In a previous post, we told you about the City of Toronto’s mandatory downspout disconnection program. After being instated in the early 2000s, the removal program has been rolled out in three phases in an effort to reduce the potential for untreated sewage to get into Lake Ontario during heavy rains and runoff.
The final phase of downspout disconnections is due to be completed on November 20, 2016.
So if your downspouts haven’t been disconnected, they should be soon.
What Happens After Disconnection
Whether you do the downspout disconnection on your own, or get a roofing company to do so, you need to decide what to do with the water that used to go through the sewer system.
Downspouts are actually part of your roofing system. They lead from your eavestroughs, which are attached to the outside edges of your roof to collect the water that drains off your roof, and carry it to the sewer system or simply to the ground.
But what happens to the water after that can make a big difference as to whether you suffer basement leaks. You need to make sure the water is drained away from the house enough that it won’t get into your basement. And you have three basic ways to do that.
1. Downspout Extensions
Designed to attach to the bottom of your downspout and carry water away from your foundation, downspout extensions are made of plastic and can be either rigid or flexible.
2. Splash Blocks
Place under your downspout where it releases water into your yard, splash blocks channel water away from your home. You can choose between plastic and concrete splash blocks.
3. Rain Barrels
Running downspouts into rain barrels is a popular choice for those who want to use the collected rain water to keep gardens green instead of using tap water.
Whatever method you use to get rain water and the runoff from snow and ice melt away from your home, be sure to check it regularly to make sure it is not blocked and that it continues to properly drain the water. A clogged downspout can back-up water into your eavestroughs where it could then get into your roof.