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What is a Splash Block?

Maintaining your home, inside and out, is your responsibility as a homeowner, and you take it seriously. But you can’t maintain your home properly if you don’t know everything there is to know about it. If the words “splash block” don’t ring any bells with you, you may be missing an important component in taking care of your home and protecting it from the elements.

The Basics

Splash block
This is a good example of a splash block. Photo credits: Aaron Volkening

First, the basics. Go take a look underneath the downspouts outside of your house. You should see a device made of plastic or concrete underneath the downspout. Usually, these come in a rectangular shape, with one end open and one end closed. The purpose of this device is to guide the water that comes out of your downspout away from your house.

Why You Need Them

Splash block
The flow from a downspout is much heavier than individual rain drops.

During a storm, the water comes out of your downspout hard and heavy. If the water isn’t directed away from your house, it can cause real problems. The water could pool, or flow backwards toward your foundation. When water pools around your foundation and soaks in, it can lead to leaks and cracks that can cause hundreds of dollars in water damage restoration and foundation repair costs. And even if the water doesn’t damage your foundation, it can cause soil erosion and destroy your yard.

But with a splash block, the water is diffused in a direction away from your house. You can also position it so that the water is directed away from your garden or new grass. These are very simple devices, but without them, your home is at risk.

What’s The Problem?

Take a closer look at your own splash blocks. Are they positioned properly, with the open end pointed away from your house and the closed end nearest the downspout? It’s surprisingly common to find that homeowners have them turned the wrong way. Builders often install the blocks backwards because of the new grass seed on the property – a deluge of rain water too early after planting the seed could wipe out the grass. However, many homeowners don’t realize that they need to turn the blocks around until it’s too late and the damage has already been done.

You may also find that you don’t have splash blocks, perhaps because the previous owner removed them without replacing them. Or, you may find that your splash blocks are damaged – after all, if you didn’t know what they were or why they were important, you may not have previously checked to see if they were doing the job.

Luckily, this is an easy fix – it’s simple to turn your splash blocks around or replace them if they’re missing or damaged. You can even find splash guards that are decorative as well as functional, and use them to dress up your home’s exterior a bit. Or, if you’re having your gutter system replaced or upgraded, you can have your gutter installation professional install new splash blocks at the same time. For expert help with rainwater management on your property, contact us to schedule an appointment

Written by Del Thebaud

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