After it rains cats and dogs in your neighborhood, you may hear a distinct vibrating noise. So, you investigate a little further and find it’s coming from your downspout. But why is your downspout vibrating?
There are a few different reasons your downspout may be vibrating. The most common cause is installation errors. These can include loose brackets, connection issues, or spout angle issues. However, other environmental factors can come into play.
Let’s examine why your downspout is vibrating and what you can do about it.
Most of the time, if your downspout vibrates, it’s because of installation issues. Unfortunately, many people don’t know the proper gutter installation process.
To install a downspout, you must secure it to the side of your house.
The primary support that your gutter receives comes from brackets. Therefore, you need to install brackets throughout the gutter track to ensure it stays in place.
The more brackets you add, the more secure the gutter will be. However, this also means there are more moving parts, which could lead to more issues.
The gutter can move if one or more of your brackets aren’t secure. The movement can be due to the water moving through the pipe. This can cause the entire gutter track to vibrate.
It can also lead to the downspout scraping against other brackets, causing more noise.
There are a few ways you can go about resolving bracket issues. The simplest solution is to tighten all the brackets on your downspout.
You’ll need to follow the downspout track and tighten each bracket individually. This process is simple but incredibly tedious. It could take a few hours, depending on how many brackets you have installed.
However, this method may not always work due to wear and tear. Sometimes, bracket fasteners will become loose after an extended period. When this happens, you need to replace the whole thing.
Tightening the fasteners may work for a while. Still, it’s not a long-term solution. For a permanent fix, you need to find a replacement.
If you’ve examined all downspout brackets and found no issues, the problem may be the downspout track.
The downspout has to maintain its shape to function well. However, a couple of factors can cause the form to change.
These factors include:
- Constant weather changes
- Friction with a tight bracket
Since most downspouts are in an exposed area, it’s easy to bump them. You can bang the track without even noticing.
This change in shape can cause the downspout to move inside the brackets. The small movement can lead to the downspout vibrating.
Unfortunately, with this issue, the solution is a little more complex. The first step is locating the problematic area.
If the change in shape is minimal, you can try bending it back into shape. You can use your hands or simple tools like a hammer.
However, sometimes the issue is a little more severe. In this case, you can either enlist the help of a professional or replace the section of the downspout.
You may also want to move your downspout to a different area to avoid this problem recurring.
Another common issue with downspouts is unstable connections. Downspouts are not a one-size-fits-all installation.
Each downspout has to fit the shape of its house perfectly. This includes going around corners and other sharp edges. To do this, we use connection tubes.
These connections make it possible for water to change directions and travel outside.
If the connections don’t fit together correctly, the downspout can start to vibrate and make noise.
Fixing this issue is a little tricky. First, you have to locate the loose connection. It can be impossible to spot if the downspout is empty.
You’ll most likely need to run water through the gutter to identify the faulty connection. However, be careful not to use too much water pressure to avoid damaging the gutter.
If you’re lucky, once you find the loose connection, you can push it and fit it back into place. However, that’s not always the case.
Sometimes you’ll need to change out the connection tube to make sure it fits well.
When replacing a part of the gutter, make sure you match the gutter to the downspout. This will ensure a perfect fit.
Avoid forcing gutter sections to fit together. If you have to work too hard to join two sections, they will likely not go together.
Gutters use gravity to deliver water from your roof down to the downspout. So, since there’s no motor to help the water move, we rely on angles.
Angling your gutter in a specific way allows the water to move through it with little resistance. These slopes will ensure that all the water drains out to avoid damage to your roof.
Without slopes, water inside the gutter can slosh and vibrate the downspout.
Usually, you want your gutter to slope down about a quarter-inch every 10 feet or so. Still, this may not work for every house.
Generally, you’ll want to ensure that no part of the gutter lies perfectly horizontal. This may be a little difficult to tell with just your eyes.
For this, you may need to break out your leveling tool. With a leveling tool, you can check that the gutter track is sitting at the correct angle.
You may need to change some of the gutter tracks to stop your downspout from vibrating.
Friction isn’t the only thing that can move gutters off their tracks. There are countless other environmental factors that come into play.
The most obvious environmental factor that can affect your downspout is rain. Getting a constant flow of heavy rain means your downspout will vibrate due to the moving water.
Wind also plays a major role. It can move your gutter track inside the brackets and cause them to shift.
Finally, wind can also blow all types of debris into your gutters. This can include dead leaves, twigs, and even dirt.
The debris can clog up your gutters and disrupt the water flow, which can lead to a vibrating downspout.
Unlike all the other issues, this one is out of your control. Unless you’re planning a trip, you can’t choose the weather around you.
So, the only thing you can do is fortify your gutter track. To do this, you can add more brackets to the track or find more stable connection points. You can also use gutter guards to avoid debris build-up.
However, even then, you can’t escape all the effects of the weather.
The trick is to maintain your gutters regularly. Cleaning them out every few days during the rainy season will ensure that the water is running as it should.
This will go a long way toward stopping your downspout from vibrating.
Why is your downspout vibrating? The most common culprit is an installation problem. This includes an issue with the brackets, connections, or the angles of installation.
Hearing the sound of your downspout vibrating can get incredibly annoying. So, a regular gutter cleaning schedule can help you avoid that headache. It’ll also remove the debris that gets inside on windy days.
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.