Where Does My Gutter Drain To?

Learn more about downspouts and where the rainwater from your gutters drain to.

Published June 7, 2022

Where do gutter drains go?

As a homeowner, you might be aware that your gutter system is made of two main portions. The first portion is your gutter channel, which is installed horizontally along the edge of your roof. The second is your downspouts for gutter drains. These downspouts are installed vertically and angle slightly away from your home to allow the collected water to drain away from your property rather than soak into the surrounding foundation.

However, while most homes may come equipped with above-ground gutter drains, others have them installed underground. Therefore, you may be wondering, where do gutter drains go? Are there benefits to installing gutter drains underneath my property rather than the above-ground? We’re going to go into detail about underground downspouts, so keep reading to learn more.

Where do underground downspouts go?

As mentioned, although most homes may have above-ground downspout features, it is possible to have them installed underground. If this is the case for your home, you may be wondering where your underground downspouts are draining to. The purpose of underground downspouts is to help direct water away from your home through a series of pipes that run underground and away from your property.

However, while buried downspouts can help increase your home’s curbside appeal, it could also be more difficult to service these pipes should they clog. For example, if fallen debris gets stuck in your downspout, rather than removing the debris by hand and flushing it out with a hose, you may be required to dig up your buried downspout to find the source of the clog. For this reason, you may want to consult with a professional gutter contractor before deciding to move forward with underground downspouts. Underground drainage may also be a hassle, it can be expensive, and it could ruin your landscaping.

Additionally, should your downspouts clog and overflow, your property may be more at risk of flooding, which could also cause further damage to the foundation of your home. Therefore, if you are looking to extend your downspout, you may benefit from installing an extension piece above ground to divert water further away from your home rather than digging up your property.

How deep should my downspout drains be buried?

If you do decide to extend your downspout underground rather than above ground, you may want to ensure that you dig the trench deep enough to prevent it from freezing, especially if you live in a region that experiences colder weather throughout the year. This is because as temperatures drop, the ground can be prone to becoming extremely cold and frozen.

Therefore, if your downspout drains are buried, they might crack and clog with ice. To help prevent your downspouts from freezing or cracking in colder weather, you may need to bury the pipes below the freezing line, which can range depending on where you live in the United States. Furthermore, should your underground pipes crack, water that might be collected through your gutter system may end up soaking into your surrounding property rather than draining towards the sewage line at the end of your property. This could cause several issues, including:

  • Water pooling in your yard
  • Leaks and flooding in your basement
  • Erosion of your landscaping
  • Cracks in your foundation, which may lead to an unstable home

All in all, if you live in a region of the United States that experiences heavy rainfall and cooler weather, you may choose to avoid buried downspouts altogether as you may run the risk of spending a lot of money in repairs on top of construction costs of digging up your landscaping to begin with.

Should gutter downspouts touch the ground?

Although your downspouts are installed vertically on the side of your home, they should not be touching the ground. Instead, the end of your downspout should be angled to encourage water to drain seamlessly away from your property. Otherwise, if your gutter downspout touches the ground rather than angling outward, the water may not divert away from your home. It may soak into the surrounding area, which might lead to water damage and an unstable home foundation. Therefore, to help ensure your downspouts are working correctly, make sure there are no clogs throughout your gutter system as it could help prevent water from flowing outwards. Additionally, homeowners may also opt to install above-ground gutter extensions that further extend away from their property as an extra precaution against water damage.

Where does my gutter let out?

Gutter downspouts may either be installed above ground or below ground. Therefore, as mentioned, if your downspouts are buried underground, it is possible that it connects directly to the sewer system located near the front of your property or diverts somewhere else in your lawn, further away from your home. On the other hand, if you have an above-ground downspout, water may be directed away from your property toward the road, where it could drain into the sewage system that way. As you can see, while the water still ends up in the same spot, if you choose to have a below-ground drainage system, you may benefit from an enhanced curbside appeal. However, it might cause you to have more problems in the long run, should your pipes freeze and crack under cold temperatures.

If you are concerned about above-ground downspouts decreasing your curbside appeal, there are methods that can help make them less noticeable. For starters, homeowners may choose to paint their downspouts the same colors as their homes. Alternatively, you could plant vines along with your downspouts for more of an earthy appeal. Nonetheless, there are methods out there that may not require you to ruin your landscaping.

Final Thoughts

If you have issues with current gutter downspout draining, damages, or needs replacing, book a free consultation with Local Home Pro to learn more! Our local gutter installers can help you with any of your gutter issues. Get started on your new gutter project today!

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