Should You Bury Your Downspouts? (Explained)

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You can bury your downspouts if you need a waterproofing solution for your house in case you stay in a place where it rains frequently. And the layout of your yard is also prone to holding water. Buried downspouts will prevent damages to the foundation caused by water around your home.

Should Downspouts Go Into the Ground?

Downspouts can go into the ground if what you need is a unique but simple waterproofing solution. They can work with the other waterproofing techniques to protect your residence from flooding.

And since you bury them below the ground, you’ll not have to be concerned about them disrupting the landscape.

They may also get in your way as you strive to look after your home. Still, they make a great selling point in the market when you want to sell your house. Underground downspout does work perfectly in homes experiencing little to moderate flooding.

And for those homes with very serious records of flooding, they need several waterproofing methods. This will help you identify the best one.

Is It Ok to Bury Downspouts?

It is very okay to bury downspouts as they are excellent waterproofing remedies for most homeowners. Those who deal with flooding every year. Downspouts will help keep your residence dry while protecting the appearance of the landscaping.

How Do You Bury a Gutter Downspout?

Here are steps you can follow to bury a gutter downspout;

Create an Outline of the Direction Your Gutter Will Take

Yards are not always the same and you need to decide the way you prefer rainwater to move from your home. Do this before you dig. This may enable you to map a sketch to know a perfect spot for the draining of downspouts.

Dig a Pit

Ensure you mark any of the utility lines and then dig a trench so that water doesn’t back up. It should be sufficiently deep for the type of climate in your area. Also, downspouts need to be not less than twelve inches.

However, the frost line ranges between thirty-six and forty-eight inches. This means you will need to dig a lot, though this can help prevent you from thawing the downspouts and gutters in the winters. The trench also needs to be a little bit wide to give space of four inches on both sides of the extension.

Disassemble the Outdated Downspout Extension

You will require a screwdriver to help you remove an aluminum extension if a downspout has it. You need to execute this before you install a plastic extension that you will bury. Unscrew the extension cautiously and then slip in a plastic one.

Ensure the ends of the pipes wind up not less than eight feet from your house as you set them down.

Attach a Different Extension

A downspout extension should be durable and also adaptable. Connect it to the gutter downspout’s base using a screw or different layers of waterproof tape. Ensure you find an extension that fits the gutter downspouts.

A majority are three by four or two by three inches. The extensions are always of different colors though that doesn’t make a difference much because you’ll bury them. They can only matter when it comes to aesthetic reasons just in case you expose them.

You can also choose to buy a vent for the downspout extension. This is to allow easy and cheap gutter care.

Set Up the Downspout and Then Cover the Trench

Insert the gutter downspout in the trench. Take note that it needs to be wide enough. This will give room on the pipes’ sides.

Be sure the extension will drain in the right direction of your lawn or sidewalk. The angle needs to be gradual to discourage the backing up of water. Proceed to cover the trench using soil and then pat it.

And with that, you will be done.

Pros and Cons of Burying Downspouts

There are some advantages and disadvantages that come with installing underground downspouts. They are as follows;

Pros of Underground Downspouts

You’ll Enjoy Good Health

When you bury downspouts, you and your household will appreciate better health. When water forms a pool around your house, it can leak into your home’s foundation. The moisture can result in mildew and even mold.

In return, this can lead to serious health issues like asthma and allergies. Furthermore, a black mold can also develop. A breeding ground for mosquitoes plus the other dangerous insects can also be created.

They can be irritable and spread diseases. When you direct the water from your home, the area will be dry and invulnerable.

It’s Safer

When a downspout is not buried and it has a tail at the end, you are likely to trip over. That can happen while your visitors walk around your property or when your kids are running. And this can even lead to an injury.

A tail is normally fitted so as the water gets forced from your house. This is important to protect the structural quality of a foundation. Moreover, instead of installing such a tail that can make you trip, you can choose to bury it.

Nonetheless, you can use an extension that rolls out as water flows in. The holes in the extension signify water gets dispersed from the ground. And it then rolls up when it dries.

This has a reasonable use, though it does not look good. You can still trip over an extension.

Has Aesthetic Qualities

Buried downspouts can enhance the line of a house and many people love them that way. And you can observe this at the front part of a building. Below ground downspouts can keep everything tidy.

And with architectural layout, it can be so logical as it makes your house look great. You can still do this if you have an old house so you can retain an angular and squared look.

You Get to Protect Your Foundation

This is normally a major reason why homeowners bury the downspout. Moreover, to achieve this, you will need to install your downspout in a slightly angled position from your house. And in places experiencing enough rainfall, it can empty in the French drain.

This is a trench full of gravel and allows water to drip into the soil. When a downspout empties in a trench that transmits from a foundation, your house will be safe. This is because it lowers the possibility of the foundation becoming weak.

A buried downspout also ensures water returns to the ground. Moreover, when it’s not belowground, there will be water around the foundation. And this can lead to issues like allergies in very damp environments.

Avoid Soil Erosion

When you direct water underground, erosion of the useful topsoil can not be possible. As usual, after the heavy rains, rushing water in the downspout does push soil from every side of the structure. If this occurs more often, too much topsoil can be lost.

And it’ll need replacement to replant grass.

Drawbacks of Burying Downspouts

Clogging the Downspouts

A belowground drain can clog the downspouts. This can result in issues like debris entering the gutter. They can move to the downspout and into an underground drain.

They then stop there as they can’t flow anywhere. In case of this, the water can start backing up. This implies it goes back up to the gutter’s top where it will start overflowing.

This is so awful as the water lands on the foundation of your house. Fixing it can also be a problem as you have to clean the French drain first.

It’s Quite Expensive

Installing an underground downspout can be costly compared to having the above-the-ground one. However, when you consider all the advantages accompanying it, you will realize that even with the high cost, it is worth it.


As noted you can bury a downspout if you want to enjoy the many benefits that accompany it. All you have to do is to ensure you install it properly to ensure it doesn’t clog. With that said, you’ll be able to protect the foundation of your house.