Downspouts are one of the essential parts of your home. But unsightly downspouts can detract from the architectural beauty of your home and become an eyesore.
There are several ways to mask your gutter downspout’s appearance, such as placing vines or painting them.
But if these fail, you can replace your gutter’s downspouts with a well-designed rain chain.
With the right tools and equipment and some leg work, you can blend your gutter downspouts with the rest of your home.
Ready to improve your gutters? Hire Our Gutter Services and improve your property’s curb appeal.
3 Ways to Hide an Unsightly Downspout Without Hindering Its Functionality
How To Remove Black Streaks From Gutters and improve unsightly downspouts? The following are ways to improve this critical structure of your roofing.
Conceal Downspouts with Exterior Paint and Metal Paint Primer
Paint unsightly downspouts a color that matches the surrounding home’s exterior material. A coordinating color helps the downspout blend in. Purchase a color that matches walls, plants, or other prominent features.
If you are unsure what color to purchase, take a picture of your exterior wall and bring it to a home improvement expert for advice.
For best results, apply a coat of metal primer and a paint formulated for metal objects.
Purchase a paint formulated for exterior application to withstand water and harsh weather elements.
Cover Downspouts with Greenery
Green-thumbed homeowners who want their home to stand out may wish to utilize the less conventional but effective method of using vines or trees to cover unsightly downspouts.
Vine species that hide downspouts effectively are the following:
· Evergreen Clematis
· Annual Sweet Pea Vines
These vines can be wrapped around downspouts to direct their growth along the entire length.
Another alternative is using tall leafy potted plants to conceal your downspouts.
An advantage to tall leafy plants is it is easier to trim. But bear in mind that plant growth is unpredictable; hence, you will need to cut the vines or plants occasionally.
Go for vines with a maximum length of less than 15 feet to prevent them from weighing down your spout.
Replace Your Gutter Downspouts
Your downspouts can be an eyesore if dented or rusted beyond repair.
In this case, it is impossible to repair them or cover them with paint or greenery. But if your gutter is still in good condition, you can replace the downspouts only.
It is best to hire experts who offer custom gutter installation. Roofing professionals help with proper downspout placement and conceal them to uphold your property’s curb appeal.
6 Signs Your Gutters Need to Be Replaced at Once
Gutter maintenance is crucial to prevent damage to your home and yard.
It becomes a pressing need in the winter months with snowfall runoff, winter storms, and ice that threaten unprepared structures.
If you suspect that your gutters need replacing, you must do so soon. Gutters with any of the issues mentioned below need immediate replacement.
Cracks in Gutters and Downspouts
A sign that your home exterior and foundation are in danger of being damaged are cracks appearing in gutters and downspouts.
Even the tiniest crack and puncture can cause a leak. You could temporarily fix a slight crack with a strong sealant. But if there are numerous cracks, you need your gutters replaced completely.
The Gutters Are Separating from the House, and at the Seams
If your gutters are falling apart and damaged heavily at the seams, it is time to install brand-new ones.
Gutters that detach from the house and each other are unsightly and leave your home exterior vulnerable to water damage.
Seam stress is a common issue in older gutters and gutters susceptible to collecting massive amounts of debris.
When the seams are subjected to too much pressure, they detach and cause leaks.
If you find that your gutters are separating from your house, they are under more pressure than they can withstand. Hence, it is time to install some new gutters.
Sagging or Bowing Gutters
Noticeable sagging or bowing in your gutters is an indication they have been overburdened by debris and water and getting weighed down.
It makes your house look old or rundown and indicates an improperly functioning gutter. If your gutters are yielding to gravity, they are no longer filtering water properly, and it is time to replace them.
Leaky Gutters and Water Damage
The culprit could be a leaking gutter if you discover mildew around your foundation or damaged landscaping.
Leaking gutters release water onto the exterior of your house and foundation. If this water gets trapped and pools there too long, especially in the warm months, you could have mold and mildew problems.
The worst part about this is that mildew travels into the crawlspace and basement if not taken care of and causes allergies and structural damage.
The best way to negate further water damage is to replace your gutters. It will prevent excess water from causing any more damage to your property.
Peeling paint is typically a sign of excess moisture in a specific area of the house.
If you discover peeling paint near your gutters or downspouts, there is a good chance there is a leak somewhere.
Hence, you will only be wasting time, money, and effort by repainting the damaged areas. You need to get to the root cause of the peeling paint and replace part of the gutter nearest to that paint.
If there is paint peeling in multiple areas of your house, it is an indication that your entire gutter system will need replacing.
Rotted Fascia and Soffit
Rot in these areas are signs that you probably need to replace your entire gutter system.
The fascia is the boards beneath the edge of the roof that spans the roof’s perimeter.
On the other hand, Soffit is the wood that underlies the fascia. Both of these parts are close to the gutter. Hence, if these parts have signs of rot, you know you have a problem.
In this case, you must replace the fascia or Soffit’s moldy portions. But if these boards are rotted beyond repair, you need to completely replace the entire gutter to stop the source of the rot.
8 Best Gutter Alternatives
You could avoid the homeowner’s headache of having to clean your gutter four times a year and deal with issues like ice dams and bad design.
Stay current with the times and try something new and effective.
The following is a list of gutter alternatives you can install.
