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Gutter splash blocks - are you doing it wrong?

by Karyn Brown

Everyone knows that mosquitoes need water in order to lay their eggs, so every homeowner should be vigilant about eliminating any source of standing water on their property.

I have noticed that in Central Texas, a large number of homes have their gutter splash blocks installed backward, which means that water accumulates in them from rain and sprinklers, creating a sneaky little breeding ground for mosquitoes.

It seems that most people don’t know exactly what the splash blocks are for, and they don’t give them any thought. When I first became aware of splash blocks, I assumed that their purpose was to keep the stream of water from a downspout from splashing dirt all over the place and making a big muddy mess. That is certainly one of their purposes, but they are also supposed to direct water away from your house so that it doesn’t pool around your foundation.

In order to do channel water properly, there needs to be some grading around your house. Take a look at this video from This Old House that explains all about how to keep water away from your foundation. At about 1:12 there is a short discussion of splash blocks.

Take a quick look at the splash blocks around your house and see if they are installed properly. If they aren’t, it will only take you a few minutes to turn them around and eliminate another place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

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