How to Drain Downspout Water Flow Away from a House

How to Drain Downspout Water Flow Away from a House

Melting snow and heavy rain can dump a lot of water on your roof and property in a short time. As long as you have an effective gutter system to collect water runoff from the roof and an adequate drainage system that slopes away from your home, you should be in good shape.

If you don’t, standing water can damage the roof, leave you with a soggy yard and even erode the foundation of your house. However, it’s not hard to fix the problem if you follow a few simple steps. We’ll help you learn how to drain downspout water away from your house with a bit of elbow grease and a few inexpensive supplies.

Tools for Draining Water Away From a Home

You can do this job yourself, as long as you have the right equipment. Collect a shovel, a flathead screwdriver, a garden rake and these handy drainage enhancements before you start:

  • Flexible drainage pipe with slits for water dispersal — you can find these in the lengths you need at your local home improvement store
  • Drainage pipe couplers for attaching hoses to downspouts
  • Gravel for lining drainage pipes
  • Crushed rock for spout stability
  • Downspout drainage trays

For sandy or heavy clay soils, you might also need a drainage sock to put inside your flexible tubing. This keeps the drainage slits from clogging, which can cause fittings to loosen and water flow to be excessive at the end of the pipe. You can also find short drainage pipe connectors for bends in the pipe and elbow bend pieces for downspouts. The coupler is a simple metal ring that can be tightened to keep the hose in place at the end of the downspout.

Make sure you lay drainage pipe far enough from the perimeter of your home that you don’t end up with a soggy yard or wet driveway. Some people direct their roof drainage systems to areas that frequently need watering, such as vegetable gardens or ornamental plantings.

Tip: Contact your local utility companies before you start the project. They will locate and mark any underground water and gas lines, as well as cables for phone and electricity, preventing costly damage from digging in the wrong place.

How to Drain Downspout Water Away From the House

If you only need to redirect the water a short distance, you can attach an elbow connector to the downspout and add a length of pipe to drain the water away from the house without digging. This works well if you’re redirecting water in a location with foliage that hides the drainage pipe. Tighten the coupler ring and use your flathead screwdriver to tighten the screws that hold it in place. Adding crushed rock and an angled drainage tray beneath the elbow connector will give it stability and keep the coupler from loosening during heavy water flow.

For most drainage spouts, you’ll need a shovel to dig a trench for burying the pipe. The trench should slope away from the house, and a 10-foot length will usually do the job. Make the trench deep enough that you can line it with gravel before laying the drainage pipe. When the pipe and connectors are all set, cover the trench with soil and use your garden rake to smooth the surface.

Before you start this project, it helps to make a simple drawing of your house and all of the drainage spouts around it. This will help you decide where to direct the water flow, and it will also give you an idea of the pipe lengths and number of drainage trays you’ll need.

Preventing Rainwater Backup

Knowing how to drain downspout water flow away from a house is a useful skill, and adding a gentle downward slope to the ground around your home can also help prevent rainwater backups. Keeping your rain gutters from blocking the water flow is also important, so once you’ve got the drainage system all set, regularly check your gutters to make sure they’re clear of leaves, twigs and other debris.

Having low maintenance rain gutters installed is a worthwhile investment because it saves you time and energy. Check out our Thompson Creek clog-free gutter system if you’re tired of rain gutters that always need cleaning.