What is a Gutter Diverter?
A gutter diverter is a device used to prevent water from entering your home through your gutters. There are many types of gutter diversions available. Some of them include:
1) Downspout Diverters – These devices divert rainwater into the sewer system, which then flows into storm drains or other sewers.
2) Rain Diverters – These devices divert rainwater away from your house and into a septic tank. They usually have a large opening at the bottom so that it does not overflow onto your property.
3) Automatic Downspout Diverters (ADDS) – These devices automatically open up when there is enough rainfall to fill the tank with water. When the rain stops, they close.
4) Downspouts – These are small openings cut into the sidewalk or street to allow rainwater to flow out of your home.
5) Rain Barrels – These are large metal containers filled with gravel or sand that hold rainwater and keep it off your property. They come in various sizes and shapes.
4) Rain Barrels – These are small metal containers filled with plastic bags that hold rainwater. When the rain falls on these barrels, they expand and allow the water to drain out of them.
The above mentioned devices work well if you live in a dry area where there is no problem with flooding.
6) Rainwater Diverters – These devices divert water into underground pipes that lead to a septic tank.
Gutter Guards and Gutter Filters
There are two types of gutter guards: gutter screens and leaf protection devices. Both are designed to protect your home from water damage, however only leaf protection devices prevent clogging as well. The downspout diverters are most effective if you have a storm drain or sewer in your backyard. If you don’t have a pipe that leads away from your house, this will only flood your yard. The rain diverters are useful if you want to collect rainwater to water your plants, wash your car, etc.
Rain barrels are ideal for people who consume a lot of water.
Gutter screens are made from metal or a very fine mesh and they prevent large debris, rocks, and other big items from entering the downspout. The screen sits in the gutter just above the downspout outlet.
Gutter guards come in different lengths and shapes. Most of them are made from metal or plastic, but they also come in the form of flexible strips that can be shaped to fit any pipe size. The rainwater filters are designed for collecting rainwater to put back into the environment.
How Do Gutter Screens Work?
Gutter screens are mesh screens that you attach to your existing gutters. This keeps debris from getting caught in the screens and clogging them up. If you live in an area where there is a lot of leaf coverage, this can be a good solution. Gutter guards don’t prevent leaves and other small debris from entering downspouts, however rainwater does not clog gutters when these devices are fitted.
6) Gutter Filters – These devices protect your home from water damage by blocking out leaves, small twigs and other small debris that would otherwise clog your downspouts and gutters. Gutter filters can be found in different shapes and sizes. They can also be cover large or small areas. These screens can also prevent small animals and insects from entering your home.
How to Choose Gutter Screens?
You want to choose a gutter screen that is well built and large enough so that no small debris can get through. The screen should be made from metal or high-density plastic. Look for screens with fine mesh holes, because the smaller the holes, the less likely it is for debris to clog it up.
There are different types of gutter filters and each type is effective in a different way. There are leaf screens, large meshes and rigid guards. If you want to learn more about the various types of gutter filters, you should contact a professional. But if you just want to stop leaves and other debris from clogging your gutters, any gutter guard will do the job.
How Do Gutter Filters Work?
Gutter filters work like screens and keep debris from clogging up your downspouts. The difference is that filters are made with smaller holes, therefore blocking out leaves, small twigs and other small debris but still allowing water to pass through. If you live in an area where there is a lot of rain, then gutter filters are a good way to prevent clogged gutters and potential water damage to your home.
How to Choose Downspout Diverters?
The first decision you have to make when choosing downspout diverters is if you want an automatic or manual system. With the automatic types, water will be diverted into your rain barrel automatically when it rains. These are self-contained units that hook up to your gutter downspouts. A drain then carries the water away from the house. The manual types require you to move the diverter into an “on”
5) Downspout Extensions – Longer downspouts are known as downspout extensions and they prevent water from running back towards your house. The water instead, drains into the yard. They also prevent erosion at the corner of the house. These are an easy way to divert water and are very easy to install. Plus, you can get them in different colors to match your house.
