Photo by Marcus Jeffrey, acquired via Flickr.com

Down Spouts, Get Out!

Posted August 20th, 2015 under renovations and repairs.

Down spouts are the most important part of the system that carries rain water or snow melt from your roof to a safe place where it will not penetrate the foundation of your home and flood your basement.

In the past, builders would run the down spouts straight into the ground, connecting them to the drainage pipe that led to the municipal storm sewer. This gave a neat and tidy appearance, but eventually proved to be a bad way of doing things.

In a heavy rain storm, hundreds of gallons of water fall on your roof and are carried away by your eaves trough and down spout system. This caused two problems.

First of all, this is more water than the 4-inch diameter drainage pipe can handle. The water would overflow the home’s drainage system and the result would be basement flooding.

Secondly, with numerous homes combined, this is more water than many municipal storm sewers could handle.

Eventually, municipalities recognized that draining the roof into the storm sewer was not a good system. As a result, many municipalities have now made it mandatory to disconnect the down spouts from the standpipe (the vertical pipe leading to the sewer system).

The standpipe must then be capped, and the down spout must be re-directed on to property, either feeding onto the lawn or gardens, or into a rain barrel to save the water for future use.

Some municipalities even give rebates as an incentive to disconnect down spouts before the required date. As of 2015, this includes the Region of Peel—if you disconnect your down spouts from the municipal system, you can apply for a rebate of $25 for one or two down spouts, and $100 for three or more, with a maximum of $100 per household.

The rebate program is planned to run until June 2016. To apply for the rebate, you must fill out a form which you can obtain from the city or download over the internet.

For something you’ll have to do eventually anyway, why not nab yourself a little cash?

Want to know more about eaves, down spots, and drainage? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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