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Can Underground Downspouts stop Basement Flooding?

Underground downspouts redirect rainwater away from your basement and foundation - but do you need to invest in them?

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Spring cleaning means more than just clearing out your space. If you haven’t waterproofed your home, you’ll want to explore the options you have available to you before the worst of the spring rain hits.

Underground downspouts are the perfect waterproofing solutions for homeowners who deal with light to medium flooding on a yearly basis. These downspouts won’t stick out in your lawn and will work to keep your home dry while preserving the look of your landscaping.

What are Underground Downspouts for

What Are Underground Downspouts?

As the name suggests, underground downspouts are downspouts that professional contractors are able to install underneath your lawn. These downspouts work just like your average downspouts do, directing water away from the perimeter of your home and into the street,  local sewer or the rest of your lawn.

The Pros and Cons of Underground Downspout Installation

Underground downspouts are considered the more effective alternative to above-ground downspouts because they’re easy to tuck out of the way. If you have a large lawn or just want to preserve the aesthetic of your landscaping, underground downspouts will keep your home safe without turning into an eyesore.

Unfortunately, underground downspouts can clog as your gutters or above-ground downspouts. They’re a little more difficult to clean, too, which may prevent some homeowners from installing them when they would be beneficial.

Another downside of underground downspouts is their serviceability. These downspouts work wonders on homes that see mild to medium flooding when the seasons start to change in Roanoke, VA. If you frequently have to remove standing water from your basement, you’re going to want to invest in a more heavy-duty waterproofing solution.

The good news is that underground downspouts can stack, or work in tandem with other waterproofing solutions, to better serve high-risk homes. If you’re looking for ways to supplement the reach or support of your underground downspouts, some of the waterproofing solutions that pair well with them include:

  • Interior French drains
  • Sump pump
  • Hydrophobic insulation
  • Vapor barrier
  • Temporary sealants
  • Dehumidifiers

How to Install Underground Downspouts

Think underground downspouts are the best waterproofing solution for your home? Then it’s time to talk to your local contractor about the installation process. This process takes between one and three days, depending on the size of your home and the scope of the work needed. For a personalized timeline, you can work with your local basement or foundation repair contractor.

Regardless of the size of your home, the installation process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Laying the trench, or determining where your underground downspouts are going to run through your lawn
  2. Marking the trench line
  3. Digging the trench
  4. Inputting thick polyethylene pipe or pipe of an equally-supportive waterproof material
  5. Installing a starter elbow near your home
  6. Inserting adapters and reducers where applicable
  7. Connecting your downspouts
  8. Directing the flow of water out toward your street or local sewer system
  9. Backfilling the trenches until the pipes are no longer visible

The Ins and Outs of Unclogging Underground Downspouts

As mentioned, underground downspouts are just as prone to clogging as your gutters or regular downspouts. Unfortunately, though, these downspouts are a little more difficult to clean out. When they do clog, too, you risk seeing not only food waters but clog debris in your basement.

You’ll know it’s time to clean out your downspouts, at least, when you catch sight of any of the following:

  • Excessive moisture in your home
  • Overfull gutters
  • Pooling water around the trench lines where your pipes are buried

If you need to clear a blockage from your downspout or clear it up for the spring, you’ll need to:

  • Release the underground drain
  • Insert a plumber’s auger, or a snake, into your downspouts
  • Twist clockwise until you come in contact with the blockage
  • Pull the blockage back towards you
  • Clean out your gutters with a garden hose to ensure water flows smoothly through the pipes 

Working With a Basement or Foundation Repair Specialist

Don’t let the weather in Roanoke flood your basement. If you want to use underground downspouts to keep your foundation and basement dry, reach out to a local contractor as soon as possible. After a free inspection and quote, the contractors in your area will be able to work with you to protect your belongings and the value of your home. 

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