A downspout is the part of your gutter that comes down the side of your home and pushes rain water away from the foundation. It connects the channels of you gutter that run parallel to your roof line and allows the collected water to drain in a safe manner.
If you are noticing overflow or clogging, it’s important to make sure your downspout is free. Below, we’ll cover how to clear out a clogged downspout. You may notice water is flowing very slowing down the downspout and this could be an issue as your gutters could overflow during the next storm.
1. Ensure that Your Gutter System Is Free of Clogs
Before proceeding to the other steps, it’s important to ensure that your system is free of clogs. This may require a plumbing snake or pressure washer. Make sure to run them down the length of your downspout.
2. Check the Size of Your Downspout
A poor gutter installation may result in a small downspout origin. This is the part of your downspout that allows water to enter the downspout along the channel. By measuring this, you can see whether or not this is where your problem lies. If your downspout origin is less than 2 inches wide, this may be the source of current or future problems. A small downspout origin can easily be clogged and worsen the condition of your gutters.
3. Unmount Your Gutter’s Downspout
If you’ve gone through the other two steps and your water flow is still low, unscrew a section of your gutter system to look inside and look for debris along the channel. If you have any underground channels with your gutter system, you can unscrew a piece near the bottom of your home to check those pipes. Clogged or leaking underground channels may result in damage to the rest of your gutter system as well as your foundation.
4. Clean Your Gutter’s Downspout
For any type of gutter system, it’s important to keep the channels free of clogs and debris for proper functionality. For above-ground systems, you can force debris out with a small spade, garden gloves, or for hard to reach places, a pressure washer. You can substitute a high-pressure garden hose for a pressure washer, point the hose up the gutter instead of pointing it down so the water sprays upwards, causing any debris lodged inside to come loose.
5. Remount All Pieces and Test for Leaks
It’s important to remount all of the pieces just as you originally had them with all of the original screws (or new screws if you notice any that are rusting.) After this, you can test for leaks or low pressure by running a stream of water through both the channels and the downspout of your gutter system. It’s important to run the water through more than just the downspout. If you are still having trouble with your gutters, it may be a sign of a more advanced issue that requires the work of a professional gutter repair company.