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6 Gutter Drainage Solutions – Where Does The Water Go?

Proper gutter drainage is essential for your home, regardless of your location. A lack of it or damaged gutter drainage can cause soil erosion and the surrounding area to become hazardous due to building rain.

This article discusses the benefits of proper gutter drainage and its installation process and answers your frequently asked questions about gutter drainage. Let’s go.

The Importance of Gutter Drainage

The importance of well-constructed, reliable gutter drainage can’t be understated. Without it, your property can develop foundation issues over time.

A clogged gutter will encourage water to pool around your property and weaken the walls, creating cracks and other damage that will take time, money, and attention to repair. It also can cause a wet basement, insect infestations (pooling water creates a breeding ground), and wall and ceiling damage.

It’s vital to take action if you have damaged drains or a drainage system that is faulty in some fashion. You can tell you have issues if you experience standing water, rain that won’t go away, or foul odors. Many problems can be fixed; assessing other drainage solutions is a good idea.

6 Gutter Drainage Solutions

1. Downspout extensions

Also called gutter extensions, these attachments are placed at the end of the downspout to conduit rainwater further from the property and its foundations. Depending on the shape of your property, these might be necessary to carry water further away and reduce risk.

2. Splash blocks

These structures are usually built from plastic or concrete and placed beneath the downspout to protect the soil from rainwater. In many cases, downspouts that lack splash blocks will cause water to pool close to your property’s foundation, causing costly issues.

3. Rain chains

As an alternative to downspout drainage, vertical chains guide rainwater to areas of the garden where water is needed. They are commonly used in Japan and give your property an aesthetic beauty as well as its functionality.

house with metal roof and gutter pipes

4. French drains

French drains are one of the most commonly used types of drainage. Pipes are dug into the ground around the property to open up a smooth and efficient conduit for surrounding water to drain away.

Usually, the water will run through a gravel trench and empty through a perforated drain pipe a safe distance from your home. You can build the trench to run beneath your garden or a graveled pathway, guiding dampness away from your property.

To install one, dig a trench wider than your drain pipe at a downhill location and then dig the trench at a 1% gradient. Then lay a water-permeable fabric into the trench and fill it with aggregate (this keeps water flowing efficiently and without blockages – debris will find its way into gaps in the aggregate). Then it’s a case of placing the pipe in the trench, covering the drain with fabric, and then hiding the French drain with soil, grass, or gravel.

5. Dry wells

This drainage solution is a little different. It is a perforated barrel dug into a large, deep hole surrounded by stones. It prevents water accumulation by capturing it from your roof and slowly dispersing it into the soil, trajecting it from your gutter system, drainpipe, and dry well.

Dry wells differ from catch basins, which prevent debris from collecting in your pipes. The only downside of dry wells is that they can get overwhelmed by storms and heavy downpours. You can address this by building bigger or even multiple dry well conduits. It is likely to cost over $3k to install a dry well.

6. In-ground drainage

Another solution that is good for removing water from your landscape and directing it to dampen your dry yard is underground drains. An underground drainage pipe is often built as trenches and attached to the downspout (or wherever the water issue is coming from), and then they take water around the yard.

If you build an underground pipe through a trench, you can redirect the water via the drainage system to any area of the yard you like.


As a property owner, you can install any number of the different drainage solutions, depending on your location and what is needed. Regions susceptible to heavy rain and storms may need to be more thorough than dryer regions, for instance.

A detailed assessment of the landscape, a thorough and professionally handled building process, and regular maintenance will ensure your drainage solution is set up correctly and for the long haul.

Remember to consult a professional when installing your drainage solutions; many involve earth-moving and expert-level landscaping to get them right.

rain garden drainage

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install a gutter drainage system?

Gutter drainage system installation costs vary depending on the property size, precipitation levels in your region, and other factors. But the average installation costs between $800 and $6000, or $4 per linear foot.

Can I install a gutter drainage system or hire a professional?

It depends on the complexity of the proposition, but it is always worth hiring professional hands if you are uncertain. It might cost more, but you know the job is in good hands. Although you are autonomous in your choice of drainage solution, professionals can advise you on what is best.

What are the common problems with gutter drainage systems, and how can I avoid them?

There are many common gutter drainage problems, and the most common are clogged rain gutters, leaks, and holes, downspout draining that is too close to your property’s foundation, and gutters that lean away from the property.

Maintenance is the answer to many of these. You can get your hands dirty and unclog your own rain gutters, fix leaks, or hire professionals to fix the leaning gutter. If your property has no gutter drainage at all, it should be a priority to install one.

How often should I maintain my gutter drainage system, and what are the signs of a malfunctioning system?

You should maintain your gutter drainage system regularly. Once a week is advisable, but not always realistic. Make a point of seeing to it regularly, and you will identify problems before they occur and solve existing problems.

The tell-tale signs of a malfunctioning system are pooling water (indicating blockages), bad smells, sagging gutters, and no downpipe outflow. If you notice any of these issues, it’s best to address them sooner rather than later, as the problem can worsen.

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