When it rains, your gutters go to work and collect all the rainwater as it runs down the roof. Without gutters, your home would have serious erosion issues. Worse yet, the water could stain wood siding, create mold problems and flood homes with finished basements. Though your gutters serve a great purpose, they can’t do it effectively without the help from downspouts.

What Does a Downspout Do?

Your gutters may look perfectly straight from a distance, but they actually slope nearly one-half inch for every 10 feet. It may not seem like a lot, but this slope helps the water flow toward the end of the gutter and down the spout. If the gutters were level, the water would overflow once a section of the gutter was completely filled. A downspout helps to empty your gutters and send the water away from your home’s roof, walls and foundation.

How a Downspout Works

A downspout connects to the gutter at the outlet and attaches to the exterior wall using brackets. Although it’s simple by design, a downspout consists of many different parts:

  • Elbows
  • Extensions
  • Downspout pieces
  • Brackets

All these pieces form a complete downspout and provide a way for water and debris to escape the gutter system. In most cases, a downspout extends a few feet from the foundation and includes a splash block. The splash block protects from erosion at the exit point while the extension prevents flooding and puddling near your home’s exterior walls and walkways. Without a downspout, you may face water damage, mold growth, insect infestations and more from your gutter system.

A Complete Gutter System

Gutters without downspouts are like sinks without drains. There are no disadvantages to having downspouts installed on your gutter system, but you’ll deal with erosion problems, flooded shrubs, mildew buildup and other problems without them.