What I'm Seeing Now


This Is What Happens When A Downspout Splash Block Is Not Used

This is what happens when a downspout splash block is not used.

The downspout splash block is intended to divert water from the roof away from the house.

It protects the foundation, the ground around the house, and water is diverted onto graded soil and into the local water drainage.

They are necessary around most homes.

Beside this house, for some reason, all of the splash blocks had been removed from every downspout.

The associated damage was evident.

Large, gouged, eroded areas decorated the bottoms of each downspout ground pipe.

This was one of the two at the front of the house, beside the front porch.

This particular hole was 18" deep and 4' long!

Plus the eroded soil and mulch which ran down the hill.

Fortunately each front downspout ground pipe drained onto a fairly steep slope and away from the foundation.  The rear downspouts both drained beyond the basement slab, so water did not seem to be putting pressure onto the foundation walls, or infesting the house.

My recommendation:  it appeared that the splash blocks at this house had not been under the downspouts for some time.  Keeping them under each downspout ground pipe would have been such a simple solution to an ugly problem!  And now it will take some work to make the place look good again.  Splash blocks are highly recommended!  Use them!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • September 29 2016 03:30AM


Great Post and very good recommendations.

Posted by Peter Mohylsky. The Santa Rosa Beach Expert, THE BEACH IS OPEN (PrimeSouth Properties) almost 4 years ago

Thank you very much, Jay, for sharing your experience and your photographs.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 4 years ago

I see some of the back blocks on the homes I have visited are turned the other way.  Why would anyone do that?  Is that the proper way to place them?

Posted by Jaretta Buckholtz, Passionate-Professional-Patient (Pearson Smith Realty, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

One of these days it will be digging a trench to move it away from the house; or maybe rain barrel's!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 4 years ago

No doubt... I see them all the time with even no turn outs on the ends! Just having gutters is not enough, gotta channel the water AWAY from the foundation! Sheeesh!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

Thank you, Peter, as always.

And thank you, Roy.

You want the water to flow away, Jaretta.  So they should not be turned around to block that.  Also, the puddle created in the turned around end can stay long enough to spawn mosquitos!

I see people using rain barrels now and then, Raymond.  If they use that to water vegetables they should know the water contains PCBs from the roof!

Yepper, Fred.  See comment to Jaretta!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jay - We are especially sensitive to this issue in our area because of the expansive nature of our soils and the potential for foundation damage.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 4 years ago

Dick - same here.  This is the foundation wall of another house today where the downspout drained right against the corner of the house.

Virginia clay is really expansive too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Grand Canyon, the early days!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) almost 4 years ago

Given enough time, Stephen, I bet Virginia would disappear.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

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