How Do Downspout Extensions Work?
Downspout extensions have small holes along their length. When it rains, water is forced out of the bottom of the downspout. The force of the water is enough to push it right through the little holes in the spout extension and into the yard.
How to Choose Downspouts?
There are many different types of downspouts you can choose from. Each has its own pros and cons. Here are some of the most popular types.
1) Traditional Downspouts – These are the most common type of downspouts. They are made from metal or plastic and carry rainwater from your gutter down to the ground. There they connect to a drainpipe, which carries the water away. The problem with traditional downspouts is that they can easily clog, especially if leaves and other debris collect there. Since they are metal or plastic, they can also easily rust and rot away.
2) Colored Downspouts – These are very similar to traditional downspouts but instead of being a dull gray color, they are often brightly colored. They make your house look a little more attractive but like traditional downspouts, they can still clog up and rust.
3) Discharge Elbows – These are basically right-angled connectors that allow you to easily reroute the downspout. They are usually sold in three different degrees: 60, 90 and 120 degrees. This allows you to easily reroute the downspouts direction without too much hassle.
4) Y Strainer – A Y strainer is a great way of diverting water away from your house without needing to reroute all your downspouts. It’s basically a Y shaped piece of plastic that you place in the downspout. Water comes in from the side, and then it is forced to exit through the bottom of the “Y”. This prevents water from going back towards your house, instead, it drains outwards.
5) Vinyl Downspouts – These are made from tough vinyl instead of metal or plastic. This means they don’t rust or rot like traditional downspouts do. They also come in a variety of colors to better blend in with your house.
6) Reusable Downspouts – These work by having a one-way flap that opens when water goes through it. This forces the water through the downspout and out through the ground. When the rain stops, the flap automatically closes, allowing it to be reused again. The flap is sturdy enough to prevent even the smallest of insects from getting in.
7) Sand Filled Downspouts – These downspouts are basically the same as vinyl ones, except they have sand inside them. The sand adds weight so that when water goes into the downspout, it forces the sand out and onto the ground. This prevents clogging and other issues that regular vinyl downspouts have.
Which One Should You Get?
Honestly, I would go with the vinyl ones. They look good, don’t rust or rot and will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. As always, I highly recommend you buy them online so you can find a good deal.
What Else Should You Get?
Along with your new downspouts, I would also recommend getting some soaker hoses. These allow water to be slowly released into the ground, avoiding the pressure of a normal hose. They also come out further than normal hoses do, allowing you to reach the entire lawn.
All you have to do is turn on the soaker hose once every week or so and it will slowly water the lawn for you. These are great for lazy people like me and they work really well in keeping your lawn green and healthy.
Of course, make sure to water the soaker hoses enough so they don’t crack and break!
Well, that’s about all I have to say about downspouts. Trust me, after doing a whole lot of research and testing, these are the best options you’ve got.
Take care and stay safe!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Rainwater diverter (LL Rosebrock, RL Rosebrock – US Patent 5,114,594, 1992 – Google Patents)
- Valley diverter for a gutter cover (A Iannelli – US Patent App. 10/071,835, 2002 – Google Patents)
- Gutter cover installation (RE Joly, T Claypool – US Patent 8,001,729, 2011 – Google Patents)
- Rain gutter diverter (EE Garcia – US Patent 7,500,332, 2009 – Google Patents)
- Rainwater diverter for sloped roof flashings (AJ Hickner – US Patent 5,675,939, 1997 – Google Patents)
- Rainwater diverter (J McCorkel – US Patent 6,481,164, 2002 – Google Patents)
- Water diverter for sloped roof flashings (AJ Hickner – US Patent 5,333,419, 1994 – Google Patents)
- Gargoyle style diverter for rain gutters (SD Marable – US Patent 6,282,844, 2001 – Google Patents)
- Valley diverter for a gutter cover (AM Iannelli – US Patent 7,836,637, 2010 – Google Patents)