There’s no arguing that downspouts are practical mechanisms. They receive the runoff from your gutter system and direct it away from your home where it can’t cause damage.
That said, gutter downspouts may be valuable, but they can look unsightly. They’re like out-of-placed tubes attached to the side of your house, contrasting its aesthetic.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to conceal your downspouts from plain sight. Follow our guide below, and let’s fix these unattractive issues by learning how to hide downspouts.
Before anything else, hiding your downspout should not hinder your drain pipe’s function. You don’t want the system to fail and cause issues that can negatively affect your house.
Nevertheless, there’s only one golden rule when tweaking your downspouts. And this rule is never to shift or alter the water flow as much as possible.
If you wind up blocking or changing the water’s course away from the designated area, you can end up with a busted gutter system. It can even result in a flooded lawn or basement!
Downspouts can look unappealing, but with the right tools and a little effort, you can turn these devices into part of your home’s aesthetics. Here are four ways to hide your downspouts:
Painting your downspouts is one of the most effective ways to conceal them. It’s an economical solution to hide ugly water pipes, as you’ll only need paint as a primary tool.
Repainting is also effective for downspouts that are beginning to peel and flake. You only need to pick the right paint depending on what type of downspout you have installed.
If you want to make your downspout as inconspicuous as possible, choose a paint color that matches your house. You’d want the pipes to blend with your walls rather than stand out.
Consider the type of material your downspouts are when choosing paint. You’d want to purchase exterior paint for durability that can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Take down your downspouts when you have your paint ready. To do this, dismantle the brackets and rivets holding the pipe to the wall of your house.
Label each downspout piece to remember which parts go where. Layer newspapers or tarps on the ground and place your downspouts on them while painting.
Carefully clean the exterior of the downspouts using an oxygen bleach solution. You can do this step by mixing two tablespoons of oxygen bleach into every quarter gallon of water.
Wipe every nook and crevice of the downspouts with your mixture using a dishrag. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing for the best results.
One trick to create a clean-looking surface is to apply primer paint. Although this will depend on the condition of your downspout—apply primer if there are visible damages to its factory paint.
Primer paint creates a solid base for the dye to hold onto. It can also hide surface stains, preventing them from sticking over the paint.
After applying and drying the primer, you can start coating the entire downspout surface with paint. For a cleaner finish, apply two to three coats of paint with 30 to 60 minutes intervals.
Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before reassembling the downspouts. It ensures no chipping or peeling occurs on the color as you move the pieces around.
Finally, ensure that the placement of the downspouts is straight and secure. You’d want to avoid changing the water’s path to prevent leaks and other watery issues.
Aside from painting, you can also place plants and vines to conceal unsightly downspouts. Plus, it’s an excellent way to add green and fresh colors around your house.
For green-thumbed homeowners with excess flora in their garden, hiding a downspout or two shouldn’t be a problem. For others, you might need to invest in plants for this method.
If you don’t mind the effort, you can build a trellis near your downspouts to conceal them. Although, you can purchase these decorative materials in the nearest hardware stores.
One advantage to a trellis is that you can choose its design. So, you can freely match it to your house’s theme or even create a miniature garden around the structure.
Plant perennial vine flowers to crawl on your trellis and wind the stems around wires. As the flowers grow, they will obscure the downspout from view better.
There are several ways to hide your downspouts using plants. And one of them is to let vine flowers creep up the pipes to blend with the surroundings.
Pick a plant with thin stems to prevent weighing down your downspout over time. Let the vines trail and coil up the pipes to conceal them in the greenery.
The fluctuating moisture level in your downspouts is an excellent condition for adaptive species of flora. And there are several beautiful plants you can plant near your drain pipes.
Making a rain garden won’t only hide the downspout from sight. It’ll also make your lawn more absorbent to water as the plants will help absorb the runoff.
Create a water catchment area near the spout of the drain pipe. Plant a generous amount of plants and flowers inside and around the catchment area to hide your downspout better.
Some people only hate the open spout of the drain pipes. It can be an eyesore, with water sputtering on the side and interfering with your home’s exterior design.
If this is your issue, you can opt to bury your downspout. Although it needs a fair amount of effort and cost, it’s a valuable investment that can improve your yards’ drainage.
Every yard is different, so you should carefully consider the water route. Look for spots to dump the runoff water where it can’t cause damage to other buildings around your place.
Ideally, you’d want your downspout to drain on a sloping area leading to vegetation. But we recommend channeling the water toward the street drains if you live in a populated area.
It’s a fantastic way to prevent puddles from forming on your lawn. It’ll also minimize the risk of water seeping and weakening the foundation of your building.
After mapping the route, you can start digging the trench for your spout extension. However, for your safety, call 811 first if other lines are running under your lawn.
The trick to digging an effective trench is to create a gradual slope. This orientation will allow gravity to do its work and push the runoff away from your house.
Consider the climate when digging your trench as well. Typically, you should bury your downspout one foot below the ground, but deeper in colder climates to avoid the frost line.
For this method, you’ll need a heavy-duty plastic downspout extension. Attach your extension to the spout using waterproof tape and screws to prevent the water from leaking.
After attaching, lay your downspout extension to the trench. Ensure that the pipe is on a slight slope, angled away from the house, to deter the runoff from backtracking.
Carefully scan the slope from end to end to locate any high spots that can hinder the water flow. You can place bracing materials, such as stones, around the pipe to secure it in place.
If all spots check out, you can begin covering the drain pipe extension with soil. Firmly fill every nook and cranny to avoid depressions from forming along the trench.
We also recommend investing in pop-up emitters to install at the end of your drain pipeline. It’s an excellent alternative to regular drain grates but with more advantages.
The device prevents outside water and other debris from entering the downspout extension. Most importantly, it helps maintain even water flow on flat surfaces like yards.
A rain chain is a fantastic alternative to downspouts if you dislike looking at pipes attached to your house’s walls. It’s a drain device designed in Japan and has recently gained popularity.
The advantages of rain chains include the numerous aesthetic designs you can choose from. They’re also convenient to install and require no technical knowledge or tools.
Downspouts are essential elements of every building and home. However, these devices can appear unattractive over time with constant wear and tear.
You can hide your downspouts using the methods above. But it’s worth noting that aesthetics are only secondary to the primary function of these mechanisms.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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