Downspout drainage pipes can be used to keep the outflow of drainage water from wearing away the soil at the base of a home and allowing the excess water to puddle. A consequent function of these drainage pipes is to prevent further damage to the foundation of the home, or to prevent seepage and flooding in the basement if water continues to pool under these conditions.
Downspout drainage pipes can be installed in various ways to help the owner avoid potentially costly problems. The simplest way to avoid the erosion of the soil and subsequent pooling from drainage currents is to install splash boards at the base of the downspout. Made of concrete, vinyl or hard plastic, these splash boards prevent the force of the outflow from eroding the soil, but there can still be problems because the water is not diverted very far away from the foundation.
Pipe extensions attached to the end of the downspout divert the water further away from the foundation toward a downhill slope or other area for more efficient drainage, or if permitted by community regulations, to a storm gutter. Such systems can lead to flooding and erosion in other areas of the property, so some homeowners choose systems that conserve the runoff in large rain barrels attached to the end of the extension pipe. These barrels can be emptied through a bottom drain when there is no risk of flooding.