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Gutter Downspout Extensions

Gutter downspout extensions are popular items to prevent water from collecting next to the house’s foundation, which can cause problems with soil erosion and water seeping into the crawl space or basement. Great for moving the rainwater away from the house, downspout extensions come in two basic types:

  • Rigid gutter downspout extensions are straight plastic or metal pieces that come in various lengths including very long lengths. If you prefer a color other than the standard white, brown, or green, look for one that can be painted to match/coordinate with your house. Although half tube (topless tubes) extensions will not become plugged up from debris coming down from the gutters, full tube extensions eliminate the need to clean out leaves and debris that may collect in half tubes. If you are concerned these extensions will cause problems by extending out into the lawn, making it difficult to mow, or hazardous to people walking on the lawn, look for those that are designed to pivot up when not needed.
  • Flexible gutter downspout extensions are made of soft plastic and generally come in shorter lengths than the rigid types. They often have perforations at the end of the extension so water is dispersed over a large area instead of coming out in a great rush at one spot, which can cause a hole in the lawn. Those that are normally rolled up but unroll when the fill with water are usually the least expensive. A more rigid but still flexible extension is a plastic hose that can be curved around shrubbery and stretched or compacted to various lengths.

Whichever type of extension you select, make sure that it can be removed easily to facilitate cleaning leaves and other debris out of the downspout.

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