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A 7-Minute Guide to Gutter Downspouts: Components, Accessories, Installation, & Burying Tips

Posted on June 17, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 7 Min.

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A 7-Minute Guide to Gutter Downspouts: Components, Accessories, Installation, & Burying Tips

As a roofing expert, I know the importance and effect of a well-maintained, stylish gutter system. You can do a lot with downspouts while ensuring that rainwater is properly channeled away from your foundation. 

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through every aspect of gutter downspouts, from their essential components and installation tips to popular accessories and maintenance advice. I’m here to make sure you have a solid understanding of everything downspout related.

So let’s start by going over the main components of downspouts.

The Main Gutter Downspout Parts You Need To Know

Whether you want to install new downspouts or repair old ones, you should know about the parts and their importance. This helps you plan and gather everything in advance. 


Brackets are generally the forgotten part of a downspout, but they are incredibly important because they provide stability and support by keeping downspouts fixed to the siding. Brackets prevent sagging and detachment of gutter downspouts, even during windstorms and severe weather.


The elbows are placed at the corners and the end of downspouts. They direct water to another downspout or lead it to splash blocks or extensions, which prevent water from pooling or ponding near your home.

Diverter and Connector

When you need multiple sections or turns, downspout connectors, and diverters are the parts for you. These are essential components that ensure a steady flow of water at the seams, preventing leaks and keeping the downspouts healthy.

Splash Block

Splash Block

Imagine rainwater pouring out of your downspouts and pooling on the ground near your home. This can cause erosion and potential damage to your home’s structure. Splash blocks are placed on the ground below the downspout, dispersing the water away from the foundation.

Gutter Downspout Extensions

Gutter Downspout Extensions

If you don’t want to chance water pooling around your house, you can direct it further out into the lawn using extensions. These handy attachments lengthen the reach of your downspouts, allowing water to run safely to a desired location and away from the foundation.

Screen or Guard

To prevent debris from flowing inside the downspouts and clogging them, you can install screens or guards at the top or bottom. These guards act as filters, allowing water to flow while keeping leaves, twigs, and other debris out of your downspouts. Regular maintenance is still necessary, but these guards significantly reduce the frequency of cleaning downspouts.

These are some of the important components of downspouts that should be included in their design. Moving forward, let’s discuss the installation process and how to avoid faults and leaks.

Gutter Downspout Installation Tips for Homeowners

Remember, downspouts play a crucial role in protecting your home’s foundation and preventing water damage, so it’s essential to install them correctly. If you are not handy with such tasks or feel like you may encounter issues, it’s best to consult a professional to install your gutters and downspouts, as they can provide expert guidance and ensure a proper installation. 

Here are some things to keep in mind during the installation process:

Choose the Right Gutter Contractor

Take the time to research your local gutter companies before making a decision. Select a contractor with a solid reputation, positive customer reviews, and a track record of working with high-quality manufacturers.

Determine Placement Locations

Choose the best location for your downspouts based on your home’s layout, roof valleys, and gutter locations. Ideally, downspouts should be placed at the corners of your home and spaced approximately 20 to 30 feet apart. You can discuss the locations you want to avoid or utilize with your gutter contractor.

Use Quality Materials

Invest in high-quality downspout materials that are durable and designed to withstand the elements. Aluminum and galvanized steel gutters and downspouts are popular due to their weather resistance and ease of painting.

While the primary function of the downspouts is to drain rainwater properly, that doesn’t mean they have to be an eyesore. So now, let’s look at some exciting ways you can accessorize downspouts and elevate your home’s look!

Adorn Your Home’s Exterior with Gutter Downspout Accessories

From beautiful rain chains to ornamental downspouts, you can do a lot of customization with these roof components. Here are some eye-catching downspout decoration ideas:

Rain Chain

Rain Chain

Rain chains are lovely and unique elements to have in place of standard downspouts. If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance and charm to your home, you can replace one or more downspouts with rain chains. They hang down from the gutters and guide rainwater through a visually captivating path with a beautiful cascade effect. Rain chains are available in various designs and materials, allowing you to choose one that complements your home’s aesthetics.

