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If you are having problems with water in your basement or crawl space, one thing to check is that your downspouts are leading rainwater away from your foundation. Ideally, downspouts should release water four to ten feet away from the house. Sometimes, a large and properly sloped splash block at the end of the downspout will solve the problem. If you want something more stylish than a plain block of concrete, consider getting a decorative block that comes in colors, with a design, or one that looks like a statue. Often found in specialty stores and on-line, these can add a touch of whimsy and interest to your house and yard while preventing water collecting in gullies close to the house.

If a longer distance in needed, you may want to install a downspout extension. Made from additional downspout lengths, you need to be sure to get the same color and size as your current downspouts so they connect properly. Bands (straps) are available for attaching the extension to the end of the drainpipe that can add a decorative note to the pipes. Longer lengths may not look pleasing and could cause problems with people walking around your house and during mowing. You can avoid these problems with a perforated plastic sleeve that attaches to the downspout, unrolls when it rains, and then recoils when not needed.

Another option is to install drainpipes in the ground around your house and connect the downspouts to them. This usually means hiring a contractor, but is a most efficient way to move water away from your home.

If your downspouts do a good job of draining water away, but the loud noise of water rushing through them is a concern, there are some alternatives to the usual aluminum pipes.

You could replace the downspouts with PVC downspouts that create less noise. A rain chain made of copper and brass links and/or cups gives the sound of a bubbling stream. Installed from the guttering instead of the traditional closed pipe system, they offer a attractive appearance and pleasing sound.

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