The Japanese call rain chains “Kusari Doi.” Rain chains are highly effective and attractive. These vertical strips have been a feature of Japanese architecture for centuries which is a testament to their efficacy.
Rain chains could be a great and better-looking substitute for traditional gutter downspouts systems. You can spruce them up with cast resin splash guards to improve their efficiency.
A rain chain collects rainwater from the roof and diverts it to underground reservoirs, usually a barrel system.
What do rain chains look like?
The numerous beautiful cups strung in a line of rain chains transport the water from the top area to the bottom and reduce the flowing water’s force.
A Rain chain is available in a wide range of designs. It is one of the best examples of the form following function for gutter downspouts alternatives.
You can install them as a downspout alternative in an ordinary rain gutter.
Rain chains are a very decorative way to get the job done. It creates a Zen aesthetic to a space. There are plenty of downspout rain chain designs, such as single chain, cup-system chain, and multiple chains. You can have the collection unit installed either underground or above ground.
Drip edges are metal strip fastenings you can attach to your roof edge. It acts as an additional impediment to mitigate the force and speed of falling water.
In addition, these devices keep water from flowing near your walls.
Drip edges are placed between the shingle and the roof deck to prevent water from permeating into the wood under the shingle.
Besides protecting your home’s foundation, drip edges also ensure the water does not splash on the side and damage your walls, stain them, or introduce molds.
You can install a drip edge with a rain gutter to improve the efficiency of deflecting rainwater.
Drip paths are paved pathways placed right beneath your roof’s edges so that rainwater falling off your roof is captured by these paths.
Drip paths are usually constructed utilizing bricks or blocks placed in the soil to protect the soil from erosion from water flowing from the roof.
The hard surface prevents water from permeating into the soil. In addition, the blocks or bricks are placed at a strategic angle, so the water is directed away from the structure.
Utilizing a concrete apron with the drip set around 6 inches from the foundation also helps drain rainwater efficiently, especially when combined with the sloping stones.
Concrete alternatives that allow grass to grow in drainage zones also work.
Another alternative is to fashion a path with large stones or pebbles around the perimeter of your roof. But this method will require installing an underground drainage system to channel water.
Rain Dispersal Systems
Rain dispersal systems divide the flowing rainwater into tiny rivulets or even drops, thus reducing their force and impact.
Please check your local Home Depot or hardware store for rain dispersal systems. It is recommended you choose an angled louver system that divides the rainwater into smaller rivulets and diverts them into a band, usually 2 to 3 feet.
A rain dispersal system reduces your cleaning worries.
You do not have to deal with frequent cleaning of clogged gutters or breaking down ice dams before they damage your gutter.
Some rain drainage systems also have a self-cleaning feature and intelligent design that blows away debris, dirt, and leaves.
You must get the grading right if you are building a new house. Homes must be built at an elevation above normal ground level.
The height difference is made up by utilizing a smooth, efficient slope.
It enables water to flow down and be directed away from your home’s foundation to prevent the water from pooling in the soil once it hits the ground.
Ensure that the slope does not have any spots where the water might percolate and stagnate.
French Drain or Ground Gutters
A French drain, otherwise known as a ground gutter, is excellent for those looking for a non-conspicuous gutter alternative.
These gutters protect a structure’s foundation and walls with minimum effort.
This method involves digging a V-shaped trench at the drip line or the area where the water falls from your roof and hits the ground.
The trench must be lined with a waterproof lining. A perforated pipe system is placed at the bottom, and a trench is filled with pebbles or gravel.
Ground gutters are inground gutters and allow users to lay a pipe network around the exterior of their property.
Ensure that the trench slopes away from the house so that the water does not stagnate.
Rainwater that falls from the roof hits the trench and travels through the pipe to reach its final destination – the underwater drain.
The best part about ground gutters is that they do not need to be exposed, so you can even grow plants over them.
Besides the aesthetics of a French drain system, it also scores significant maintenance points that are almost zero.
You will only need to check the outlets occasionally to ensure the drainage is free of blockages and perhaps clear leaves and debris away during the autumn months.
Box gutters, also known as hidden gutters, are built-in gutters with a limited gutter opening.
Box gutters are an independent system of rain gutters that can be used entirely on their own.
It is recommended for homeowners looking for a subtler drainage system.
Box gutters with valley-like troughs sit at the roof edges to deflect rainwater.
These gutters are inconspicuous and do not impede the architectural beauty of the building itself.
In contrast to ordinary gutters, the design is not cylindrical; thus, you can say goodbye to any issues regarding clogging and other maintenance headaches.
But these gutters may be challenging to check or access. Issues such as blockages or corrosion could escalate before you realize something is wrong with your gutter.
Although copper gutters are regular, they are much better-looking than conventional ones.
Copper gutters are low maintenance, made from rust proof material, and have remarkable durability. A copper gutter installed the right way could last anywhere between 30 and 100 years!
These gutter alternatives will involve going up the roof and using a ladder and other equipment. Make sure to follow safety measures to avoid accidents.
Your gutters are crucial for your roof’s defense against water damage. But some homeowners find their gutters unsightly.
Homeowners want to be proud of their property. But this is impossible with badly-designed, damaged, or dirty gutters. If you encounter problems with your gutter system that are impossible to DIY, it is best to contact a roofing expert to find out about gutter replacement solutions available.
These professionals will help identify the issue and help you fix it so that your home is safe all year round.