Gutter drains are one of the single most important parts of your gutter system. Gutter downspout drains will reduce the amount of rain water entering the soil at the foundation of your home and limit the soils expansion and contraction, which leads to foundation cracks and masonary failure.
Rain water should be diverted a minimum of 5 feet away from the foundation of your home by using splash blocks, downspout extensions or underground drain lines.
If you decide to use downspout splash blocks, make sure they are used in an area with proper drainage away from your foundation.
One common mistake I see often is downspouts that are dumping water right into flower bed between the foundation and a sidewalk and concentrating it there.
Simple fix: Install underground gutter drains to the downspout which will direct the water away from the flower bed to an area where it will drain away from the foundation.
I use a horizontal auger to bore under sidewalks, retaining walls and other concrete structures quickly, easily, safely and with minimum destruction to the landscape.
Smooth walled four inch diameter SDR-35 (sewer and drain) pipe is used for most gutter drain system installations, however in vehicle traffic areas, thick walled DWV (drain, waste and vent) pipe is best to prevent pipe failure. All the pipes and fittings should be permanently welded together with PVC cement. I prefer to use Oatey 30894 PVC Rain-R-Shine Cement, Blue, 32-Ounce because it is very fast-setting "Hot" cement formulated for wet conditions and/or quick pressurization and fast installation.
I don't recommend using flexible corrugated plastic drain pipe for a drainage system because it can not be cleaned out without further damage if roots, soil, leaves plug it up.
The Cobra Products 25ft Power Drain Snake 81250 used by businesses like Roto-Rooter can not be used with flexible corrugated plastic drain pipe because the material is too soft and the blade will tear right through the flexible drainage pipe and destroy your system.
The trench lines should be about 5 inches wide and around eight to twelve inches deep, maintaining a slight slope away from the foundation. Warning: Always call before you dig to make sure you will not be trenching into gas or electric lines.
Drainage Emitter: The 4 inch Pop-up Drainage Emitter is an easy and efficient solution. The Pop-Up Emitter allows water captured by grates, catch basins, drain pipe, gutter and downspouts systems to flow through the drainage pipe and away from structural foundations to safe or useful areas.
The Emitter is opened by the hydrostatic pressure of water flowing through the drain pipe and allows the water to evenly overflow onto your lawn. As flow diminishes the Emitter closes again. A drain slot on the bottom of the pop-up emitter allows standing water to filter down into the ground. The special design allows the Emitter to open with a negligible amount of pressure. Since the emitter is closed during dry weather, debris and rodents cannot enter the drain pipes.
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