Gutters mounted on your fascia board at the edge of your roof serve a great purpose. They keep the water from falling where you do not want it, such as on your walkway to the front door. But they are misused more often then not, usually prompted by gutter salesmen.
The purpose of a gutter system is to catch the water flowing down your shingles and channel it to a downspout that takes it down to the base of the house at ground level. You really do not need this system on the entire perimeter of your roof.
In most cases you want the water to fall off your roof evenly so that the dirt at all edges of your slab stay equally moist. This minimizes the chance of your slab cracking due to soaked dirt at one area and dry, shrunken dirt at another.
Where to Send Water
So now you have picked the areas where a gutter really would benefit you and not endanger your concrete slab. What other considerations are there? Well, for one, you’ve got this rain water, what to do with it? If you’ve got flower beds or a garden close by, this is a perfect place to send the rain water.
The hardware store or garden supply store stocks flexible plastic tubing that is made to slide over the bottom of the downspout. Now you can channel the water out away from the base of the house. Most likely your garden or flower bed is close by so it will not have to go too far.
At the far end of the tubing you can cut a piece of Plexiglas that will just fit into the end of the tube. Now drill four holes into the Plexiglas into which you can insert the end of a soaker hose. Insert the soaker hoses and seal it all with caulk. Now you can bury the soaker hoses in your flowerbed and take the rainwater away from your house and your plants or shrubs reap the benefit!
If you are installing a downspout on your gutter, keep these things in mind. First, attach it to the base of the gutter securely and put some form of mesh strainer at its entrance. You may use self tapping screws or aluminum pop rivets to secure it to the gutter or to join sections of gutter downspout. Any place you have one of these connections, a good seal needs to be made. Any high quality silicone caulk will do a good job and your local hardware store will have other products just for this purpose.
If you decide not to implement the flowerbed watering system we discussed earlier, you will still need some way to get the water away from the base of your house at the slab line. As we said, too much water at any one spot is detrimental to the health of your slab.
Your hardware store or nursery is sure to stock these water “diverters” made out of concrete. They essentially just sit on the ground and take the water from the downspout and funnel it away from your house.
So as you can see, the unrecognized gutter downspout plays an essential role in the health of your slab and can be a major asset in keeping your garden or flowerbed irrigated.
See Also: How to Install a French Drain