Clearing your Clogged Downspouts

by on 09/28/2010 - 07:06 pm |

Tags: Gutter Cleaning

Clearing your Clogged Downspouts

They’re dirty, they’re frustrating, and they’re dangerous — clogged downspouts can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your gutter system and your home’s foundation. The easiest way to unclog your downspout requires two people to safely clear the blockage, so consider asking a neighbor for a hand.


To reach your gutters, make sure your ladder is planted firmly on a dry, level surface. Carry a garden hose up to the top of the gutters, and insert the hose into the top of the downspout. Then, have your neighbor open the valve to full. The water pressure should be enough to blast the jam out of the bottom of the downspout. Hopefully knocking out the clog is as simple as that.


If the clog is stubborn, however, it will require an extra amount of force to be removed. If you have a plumbing snake handy, this will be your best bet – provided it can reach the point-of-clog. Try going from the top of the downspout, as well as the bottom – most likely the clog is in one of the elbows along the downspout channel. If you can reach the clog, chances are you can clear it with a plumbing snake. If you can’t reach it, then you’re going to have to disassemble the entire downspout channel to clean the elbows out. If you haven’t been wearing gloves up until now, this would be the time to put them on. Gutter edges, especially aluminum edges, are incredibly sharp. Using a high-pressure garden hose nozzle or a pressure washer will yield the best results.


Now would be a time to think about installing a downspout guard. Blockages are a dangerous problem, and this is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent them. Frost King has downspout guards for under two dollars that install easily. Also, if you enlist the help of a friend, remember to return the favor the next time they’re in need of a hand.


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