Many of us never give a second thought to our gutters and the system of pipes connected to it. Beyond cleaning them and repairing them, we might have forgotten they exist until a rainy day when our downspout has flooded the side of our homes. Here’s what you need to know about your downspout, why you need a downspout diverter.
What Is A Downspout?
Rain gutters are the water collection system, mostly on the roof of a building, that carry rain water in a controlled manner. This is necessary to prevent water pooling on roofs uncontrollably and causing water damage. The downspout, also known as the downpipe; is the pipe that carries rainwater from the gutter system down to the ground floor without dripping on the building walls. This is also important to prevent water damage on the sides of a building. When the rainwater reaches the ground level, the downspout carries it away from the building’s foundations.
What Is The Function Of A Downspout Diverter?
While a downspout is typically designed to move water away from a building’s foundations, a downspout diverter can be installed for more specific diversion. Most likely, it is used to divert rainwater to a collection system – that is, rain barrels. Some may even filter the water before it reaches the rain barrels, so that the collected water is clear from debris.
Different Types Of Downspout Diverters
Essentially, downspout diverters come in two types – open or closed systems. The close system means that water flows from the gutter through the downspout, then the diverter and into the rain barrels. If the barrels overflow, the downspout diverter fills up again, redirecting water through the gutter so it can go to the drain.
Open system downspout diverters take a different, more crude approach. When the rain barrels are full, any overflow will simply spill over the top. In our opinion, that makes the downspout diverter redundant. Instead of installing an open system downspout diverter, you can simply point your downspout towards your rain barrels to achieve the same effect.
Who Needs A Downspout Diverter?
Anyone who has a rainwater collection system benefits from installing a downspout diverter. It can serve as a preliminary filtration step as well as a way to protect the foundation of your home from overflow that may occur from your rainwater barrels. Of course, like we’ve already mentioned, closed system downspout diverters are the better option. If you find a model that has an added coarse filtration system, even better.
A Note On DIY Downspout Diverters
Some people prefer to do everything on their own, and may opt to build a downspout diverter on their own using PVC pipes. Not all designs are effective, and be very careful if you intend to go this route. The problem with DIY downspout diverters is that you won’t notice any malfunction until the water has seeped into the foundations of your home and it is too late to prevent water damage. Remember that the cost of repairing water damage can be very expensive, so making your own device might come at a high price.