Monday, February 15, 2010


downpipe placement downspout icy walkways trip hazards Toronto
There are some critical factors to consider when replacing your eavestrough system. Downspout locations will determine where the water collected from your eavestroughs will exit and drain onto your property. The picture here shows a down pipe that drains water directly beside the basement. This is a risky situation which can lead to a wet basement. Over the long term it could lead to structural damage.
When considering replacing your existing eavestrough system the location of downspouts is critical. The property must be closely examined to determine the best place to deposit the roof water. Consider these 10 points before proceeding, to reduce your chance of having drainage issues:

1. Does the ground slant towards the house or away from the house? A downspout should never be installed in an area that allows the water to drain back to the house. A simple test is to observe how the water behaves as it exits the downspout. If it's not raining out take a garden hose and let it run near the end of the downspout and make sure the water drains away from the house. If it pools around the home consider, a longer extension pipe at the bottom to get the water away from the house.

2. What is the best way to position spouts so not to interfere with walkways or driveways? Downspouts draining on them can become icy in the winter or create trip hazards.

3. What is the square footage of the roof? This will determine if more or fewer downspouts are needed for optimum function. Simple math can facilitate many downspout decisions. Using downspouts twice the size of existing may give the flexibility to eliminate a problem downspout.

4. Are there better options than using existing weeping/sewer pipes? These are often problematic due to blockages, collapse or deterioration of clay pipes. There can often be environmental benefits achieved by draining water onto the yard. Many parts of the North York, Scarborough and Toronto require them to be disconnected if possible. Keep in mind that buried drainage pipes that are not below frost line will probably stay frozen for the winter and may create some headaches.

5. Will the location enable you to contain your rainwater on your own property? Neighbours will not appreciate water running out of your downspout and making its way onto their property.

6. If draining into a flowerbed will the size of the bed be able to handle the water? Care must be taken that the water flows away from your house and will flow out into the yard away from the home in a heavy rain. The water must not pool near your home. Also keep in mind that some back yards in the Toronto can be small and not handle a lot of water either.

7. Can any existing structures like fences be used to fasten downpipes to get the water as far away as possible.

8. Will the downspouts look aesthetically pleasing? We strive to hide downpipes around corners if possible to keep the system looking neat and clean.

9. Can the new eavestroughs be properly sloped in the direction needed? Garages tend to heave up, verandas are not always level. Precise sloping of the eavestrough using a level will determine if these obstacles can be overcome.

10. All these factors should be determined during the estimating process before signing a contract. If the salesperson can not facilitate this process then its risky to hope that the installers, who you have not met yet, will be of any more help or even interested for that matter.

Based on feedback from past clients many companies who have come to estimate do not even focus on how optimize the system. An improperly placed downspout is not always easy to fix as it usually requires the repositioning of the eavestrough. Remember to plan, then do! Arrange a no-obligation consultation at

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