households in the US use roughly 25% of their water for flushing toilets alone? By collecting the runoff, you’ll have a free source of water to use for these types of household needs.

Place a container, such as a barrel, to catch the water from your downspout. You might need to cut a portion of your downspout to set your container, but we assure you it’s worth it!

How to Prevent Downspout Washout

Installing a proper washout control system is vital in preventing issues with your home’s foundation. It helps with problems like erosion and oversaturation of the soil as well.

That said, all the methods we’ve listed above are effective ways to avoid those issues. Although, there are other techniques you can try.

One way to go is to install additional downspouts around your house. This way, the system disperses the water around your property evenly rather than concentrating it in one location.

Final Thoughts

Having gutters and downspouts are only the initial steps to maintaining your home. You should also have a proper system to manage where the rainwater goes.

That said, remember the methods we discussed in this post if you’re having a problematic downspout killing grass and plants in your yard.

Use splash blocks, a dry creek bed, a French drain, hose extensions, or a catchment system to get rid of this downspout headache for good!


If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel

Share this post: