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Roofing Terminology

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Your home's downspouts are an important part of the exterior drainage system that moves water off the roof and away from the foundation. If your downspouts aren't operating properly, your home can develop roof and foundation problems over time and you may end up with water inside your house.

Downspouts and Exterior Drainage

Your home's gutters catch water as it runs off the roof to prevent it from being deposited next to your foundation. The purpose of downspouts is to transfer the water from a section of gutter to ground level. Your downspouts should discharge water out onto a splash-block for disbursement away from your home or be connected to a drainage pipe below grade that removes the water. If your downspouts are clogged up or not adjusted properly, you can have problems such as:

  • Winter ice damming: Melted snow that can't leave the gutters due to clogged downspouts can re-freeze and move under the shingles
  • Foundation leaks: Blocked downspouts allow water to spill out over your gutters and collect around your foundation
  • Structural damage: Water at the bottom of your downspouts saturates the soil around the foundation
  • Safety issues: Downspouts not adjusted properly can disburse water across your entryway and freeze during the winter months

Your downspouts should be inspected at least once each year for blockages or other issues which might disrupt the drainage of water away from your home. A roofing contractor can do the inspection and make necessary corrections if you are unable to. Well-maintained downspouts are essential to a long-lasting roofing system.

Roofing Terms