Downspout with an extension on a residential home

Do You Need a Downspout Extension or Repair?

Derek Perzylo

August 11, 2016


  • Downspouts are responsible for carrying rainwater away from your roof after it flows into your eavestroughs, and depositing it at a safe location. When downspouts are damaged or improperly placed, they can’t do this effectively and your property can become damaged.
  • Extensions are needed to prevent water pooling and erosion when downspouts release water too close to the foundation. They may also be required to address landscaping and terrain changes, and in case of property renovations.
  • Without proper extensions, there’s a risk of foundation damage, water intrusion into basements, landscape erosion, and increased maintenance needs.
  • Repairs are required for physical damage, clogging, corrosion, or improper installation.
  • Big 5 has been helping Calgary homeowners with downspouts and eavestroughing in Calgary since 1984. Contact us for quality repairs, extensions, and comprehensive solutions for roof and drainage systems.

Downspouts play a vital role in roof drainage systems for Calgary homes, but they need to be kept in good condition to function properly. However, there are also times when you might need to move or adjust your downspout by extending it instead of repairing it.

Below, we’ll show you how to tell the difference between these situations. Our team at Big 5 has years of experience working with downspouts and eavestroughing in Calgary.

Wooden home with well maintained downspout installed

What Is a Downspout Extension?

A downspout extension allows your downspout to carry water to a new location after it has drained away from the roof. This can help maintain the integrity of your property by preventing structural damage and other potentially costly problems.

When Do You Need It?

  • Close Proximity to the Foundation: If your downspout currently discharges water too close to your home’s foundation, an extension is necessary to prevent water pooling.
  • Landscaping Concerns: To protect your landscaping from water damage, extensions can redirect the flow away from sensitive areas.
  • Basement Flooding Risks: In homes prone to basement flooding, extensions can help keep water from accumulating near basement walls.
  • Sloped Terrain: On sloped properties, extensions can help manage water flow and prevent erosion.

What Happens If You Don’t Get One?

  • Foundation Damage: Continuous water pooling can lead to foundation cracking and weakening. Learn more about what water does to your foundation.
  • Water Intrusion: Without proper redirection, water can seep into basements, causing mold, mildew, and structural damage.
  • Landscape Erosion: Over time, the constant flow of water can erode gardens and landscaping, leading to costly repairs.
  • Increased Maintenance: The absence of extensions often results in more frequent gutter and downspout cleaning due to accumulated debris.

Damaged downspout near wall of home unable to carry rainwater away properly

What is Downspout Repair?

Downspout repair involves fixing any issues that compromise the functionality of your downspout. Repairing a downspout does not involve changing the place where water is released after draining from the roof—but it can help ensure that water is able to reach that location effectively.

What Causes Damage to Downspouts?

  • Weather Wear and Tear: Extreme weather conditions like heavy snow, ice, and wind can physically damage downspouts.
  • Clogging: Leaves, twigs, and debris can clog downspouts, leading to cracks or bursts due to water pressure.
  • Corrosion: Over time, metal downspouts can corrode, especially if not maintained properly.
  • Improper Installation: Downspouts that were not installed correctly may suffer from premature wear or detachment.

What Happens If You Don’t Fix Damaged Downspouts?

  • Water Damage to Foundations: Damaged downspouts fail to divert water effectively, risking foundation damage due to water pooling.
  • Siding and Exterior Damage: Overflowing or leaking downspouts can cause water to run down the siding, leading to rot or mold. Learn about the risks of clogged downspouts and gutters.
  • Soil Erosion: Improper water discharge can lead to soil erosion around the home, affecting landscaping and potentially the foundation.
  • Basement Leaks: Ineffective downspouts increase the risk of water seeping into basements, causing dampness and potential structural issues.

Choosing Between Repairs & Extensions

As you can see from the above, damaged and improperly placed downspouts can both cause many of the same problems for homeowners. So the question is: how do you know which fix you need?

Worker extending downspout on home during renovation

When to Extend Your Downspout

  • Water Pooling Near Foundation: If you notice water accumulating close to your home’s foundation after rain but your gutters are not overflowing due to a blocked downspout, an extension is probably necessary to redirect water to a safer location.
  • Changes in Landscaping or Terrain: If you’ve recently modified your landscape or if natural erosion has altered the terrain, extending your downspout may be required to make sure water is not draining into a harmful location.
  • Property Renovations: After home extensions or the addition of structures like decks, it might be necessary to extend downspouts to maintain effective water flow.

Rainwater overflowing from gutter due to clogged downspout that needs repairs

When to Repair Your Downspout

  • Visible Physical Damage: If your downspout is visibly dented, rusted, or disconnected, it most likely needs repair to function correctly.
  • Water Overflow: If water overflows from the top or sides of your gutters during rain, your downspout might be clogged or damaged.
  • Leaking Joints: If you notice water leaking from the joints or seams of your downspout, this is a clear sign that repairs are needed.
  • Noise or Unusual Sounds: Unusual sounds like excessive dripping or banging in the downspout can indicate loose parts or blockages, which need to be addressed through repairs.

Remember: roof repairs are a normal part of the upkeep of your home. Learn more about common roof repairs every homeowner eventually needs.

Let Calgary’s Exterior Pros Keep Your Downspout in Shape

We’ve been helping Calgary property owners keep their buildings in shape since 1984, so our team knows downspouts inside and out. Whether you need downspout repairs or an extension to drain rainwater into a new location, we can help.

Trust our fully bonded and insured team to provide high-quality repairs or installations for the parts your roof and drainage system needs—backed by one of the best warranties in the business. Contact our team today for a free estimate and make sure water won’t be a problem for your roof before the rainy season starts.

Recent Posts

Related Posts

Oak Wood Texture
CallRail Java Script