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Flooding Cause - Downspouts

Much of our modern cityscape is impervious to water. Streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and even rooftops shed rainwater. Consider that 3 cm of rain falling on a average size bungalow produces nearly 2,400 litres of water. Where does the water go?

Eaves troughs catch rainwater and downspouts carry water from the rooftop to the ground. Downspouts that are too short will pour rain water directly into the backfill zone. Soil erosion and water in the backfill zone are consequences of short downspouts.

If downspout extensions are in place, as shown below, rainwater is discharged beyond the backfill zone. By combining a splash pad and downspout extension, a drier basement can be expected.

Correct Downspout Extension with Splash Pad

 Animated graphic of the correct position for a downfill spout

A few homes still have downspouts connected to the storm sewer at a plumbing stack in the basement. Homeowners should redirect the downspouts so that the water is discharged to the yard with proper extensions and splash pads. Once downspouts are redirected it is advisable to cap storm water stacks to prevent sewer back-up through this pipe.

But what if rainwater does enter the backfill zone? Where will it go? How can it be disposed of to avoid structural or in-basement property damage? The modern answer is a foundation drain or weeping tile system.