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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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Maintaining a comfortable and dry living space goes beyond just regular tidying up. If you haven’t yet waterproofed your home, it’s crucial to evaluate the different options available to you, especially ahead of any seasonal weather that could bring heavy rain.

Underground downspouts, an optimal solution for homes that face light to medium flooding annually, integrate seamlessly with your lawn’s aesthetic while working diligently to keep your home dry.

What Are Underground Downspouts?

So, what exactly are underground downspouts? These downspouts are installed beneath your lawn by professional contractors. They function similarly to conventional downspouts, directing water away from your home’s perimeter and into the local sewer system or onto your lawn.

The Pros and Cons of Underground Downspout Installation

Opting for underground downspouts can enhance both the efficacy of your waterproofing and the aesthetics of your yard. These downspouts, easy to conceal, protect your home without becoming a visual distraction.

However, similar to gutters or above-ground downspouts, underground downspouts are also susceptible to clogs, and they can be more challenging to clean. This might deter some homeowners from installing them despite their benefits.

Furthermore, while underground downspouts are fantastic for homes experiencing mild to medium flooding during seasonal changes, those who frequently encounter substantial standing water in their basements might need to seek a more robust waterproofing solution.

On a positive note, underground downspouts can work in concert with other waterproofing solutions, providing an extra layer of protection for high-risk homes. Some of the waterproofing options that complement underground downspouts include:

How to Install Underground Downspouts

If you believe underground downspouts could be the best waterproofing solution for your home, contact JES Foundation Repair to schedule a no-cost inspection and consultation. Depending on your home’s size and the extent of the required work, this process typically takes one to three days.

The installation process usually involves:

  1. Identifying the trench location
  2. Marking the trench line
  3. Digging the trench
  4. Installing thick polyethylene pipe or similarly robust waterproof material
  5. Installing a starter elbow near your home
  6. Inserting adapters and reducers as needed
  7. Connecting your downspouts
  8. Directing water flow toward the street or local sewer system
  9. Backfilling the trenches until the pipes are concealed

Maintaining Your Underground Downspouts: Preventing and Fixing Clogs

As mentioned, underground downspouts can clog just like gutters or standard downspouts. However, these can be trickier to clean, and a clog could lead to flooding and debris accumulation in your basement.

You’ll know it’s time to clean your downspouts when you notice excessive moisture in your home, overfull gutters, or water pooling around the trench lines where your pipes are buried.

How to Clear a Downspout Clog

  • Release the underground drain
  • Insert a plumber’s auger or a snake into your downspout
  • Twist clockwise until you encounter the blockage
  • Draw the blockage toward you
  • Clean your gutters with a garden hose to ensure smooth water flow

Working With a Basement or Foundation Repair Specialist

Don’t let the east coast weather turn your basement. If you’re considering underground downspouts to safeguard your foundation and basement, contact JES to schedule your free inspection. At JES Foundation Repair, our experienced professionals can not only protect your basement and belongings but also preserve your home’s value with our whole-home waterproofing solutions.

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