For most soil conditions, how far away from the house is it necessary
to carry the rainwater from a downspout to avoid a damp basement?
My house and a lot of houses have 3 foot cement or plastic troughs
that take the water a little over 3 feet from the house. Is that
I live in suburban Baltimore, where the soil is what I would call
normal dirt, though i guess there is quite a bit of clay too, in that
much of it a couple inches down slices like a fruit cake, without
crumbling, but not like a fruit cake in that much of the dirt that I
can "slice" has no graininess.
I ask because I finally noticed that when it is barely raining, the
water in the downspout doesn't fly out like it normally does, doesn't
rush out fast enough to span the one half inch between the spout and
the cement trough, and it dribbles on the ground very near the wall.
I can't move the cement closer so I've made a bib, a 5 inch metal
trough to go under the downspout and over the cement trough, to more
than span that half inch. But can I likely expect that the basement
will dry out now that all the water will be diverted to 3 feet from
I myself am in no hurry to know, but I need to assure my new, very
pleasant neighbor in the adjoining townhouse.
She tells me that a corner of her basement is damp, and her handyman
or father or someone is coming next week to put something in that will
direct the water from her downspout that's right next to mine, to
direct it farther from her house, and he's going to do the same thing
for me, but she was going to ask me first! :) The thing is, she
already has a 20 foot black plastic 5-inch diameter corrugated tube
that does this, so I think she is being tactful and really means me!
I told her I would fix it myself, and I want to be good to my word.
(Where I grew up, the downspouts went into drains that went out to the
street. That's a lot nicer.)