Downspout boots are utilized to provide protection of the lower portion of the downspout boot from vandalism and damage, and also as an aesthetic appeal booster. Downspout boots are commonly attached to the building with the proper fasteners, receive the downspouts at the top, and either ‘daylight’ water onto the ground surface/splash block, or down into a standpipe which leads to the perimeter roof drain pipe.
Downspouts are made of many different types of materials:
Plastic (PVC or HDPE)
Also stainless steel downspouts are available. If a heavy duty and durable boot is desired, cast iron and cast aluminum will be required. Cast iron boots can still be had, but to many in the industry have become somewhat antiquated, excessively heavy, and cumbersome to install. Downspout boots can be hand fabricated and welded, or for a more refined look can be computer designed and robotically cut and welded.
Note a downspout boot must be able to receive the type and size of downspout entering it (typically rectangular) and also transition to a standpipe below (if one exists; often pvc or hdpe) If the downspout isn’t fabricated specifically for the material type on either end, a transition piece or ‘fitting’ will be required. The most common sizes of downspouts entering the downspout boot is 3″ x 4″ or 4″ x 5″ but other sizes, including circular, are also utilized. Lengths can vary anywhere from 1′ to 6′. lengths beyond +/- 6′ may require several pieces, fabricated to fit together. If a ‘cleanout’ access point is desired, many manufacturers provide models with this mechanically opening/closing hole feature.
At the bottom of the downspout, if a transition fitting ins’t utilized, a flexible coupling (or ‘Fernco’ the popular manufacturer) is utilized which is tightened at both ends utilizing a stainless steel band/clamp system with a hex bolt for tightening. Downspout boot outlets typically come offset slightly, angular near 45 degrees, or 90 degrees. If a downspout boot will be tied to a standpipe below ground, having this offset will provide the clearance of the building foundation needed for working and excavating for this work. Also note if tying downspout boots to standpipe drainage below, it is often simpler and more efficient to have the standpipe installed prior to installing the downspout boot for easier attachment. For steel or cast iron downspout boots, they can come uncoated, prime coated (typically gray shop primer), or powder coated (special colors sometimes available).