Most of us know that we need well-functioning gutters and downspouts, yet, many still wonder if splash blocks are worth it and oftentimes, the short answer is, “it depends.” However, the risks of damage caused to your home if you are in need of splash blocks and do not have them means that you need to be more certain. Keep reading to learn more about if splash blocks would be worth it for your home.
What are Splash Blocks?
Splash blocks are simply rectangular pieces, often made of plastic or concrete, placed below a downspout. Their purpose is to direct water away from the home, and specifically, the foundation.
Are Splash Blocks the Same Thing as Downspouts?
Splash blocks serve a similar purpose to a downspout, as they both work to manage water flow, however, they are not the same thing. While in some situations a downspout will suffice, more often than not, a splash block is a necessary addition. If a gutter system is missing a splash block, it can lead to water pooling at the foundation which can cause a whole host of issues such as leaks, cracks in the foundation, basement flooding, and more. Overall, a splash block is different from a downspout because its goal is to distribute water across your property in the evenest manner possible.
Benefits of Splash Blocks
The benefits of splash blocks often lead homeowners to decide that splash blocks may be worth the investment as a preventative measure.
Splash blocks help to prevent soil from eroding and moisture from causing damage to the foundation. Another benefit of splash blocks is that homeowners have a choice in deciding which type they would like to install. This decision often comes down to the amount of precipitation they experience and can lead them to choose a narrower or wider option. These options also help homeowners have control of heavier runoff and give them the ability to distribute it to a larger area.
The greatest benefit that splash blocks have is that they help protect homes from water damage. In fact, if a home is in need of splash blocks, but they are not installed, the damage caused to the home can be quite similar to the damage a clogged gutter can cause. Therefore, preventing such damage, which often leads to expensive repairs, is a great reason to consider adding splash blocks to your gutter systems.
Do I Need Splash Blocks?
Something to consider when deciding if your home needs splash blocks is the fact that when rain collects in gutters and comes through the downspout it comes down much harder than rainfall. So, if pooling or rushing of this water happens too close to the foundation, it can easily cause leaks and lead to maintenance problems. If this is not addressed, it could quickly become a compounding problem leading to mold and fungus growth, damage to drywall, or potentially, even erosion.
While all gutter systems need to have downspouts, not all downspouts are in need of splash blocks. Gutter systems that have downspouts going into dry wells or underground drains do not need splash blocks. Conversely, downspouts that release water, or drain, above ground likely do need to have splash blocks installed. It is especially important to have splash blocks if the water drains near a building or home’s foundation since this makes buildings more susceptible to water damage.
If you determine that you do need splash blocks, you will also need to be sure they are placed at each downspout draining above ground so that water does not pool below them.
It is also worth noting that even with homes that have a downgrade away from the building and towards landscaping or hardscaping, water can still tend to pool and cause foundation damage instead of being distributed evenly and away from the home.
Do I Need a Professional to Install Splash Blocks?
It is reasonable to look into installing splash blocks yourself, however, if they are installed improperly, you could be looking at extensive damage. So, if this is a project you choose to take on yourself, it’s best to be certain you’re confident in doing so. Otherwise, it is best to seek professional help and advice.
If you’re worried about flooded basements, foundational damage, or other problematic issues as a result of water damage caused by a lack of splash blocks, or splash blocks installed incorrectly, contact us today. We are experts at gutter installation and would be glad to help with all of your guttering needs.