What is The Purpose of a Gutter Downspout?


The purpose of a gutter downspout is to protect a building. It directs rainwater from roof gutters to the ground, away from the building’s walls, foundation, and immediate landscaping. Without downspouts, water would accelerate the deterioration of your home’s wall and foundation.  It would also promote the growth of mould in the basement. 

Because downspouts and gutters (commonly called eavestroughs in Canada) divert the rainwater that falls onto your roof, roofing contractors install and repair these, often in conjunction with replacing or repairing your roof. 

London’s Forest City Roofing has provided all roofing-associated services since 1993. Call (519) 659 6937 or request a quote online.


The purpose of a gutter downspout is exclusively to protect. 

As mentioned above, a roof and everything associated with it, including gutter downspouts, protect a building. Here are the aspects they protect:


Your landscaping:

By channelling water away from the building, downspouts save your delicate plants from decimation by heavy downpours.. They also prevent soil near the building’s walls from eroding and leaving gaps near the foundation where rainwater could collect. 


Your building’s foundation:

Rainwater seeping into gaps in the wall of a house will wet the foundation. Exposing the foundation to moisture means its structural integrity will lessen through the breakdown of the mortar holding the concrete blocks or stone together. A basement will retain and transfer that moisture to its interior.


Your home’s basement from growing mould:

Preventing rainwater from getting in through the foundation will make for a dryer basement. When a basement is allowed to remain moist, mould spores grow, and this causes health concerns for any person or animal living in the structure.


The exterior walls of a house (or building):

Rainwater that gets behind the building’s exterior will rot its structure, resulting in numerous and expensive repairs. Paint, too, will eventually lift when in constant contact with moisture.


Let’s look at the purpose of a gutter, downspout, fascia board, and soffits, how they all work together, and the answer to a common question.


Before eavestroughs (gutters) existed, it didn’t take long for someone to realize that rainwater cascading willy-nilly off a roof was a big problem. At best, the rain falling onto soil or grass near the house would splash up and send sprays of mud onto the lower walls of the building, at its least obliterating a window view. 

However, the real damage was the deterioration of the building’s structure along with health problems resulting from moisture seeping through the mortar and fostering mould growth—a solution needed to be found. 

Eavestroughs, downspouts, fascia boards, and soffits are very simple in their design, having changed little over the years. 


How often should gutter downspouts be replaced, and how are downspouts damaged?

With all the references to rainwater in this post, it is ironic that rainwater in its solid form also causes damage to downspouts.


We know roofs and the system that ensures proper water drainage associated with them. Don’t hesitate to call us for help with your eavestrough system.


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