"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Downspout should be extended


Eavestroughs and Downspouts
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Eavestroughs, or gutters, were once made of wood and copper. Wood didn't last too long and copper became too expensive.
Today's eavestroughs and downspouts are mainly made of maintenance free aluminum or vinyl. They have replaced the older eavestroughs and downspouts which were made of galvanized steel and required regular maintenance (painting). It is important to keep eavestroughs and downspouts in good repair. Failure to do so can lead to damp or wet basements.
Eavestroughs should be sloped towards the downspouts and kept free of leaves and other debris which may clog the downspouts (tennis balls are the worst offenders!). Blocked downspouts causes eavestroughs to overflow. Full eavestrought are heavy and can pull away from the fascia board, see picture to the right. Loose eavestroughs don't catch all the run-off water as they are supposed to to, which could lead to rot in the fascia and soffit area.
Downspouts that are not connected to the storm sewer but surface drained should be extended by 6 ft.(1.8 m) to direct water away from the foundation walls. Old rain water leaders should be capped. Downspouts can become disconnected or burst along the seams (caused by expanding ice) and repairs should be made immediately.

Eavestrough pulling away from the fascia
Rain water from an upper roof should NEVER be discharged onto a lower roof. It may not look pretty but the downspout from the upper roof should be extended to the eavestrough on the lower roof as shown to the left. If the downspout is not extended the shingles on the lower roof will wear out prematurely and this section of the roof will have to be replaced years earlier than the rest of the roof.
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