Many people have these water diverters placed around their house underneath their gutter downspouts. The idea is that when it rains, the water is diverted away from the foundation, keeping it from pooling up and eventually finding it’s way into the basement or crawlspace. There are a couple problems with these seemingly helpful devices though:
- Most don’t move the water far enough away from the house. Unfortunately they just aren’t long enough to keep the water from seeping back into the dirt, and right back up against the foundation. As home inspectors, we usually recommend getting fully enclosed gutter discharge extensions that are at least 5-6′ in length. That way the water is placed well away from your home, and doesn’t hang out right next to the foundation. There is another reason that we recommend such long, fully enclosed gutter discharges; which brings us to problem number two:
- If the siding material is close to the ground, it can wear out prematurely or even start to rot when water is constantly splashing onto it from the underside. Siding material is designed to have water drip from the top down. This is why they are almost alway overlapped from the bottom up. If water is splashing from your splash block back up and onto the siding every time it rains, there is a good chance it will start to wear out long before the rest of the siding, and if it’s wood, possibly start to rot. This is why we recommend it be enclosed and as far away from the house as possible.
I’m not going to say that splash blocks are useless, because frankly, they are better to have than nothing at all. However, they just seem to do the job poorly in comparison to having fully enclosed gutter extensions.
I hope this helped you understand more about your home, and please feel free to leave a comment if you have any additional questions!