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Fix Yard Drainage – Downspout Extensions

On June 17 I wrote an article about "How Do I Fix a Drainage Problem in My Yard." and I began listing five tips but only got to three due to the length of the article. Downspout extensions is the 4th tip or problem I would taking when dealing with yard drainage issues.

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Remember, poor yard drainage can cause your home, basement, crawl space, and garage to flood. Over time this can also lead to mold problems, sagging floors, concrete cracks and bowing walls so don't overlook the importance of downspout extensions.

downspout extension image

Length of Downspout Extensions

When installing downspout extensions, the further the better but a good rule of thumb is a minimum 10 feet for slabs and crawl spaces. Basements require a little further at a minimum of 15 feet.

Many say sloping the foundation grade is a great way to keep water from getting in the home. It may assist but extending the downspouts in order for the roof water to drain downhill is a better solution.

What Materials Should I Use

The picture above shows one way of installing a downspout extension and the materials we use everyday. Make sure to use a solid pipe. This can be sewer and drain pipe as seen above or corrugated pipe. NDS also makes some great catch basins and dry wells for those difficult to drain landscapes.

Hiring an NDS Certified Professional like Crawl Space Ninja is a great way to make sure the design and effectiveness of your yard drainage project is done correctly. We have many products at our disposal for properly draining driveways, retaining walls, berms, and even pool side.

Don't Run Downspout Extensions in Footer Drains

One other tip is keep the water from your roof separate from the water in footer drains and french drains. Footer, french, and curtain drains normally gather water from soil using perforated pipe. Dumping water from downspout extensions into these drains can overload them and may even flood your home.

I hope you found this information helpful. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or advice for our readers. If you are looking for a great catch basin or other NDS products click here: https://amzn.to/3hE8rxd (affiliate link)

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About Michael Church

Michael Church has been involved with indoor air quality since 2005 and feels the unhealthy crawl space is one of the major problems causing poor indoor air quality.


  1. Marlis Richardson on February 25, 2023 at 8:49 am

    Hi Michael, I have watched your incredible videos all about crawlspace issues and learned so much about the life of a crawlspace. Something I never gave that area of my home much thought. We’ve had a horribly rainy winter with some storms dumping tons of rain in short spurts. The ground all over is fully saturated. I just had my annual termite inspector tell me I currently have standing water (about 3″) under the moisture barrier in my crawlspace and should consider encapsulation, etc. That’s when my quest to research came to play. While I don’t believe it sits all year around, I’m bothered by the fact that water is finding its way under the house and feel that should be my starting point. There are no musty smells coming into the house. All that said, unfortunately, I see you don’t have a business here in Birmingham, Alabama, but I’m hoping you may have connections to someone here that’s as knowledgeable and you could comfortably recommend. I have some to call, based on reviews, but would love your input of anyone in this area that you may know of. Meanwhile, I’ll keep watching your YouTubes to keep educating myself. 🙂 Thanks for any help. and Thanks for putting out all the information for us out here.

    • Michael Church on March 2, 2023 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Marlis, thank you so much for your kind words. Unfortunately, I don’t have a company I can refer you to so make sure you check references and reviews. Also have whomever you hire place you as additional insured on their liability policy to make sure they didn’t pay the initial premium and cancel the insurance. I hate to plug my book but I wrote about crawl space myths and how to hire a crawl space contractor if you’d like to check it out. Here is a link and I hope that helps. https://amzn.to/3mmI4DP

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