Having a downspout attached to your gutters is pretty important. The downspout is designed to direct water safely away from your home.
Under normal circumstances, it prevents water from pooling. It should be directed toward a storm drain or some other type of drain.
Sometimes you might have issues getting the downspout to work properly. For example, your downspout might be getting clogged frequently.
Why are you having so many problems with your downspout getting clogged? Is there a reliable way to fix this?
Continue reading to learn about this problem. You should be able to have a better experience once you’ve learned everything below.
What Causes Downspout Clogging Issues?
Downspout clogging issues are caused by debris getting into the downspout. Over time, debris is going to build up in the gutters and the downspout.
There could be many different types of debris that you’ll have to worry about. Typically, you’ll see leaves, twigs, and other types of natural materials getting stuck in the gutters.
As it rains, those materials are going to shift around in the gutters. Some of the debris will wind up being directed toward the downspout.
Water goes into the downspout as normal and it brings leaves and other debris along for the ride. When there are only a few leaves and some other types of debris in the downspout, it might not be that big of a deal.
The partial blockage might not even be noticed for a while. It’s possible that you might not see problems pop up until the downspout becomes substantially blocked.
If the downspout is so blocked that water can barely pass through the debris, it’s going to be an issue. Your gutters won’t be able to direct rain away from the house as intended.
The downspout will wind up being filled with water and debris. The gutters will also get full if you continue to avoid cleaning them out.
When things get really bad, you might see the gutters start to overflow. During rainstorms, you might see water flowing over the edges of the gutters due to the downspout being blocked.
How to Unclog a Downspout
To start, you’re going to want to clean the gutters thoroughly. Take the time to pick all of the debris out of the gutters.
Generally, you’re going to need to climb a ladder to clean out the gutters. Some people hate doing this, but it’s not that hard so long as you do things carefully.
It’s good to have someone stand at the bottom of the ladder to steady it for you. Always have two people for this job just to be safe.
Wear gloves and then pick out the leaves, twigs, and other things that might be stuck in the gutter. You might want to have a tarp on the ground that you can throw the debris down toward.
Some people just have a bag that they put all of the gunk into, though. Your helper could grab things from your hand and put the debris into the bag.
There are tools that allow you to try to grab debris without climbing a ladder as well. These claw tools can be useful, but it’s often easier to climb the ladder and just grab the debris.
After unclogging the gutters, you’ll need to remove debris from the downspout. You need to grab leaves and other things that might be stuck in the downspout.
Reach in from the top and pull out as much debris as you can from this position. It’s likely that you’ll be able to remove a lot of debris this way.
If you can’t reach anything, you can try to push some of the debris down using a long utensil. For example, you could use a broomstick to push the leaves down so you might be able to reach them from the bottom opening.
Try to remove any debris that you can reach from the bottom opening next. After you’ve removed everything that you can, it’ll be time to test the downspout.
Climb the ladder again and use a hose to spray water down the downspout. If all goes well, the water should easily flow downward.
If the water isn’t coming out properly, there’s still debris stuck in there somewhere. Rinsing with the hose should help to dislodge the debris and push it toward the bottom.
Eventually, you should be able to completely clear the downspout. It’ll be working normally again.
Prevent Future Clogs
Having clogged downspouts will be a major annoyance for many homeowners. You want to keep your downspout from getting clogged in the future if at all possible.
There are many things you can do to make things better. The first thing you should do is start cleaning the gutters more regularly.
Clean the gutters twice per year to prevent clogging issues. Remove all debris and you won’t give the gutters a chance to get clogged.
The downspout won’t get clogged either. You can dislodge debris before it completely blocks the gutters and the downspout.
There are also other methods that can help. You should consider doing things that can make your life easier.
Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards prevent large chunks of debris from entering the gutters. They are essentially grates that will catch leaves and other things that might fall on the roof.
Instead of clogging up the gutters, it’ll just sit on top of the gutter guard. It’ll be ready for you to remove the debris whenever you get the chance, and the water flow won’t be interrupted.
Rainwater won’t get backed up due to clogs when you go this route. Buying gutter guards won’t be overly expensive either.
For many, installing guards will be the most practical choice. It makes it a whole lot easier to get good results.
Trim Your Trees
Trimming your trees will also help to limit the amount of debris that you’ll have to deal with. You won’t need to worry about leaves, twigs, acorns, and other things quite so much.
Do your best to keep your tree limbs trimmed. You don’t necessarily have to do this yourself, but you could hire a company to do things.
A local tree trimming service can come out once per year to trim your trees. It’s very likely that you won’t need help with tree trimming too often, but it is beneficial to keep tree limbs from growing too long.
Conversely, you could choose to remove trees that are too close to your home. If you’re worried about issues with the tree making things messy near the house, you’ll find many tree removal companies in your area that are willing to help.
It’s good to stay on top of these things. You won’t have nearly as many leaves to worry about if you don’t have tree limbs too close to your roof.
Try Buying a Larger Downspout
One reason why a downspout might get clogged regularly has to do with the size of the downspout. A thinner downspout isn’t going to deal with debris very well.
If the entry hole is small, it’ll be easy for debris to plug the hole. Leaves will quickly pile up, and they’ll block the downspout.
A downspout can’t function as intended when it’s being blocked by leaves. A good way to prevent such issues is to simply buy a larger downspout.
Buying a thick downspout will make it tougher for debris to get stuck. The debris will be more likely to wash down the downspout along with the rainwater.
So it could be beneficial to shop for a slightly larger downspout than the one you’re currently using. You can get what you need at a home improvement store.
Now you know what to do when your gutters get clogged. Clogged gutters will generally lead to the downspout becoming clogged as well.
You don’t want problems with pooling water to negatively impact your home. So it’s wise to fix blockage issues as soon as you notice them.
Cleaning the gutters and downspouts will be the way to handle this issue. You need to manually remove the leaves and other types of gunk that are stuck in the gutters.
The downspout will have the same types of things stuck inside. You’ll have to pull the leaves out of the downspout so that water can flow through it again.
Sometimes it might be necessary to use a hose to dislodge debris that is stuck somewhere in the middle of the downspout. Eventually, you’ll be able to get everything back to normal.
Take steps to prevent issues with clogs in the future. Trim your trees or remove trees that are too close to the house.
You can also install gutter guards that will keep the gutters from becoming clogged. This will ensure that leaves and other large pieces of debris won’t be able to block the water from flowing.
Knowing all of this should allow you to take the right action. You can turn things around and keep your gutters working properly.
Remember that buying a larger downspout can also help. If your downspout gets clogged too often, it might be beneficial to go with a thicker downspout that won’t get clogged as easily.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.