Downpipes are an essential part of your gutter system. They collect rainwater from the gutters and direct it away from the building. Downpipes should carry rainwater away as fast as possible to prevent backflow. Therefore, they can determine the efficiency of your roof's drainage system. As you buy and install them, have the tips below in mind.
Choose a quality material
The material you choose determines the durability of the downpipes. The most popular materials are copper, vinyl and aluminium. Copper is a sturdy and durable metal that can last many years without requiring a replacement. Copper is also resistant to corrosion; therefore, you don't have to worry about rust. The only downside is that the material comes with a high price tag.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), also known as vinyl, is the most affordable material. It does not erode when exposed to corrosive elements; however, it has a shorter lifespan. If you're on a tight budget, choose aluminium downspouts. Aluminium is sturdier and more durable than vinyl, and it is cheaper than copper.
Space downpipes correctly
Proper spacing of your downpipes maximises the drainage capacity of the system. If you space the pipes too far apart, you will end up with fewer ones. When it rains heavily, the pipes may get overwhelmed by the water. The rainwater can easily exceed the drainage capacity of the downpipes and cause the gutters to overflow.
The standard spacing for downspouts on residential roofs is 20 feet. Therefore, you need at least one downpipe for every 20 feet of guttering for proper rainwater drainage. However, if your area experiences heavy rainfall, space your downspouts more closely to prevent your gutters from overflowing.
Watch out for noisy downspouts
One problem you may experience with your gutter system is noise. A loud dripping noise occurs when rainwater hits directly on the corners of the downpipes. This problem is common with metal downpipes. If you have copper or aluminium downspouts, install a vinyl elbow. Vinyl is less noisy; when water hits the elbow, the material muffles the sounds.
If you don't want to replace your metal elbow with a vinyl one, insulate your downpipes. Use spray foam insulation as it adheres to metal and PVC, and it is resistant to moisture damage. Alternatively, use foam inserts to prevent sound vibrations in your pipes. The inserts work just like foam insulation, and you can cut them to fit perfectly in your downspouts.
Consider the above tips when buying and installing new downpipes for your residential roof. Contact a roofing contractor for professional help.