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Where Does Your Roof’s Rain Go? Unraveling the Mystery of Gutter Drainage (Bonus: Hacks to Use It!) 

Where Does Your Roof’s Rain Go? Unraveling the Mystery of Gutter Drainage (Bonus: Hacks to Use It!) 

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Gutters are an essential feature in every household. They collect the voluminous inflow of rainwater cascading down your property’s roof and redirect it away.

Now, you’re likely wondering, “Where does gutter water go?” In most cases, the water travels to your local sewage system.

Nonetheless, you can use the excess water to your advantage by redirecting it to water tanks and barrels for agricultural purposes.

Aside from that, you can use multiple drainage methods to create a more appealing curbside.

That said, stick around to learn more about the flow of gutter water and how you can use it to your advantage.

Gutter Water Direction

Your gutter’s prime role is to direct water accumulated from rain away from your property and into the public drainage system.

The structure has two parts, the horizontal gutters surrounding your house’s roof and the vertical downspout pouring out the excess water.

The downspout pours into a gutter drain. Some homes come with an above-ground gutter drain, while others have it built underground.

For the latter’s case, the downspout connects to an underground pipe leading the outflow away from your home. In this case, the water directly flows to the sewer system.

Meanwhile, above-ground drains direct the water to the main road’s gutter, which leads to the sewer system.

Underground Downspout Depth

If you’re planning to construct an underground downspout, then you need to consider cold weather. Harsh temperatures tend to freeze water and crack underground piping.

These cracks can spread the water around your underground property and cause foundation instability.

Nevertheless, your water can flow when you integrate the pipe deep enough and below the freezing line. The line depends on your location.

For instance, New York’s frost line can range between 32 to 48 inches deep. For this reason, if you live in a cold state, it’s best to keep your downspout above-ground level.

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Gutter?

If your gutter fails to pool the water away from your home, you could be looking at a lot of property damage.

Water can pool around your foundation and saturate your lawn’s soil. Consequently, the moist soil can increase hydrostatic pressure toward the surrounding concrete.

It’ll cause it to settle and lose its original shape. As temperatures fluctuate, so does the concrete’s structural integrity, leading to future foundational issues in your home.

Additionally, the water can enter your basement area and settle, causing an ideal moist-rich environment for mold formation.

Excess water flooding your lawn may also lead to a breeding ground for mosquitoes, rodents, and other pests. Plus, excess water can make the soil more susceptible to eroding.

Where Else Can You Direct Gutter Water?

Rather than pool the water to your public sewage system, you can benefit from the excess water by redirecting it to your use. Here are some ideas below.

Rainwater Collection

You can collect the accumulated water and redirect it to underground water tanks fitted with pumps and filters.

These tanks can become a water source for your garden’s irrigation system and landscape features.

We suggest enlisting professional help to complete this eco-friendly method.

Using a Barrel

In addition to connecting your downspout to a water tank, link it to rain barrels. Establish the connection by lodging a diverter to the end of your downspout.

Be sure to keep the link well-sealed to avoid escaping splashes. Besides that, you can choose between multiple rain barrel sizes and materials.

They usually come in wood or plastic and are available with 30 to 100-gallon capacities. You can place the barrel above or underground.

You can use the accumulated water for agricultural requirements, droughts, or cleaning purposes.

Install a Drainage Pit

A drainage pit method is suitable if you don’t want to collect the excess water. It’s similar to constructing a dry well or soakaway.

The best part about the drainage pit is that it doesn’t interfere with your curbside appearance. The well lies underground and has a perforated top near the downspout to catch the water flow.

Building the drainage pit involves digging at least ten feet from your home’s foundation. The hole is about three feet wide and deep.

Nevertheless, the dimensions may also depend on the water volume your downspout usually pours out.

After digging the pit, line it with gravel or polished rocks. Make sure the bottom part of the hole is over the groundwater level.

According to your state’s local regulations, the project will likely require authority permission.

Methods to Redirect Water Flow

If you’re looking for other methods to push the extra water flow away from your premises, check out the options below.

Construct a Rain Garden

A rain garden project involves digging a sloped area under your downspout. The slope will then direct the water inflow to your plants.

You’ll want to add a lawn with shallow roots in the slope connector region. That way, it won’t absorb the excess water and redirect it seamlessly to your garden.

Your rain garden can consist of drought-tolerant plants, perennials, and shrubs. The plants should have absorbent, deep roots to reduce too much outflow.

Speaking of which, be sure to line the garden’s outer edge with a berm to prevent outflow during heavy storms when constructing the landscape.

Use Roll-Out Drain Sleeves

A roll-out drain sleeve works as an extension to your downspout. As excess rainwater collects it rolls out and sprinkles the water out.

One of the disadvantages of these connectors is that they may not roll out if the water volume isn’t heavy enough.

Link Stealth-Flow Connectors

If you’re looking for a seamless and aesthetic connector, you can use the stealth-flow option. It works by directing the water to mulch-dense areas for absorption.

One of the selling points of this connector is that you can pat mud or mulch on top of the flat pipe to hide it from sight.

Do Downspouts Touch the Floor?

Contractors efficiently build downspouts to be angled away from your property. The structure doesn’t touch the ground unless it’s going underground.

The above-ground downspouts offer easier maintenance, where you can fix clogging issues without digging up near your home.

Additionally, you can take extra precautions and affix another pipe to your downspout to extend the water flow farther away from the property.

Final Thoughts

Where does gutter water go? In short, the water flows from your downspout to your local drainage system. It can reach there via road gutters or directly through underground piping.

Rather than let the water drain to waste, you can use water tanks and barrels to reserve the water. You can filtrate it for irrigation use or redirect it to your landscape features.

Either way, maintaining an efficient water outflow system is critical to avoid issues such as a flooding lawn or basement.


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