What Exactly Are Downspouts?
Without downspouts you wouldn't have a complete gutter system on your home. Simply put, these are the vertical pipes that drain water from the gutters and divert it away from your home. They attach to gutters and are secured to the outside wall of your home.
Some downspouts also have extenders which can divert water even further away from the home and some are even tied into French drains. Downspouts can also drain into rain barrels.
Proper Functioning = Proper Downspout Sizing
While it's true that the basic functionality of a downspout is simple to drain and divert the water coming from the gutters, there's actually some key calculations involved in proper size and function. Without boring you with the math, the size of downspouts used on your roof is dependent on the rainfall intensity and the capacity of the downspout. Then, your gutters have to be at the proper pitch to ensure that water actually flows into the downspouts.
Gutter Supply lists the 6 key factors in sizing as the following:
- Downspouts of less than 7 sq in. should not be used except for small areas such as porches
- The size of the downspout should be constant throughout its length.
- Downspouts should be constructed with conductor heads every 40 ft to admit air and prevent vacuum.
- Offset of more than 10 ft can affect drainage capacity.
- The gutter outlet capacity should suit the downspout capacity.
- The downspout size must suit the bottom width of the gutter.
Have we lost you yet? While most gutter supply and home improvement stores sell pretty standard downspouts and gutters, there's a lot of thought that goes into a professionally installed system.
Styles of Downspouts
Now that we've covered the basics of what downspouts are and how they work, we can talk about something a little more fun - downspout styles!
Basic styles include:
- Corrugated Metal (most common types of downspouts you see here in the Roseburg area)
- Round Metal (works well if you're using half round gutters for consistency)
- Copper (if you're using copper gutters, you'll most likely want copper downspouts or fancy rain chains)
- Rain chains (like rainchains.com says, "Rain chains are a beautiful and functional alternative to traditional, closed gutter downspouts.")
99.999% of homeowners are going to get downspouts in the same color as their gutters and there is a wide variety of color options out there. No matter what style of home you have, the gutters can be designed to blend in, or make a statement (such as with copper).
Decorative and functional, these are an option you can use with any gutter system. Functioning just like downspouts in that they direct the water collected in the gutters, they can add a bit of creativity, visual interest, and even whimsy to your home.
Check out some of the rain chain options Rite-Way offers below.