When the snow starts to melt and spring comes back again, Cleveland starts to green. At the same time, however, it starts to flood. If you haven’t protected your basement or foundation, you risk seeing some of that snowmelt and rainwater inside of your home.
If you’re looking for a non-invasive waterproofing solution, you’ll want to consider investing in underground downspouts. How, though, do downspouts protect your home, and are they worth the install when compared to other waterproofing options?
What Are Underground Downspouts?
Underground downspouts are, as the name suggests, downspouts that your local basement repair contractors will be able to install under the top layer of soil in your front lawn. Like their above-ground cousins, underground downspouts direct water away from the perimeter of your home. As a result, you’ll be able to protect your foundation and basement from hydrostatic pressure, preventing leaks as you do.
The Pros and Cons of Underground Downspout Installation
Why should you consider investing in underground downspouts where there are so many other home waterproofing solutions available to you? Underground downspouts are low maintenance and less expensive than many other forms of waterproofing to install. Unlike external downspouts, too, these downspouts will be out of the way. This means you won’t have to move your spouts before mowing the lawn or working in the yard.
That said, underground downspouts work best in homes that experience mild to above-average dampness or flooding in the Cleveland spring. If you frequently see standing water in your basement, you’re going to want to invest in more substantial waterproofing solutions.
If underground downspouts still interest you, you can always stack these solutions with the other ones that basement or foundation repair contractors recommend to you during a free inspection. Some of the best partner-solutions for underground downspouts include:
- Interior French drains
- Sump pump
- Hydrophobic insulation
- Vapor barrier
- Temporary sealants
How to Install Underground Downspouts
Once you’ve decided to commit to underground downspouts, the installation process is reasonably straightforward. That said, this isn’t a project you should DIY. Talk with contractors in the Cleveland area to determine where your downspouts should redirect your water and where best they’ll operate in your lawn.
While your installation process will be individualized, most contractors will take the following steps to get you the downspouts you need:
- Laying the trench, or determining where your underground downspouts are going to run through your lawn
- Marking the trench line
- Digging the trench
- Inputting thick polyethylene pipe or pipe of an equally supportive waterproof material
- Installing a starter elbow near your home
- Inserting adapters and reducers where applicable
- Connecting your downspouts
- Directing the flow of water out towards your street or local sewer system
- Backfilling the trenches until the pipes are no longer visible
The Ins and Outs of Unclogging Underground Downspouts
Unfortunately, even the best underground downspouts run the risk of clogging. If your downspouts clog, it’s possible your basement will not only flood again but that it’ll flood with both precipitation and debris from the clog in your spouts.
Signs of a clog in your underground downspouts include:
- Excessive moisture in your home
- Overfull gutters
- Pooling water around the trench lines where your pipes are buried
The good news is that cleaning out your downspouts, while understandably tedious, isn’t especially difficult. If you need to clear a blockage from your downspout or clear it up for the spring, you’ll need to:
- Release the underground drain.
- Insert a plumber’s auger, or a snake, into your downspouts.
- Twist clockwise until you come in contact with the blockage.
- Pull the blockage back toward you.
- Clean out your gutters with a garden hose to ensure water flows smoothly through the pipes.
Working With a Basement or Foundation Repair Contractor
Ready to take back your Cleveland home? This spring, reach out to a local basement repair contractor like Ohio Basement Systems and get ahead of the spring rain. With the help of underground downspouts, you’ll be able to maintain a beautiful lawn while also keeping the structural supports in your home hearty and hale.