Downspouts are an important part of your home gutter system. If they fail, water can leak out against your home's foundation, resulting in flooding near the basement or damage to foundation walls. Clogs at the downspout can also result in overflowing gutters, which not only eliminates the usefulness of the gutters but can also damage the roofing fascia behind them. The following guide can help you locate and fix downspout issues.

Check your gutter outlet

The gutter outlet is the piece that connects the gutter to the downspout. Typically, downspouts have a square opening. An outlet that is also square and fits snugly into the downspout allows for the best drainage from the gutters. Unfortunately, some gutters have a round hole cut into them, so an adapter with a round opening on one end and a square opening on the other is used to hook the square downspout to the round gutter. This slows water drainage and makes it more likely for the gutters to overflow.

Seal the connection

The connection between the gutter outlet and the gutter and downspout can develop a leak. You will need to seal this seam with a waterproof silicone sealant to prevent this issue. Check the area when it rains – if water is seeping out, the seam needs to be resealed. Wait until it dries out to apply the silicone, though, since the silicone must be applied to a dry, clean surface.

Lengthen the drainage pipe

Your downspouts aren't doing too much good if they are dumping out just a few inches from your foundation. You can remedy this issue by adding a downspout extender to the outlet. This ensures the water is dumped well away from your foundation. You can even get hinged extenders, which will allow you to move the downspout out of the lawn when you mow or for any other reason.

Add gutter screens

If your downspouts get blocked often by debris, such as leaves, install screens or guards over the top of the gutter. These catch debris before it is washed into the downspout, although you will still need to occasionally brush the collected debris off of the top of the screens. These are especially important if your downspout empties into an underground drain, since you may not be able to see water backing up from a clog right away.

Contact a gutter professional from a company like Hogan  Roofing if you have any concerns about your downspout.