Decorative Gutter Downspouts

Decorative Gutter Downspouts

Why settle for those plain-looking, round, and rectangular downspouts when you can make a statement with decorative shapes and designs? Did you know that you can even get downspouts shaped like fish? From classic architecture to sleek modern designs, you can also get downspouts customized with your own designs.

Customized Splash Blocks

Customized Splash Blocks

Splash blocks provide an opportunity to infuse some creativity into your gutter system. You can choose different types of designs, such as leaves or gargoyles, and even customize them with your own style or ideas. Get some inspiration from these unique splash blocks in the images below:

If you don’t want water to pool onto the ground, you can bury the downspout into the ground or extend it to reach specific locations, like barrels, fountains, or an irrigation system.

If burying your downspout seems like the right choice for you, read on to learn exactly how to do so.

How to Bury Gutter Downspouts:

Burying downspouts can be a practical solution for homeowners who prefer a cleaner and unobstructed look for their landscape. You can also attach the underground downspout elbow to a storage tank or drainage system.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Begin by determining the ideal location for burying the downspout. It should be sloped away from your home’s foundation to ensure proper storage or drainage of rainwater.

Step 2: Dig a trench that is deep and wide enough to accommodate the downspout, extension pipes, and storage tank, if any. This will allow for easy installation.

Step 3: Connect the drainage pipe to the downspout end and place it inside the trench. Ensure the correct length and width of the pipe and secure it properly to create a watertight seal.

Step 4: As you bury the downspout, backfill the trench with soil, ensuring that the pipe remains at the appropriate slope away from the foundation.

Step 5: Consider adding a removable access point or cleanout near the surface to facilitate any future maintenance or repairs.

Now, some homeowners may not want to decorate or upgrade the look of their downspouts. If you also feel the same, you can easily hide them so they don’t bring down the aesthetic appeal of your house.

How to Hide Gutter Downspouts:

If you’re looking for ways to conceal your gutter downspouts and integrate them seamlessly into your landscape, here are a few ideas:

Use Landscaping Elements

Strategically place shrubs, small trees, or decorative plants around the downspouts to create a natural form of camouflage. This not only hides the downspouts but also enhances the visual appeal of your landscape. 

You can also position trellises or lattice panels near the downspouts for both functionality and a stylish look. By growing climbing plants or vines on the trellises, you can create a beautiful visual screen that effectively hides the downspouts.

Paint the Downspouts to Blend-in With the Siding

If you have siding or downspouts that can be painted, consult a professional to find the exact shades for your home. The same colors create a cohesive and integrated look, making the downspouts much less noticeable and even hidden from afar.

But before you install or modify your roof gutters or downspouts, make sure they are clean and in good shape. The best way to ensure this is by consulting a reliable roofing contractor in your area. Ask the company if they provide free consultations, inspections, and estimates of their work. 

If you feel the downspouts on your home are fine but just need a little cleaning, here are some tips: 

How to Clean Gutter Downspouts:

Regular cleaning and inspection are essential to keep your home in optimal condition. This is particularly vital for parts of a roof, as they are always exposed to the elements.

Here’s how you can clean your downspouts effectively:

Step 1: Begin by removing any debris, such as leaves, twigs, or dirt, from the top opening of the downspout. You can use a small garden trowel or a gloved hand for this task.

Step 2: If there are stubborn clogs, you can use a plumbing snake or a high-pressure hose to dislodge the blockage. Carefully insert the snake or direct the water into the downspout while being mindful of any potential backsplash.

Step 3: Check for any leaks or loose connections along the downspout. If you find any, tighten the connections or apply a suitable sealant to prevent water leakage. Don’t forget to add gutter guards and downspout screens to avoid clogging.

And with that, you know everything homeowners should know about downspouts, their decoration, and maintenance. If you want more information or need gutter downspout replacement services in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, we can help you.

Free Consultations on Roof Gutters and Downspouts

You can trust our team at OConnor Contracting whenever you need a reliable roof and gutter contractor in Lansdale or the surrounding areas. We’re proud to be a part of the Pennsylvania community, and we do our best to help homeowners upgrade their homes! Call us at (484)-302-7663 for a free consultation and estimate, and we’ll make sure you enjoy peace of mind during rainy days.

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