You know what Julie Chen says about the weather in Ohio? “Expect the unexpected!” Well, she doesn’t really say that about Ohio weather, but it applies! Have you been watching the latest Big Brother season? The first few weeks are always SUPER dramatic! Random thoughts in my head aside, the weather in Ohio has been brutal: lots of rain, lots of dry spells, lots of heat and lots of every other climate you can imagine. Right now the devil is currently laying his sweaty ass all over Ohio. Recently, we noticed over a heavy rain period that our basement started to have some minor water intrusion due to blockage in our drain tile. While I had no idea how water could possibly get into the basement, let alone how we could prevent it, Eric had a simple solution: restructure our downspout in the front of the house. After learning what a downspout was, we decided this would be another simple introductory project for me before getting into the heavy duty stuff.
Of course, Eric couldn’t make this too simple. The current downspout in the backyard was connected with several pieces, but he had the desire to install one single piece of metal to make it look more seamless. Did it work perfectly fine before? Yes. Did he let his OCD get the best of him again? Yes. Remember the motive behind our last project? Yes, this is another first world problem that needs our attention ASAP! We took the new piece and sawed off what we needed. Eric instructed me to get this complicated looking ladder that had all types of hooks and buttons. This would come in handy later.
There was a black screen at the bottom of the downspout which is used to keep dirt and leaves out of the drain system. Speaking of drain systems, 2 years ago around this time, Eric dug the top of an old cistern that the previous owners filled. They’re notorious for randomly caving in due to deterioration over a period of time. I can see it now: I’m sitting on our future patio with a mimosa in one hand while I read about the Bravo housewives fuckery on TamaraTattles when, all of a sudden, EVERYTHING caves in under me! Eric would never allow my TT reading time to be interrupted, so he turned the old system into a French drain to prevent any untimely drama. I remember this time period specifically, because this was around when we were first dating. There was something intriguing about a man that would dig a 4 foot deep, 10 foot diameter hole by himself. Naturally, I never shoveled a single piece of dirt. Considering that I am now knee deep into projects that require me to exert energy for more than 5 minutes, that was obviously the honeymoon phase.
Moving on, once the black screen was removed, we were able to unscrew the old downspout and prepare for the new one. We mounted the new piece of metal on the side of the house. It was very simple except for Eric’s fear of heights holding us back a bit while he was on top of the ladder. Are you afraid of heights? I like rollercoasters, but I don’t like the long lines to get to them. You’d think after all this time, we would have solved our water-in-basement issue, right? You’re unfortunately wrong. Remember, all of that mess in the backyard was for aesthetics purposes only!
I was happy to move to the front of the house to solve the problem we had originally identified. We connected each piece of the puzzle to extend down a slope. This way, when it rains, the water will fall away from the house instead of towards the house. We measured the distance from the house to the neighbor’s driveway where we would have the water mostly run off into. Hi neighbors! We hope you don’t mind! Trying to fit the different metal elbows into the right spot reminded me of playing with Legos as a child except this was less fun. Once we found the right configuration, I felt like I had just won a puzzle challenge on Survivor! A sense of relief and surprise washed over me considering our previous project took 4+ hours to complete and was wrought with frustration! The downspout project took no more than an hour and a half.
Days later, the newly installed downspout unfortunately began to leak water! The previous downspout overlapped the elbow which created a leak. With the new set up, the adapter overlapped the downspout. This ensured that 100% of the water would be be run through the pipes without leaking out onto the ground and into our basement. Often times you have to revisit projects that you thought were complete in order to fix unforeseen issues.
A few questions for the comment section: have you ever done a house project like this? Have you had issues with your drainage system? If so, how did you fix it? Do you even know what type of drainage system you have in your home? And remember, while Eric is not a licensed expert, he is pretty darn knowledgeable! If you have questions, he’ll be sure to answer them below! Lastly, to see complete photos of our latest project, be sure to check out my Instagram page!