3 Tips for Cleaning Your Downspouts

A clogged down spout can be a headache

3 Tips for Cleaning Your Downspouts

Calhoun Plumbing

October 31, 2019

The importance of clean downspouts

While autumn leaves are pretty, they can cause major problems for your gutters and downspouts. Leaves, twigs, seeds, needles from trees, and other debris can clog your gutters and downspouts. While cleaning the gutters is usually a semi-annual chore, downspouts may also need attention. Clogged downspouts can cause soil erosion and water damage to your foundation, basement, deck or patio, introduce contaminants into the plumbing system, and cause damage to your roof from backflow caused by a clog. So keeping your downspouts clean should be on your seasonal checklist.

How to clean your downspouts

Luckily, cleaning clogged downspouts isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming and messy. Here are three methods for DIY-ers.

  1. Water. This method requires a garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment and a bucket or trash bag for waste. First, remove as much solid matter as possible from the top of the downspout or filter if you use one. The second step is to spray water from the hose into the downspout, using maximum pressure. How quickly the water starts backing up can give you an idea of where the clog is. You can then tap on the downspout to try to dislodge the clog. If you think the clog is farther down inside the pipe, you can try spraying water upwards to see if that is more effective.
  2. Snaking. A good old plumber’s snake can help unclog downspouts. Again, you will need to get up on the ladder and insert the snake line into the downspout and start cranking the auger. This should break up the clog, after which you should be able to flush it away with water from the hose.
  3. Blowing. You can also try using a leaf blower to force air through the downspout from above. This method is most successful if the clog isn’t tightly wedged in the pipe. The obvious drawback to this is having to lug the leaf blower up the ladder, but you may be able to purchase a special attachment to extend the reach of your leaf blower. This would allow you to remain on the ground.

As with any home improvement project, keep safety in mind first. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and in good condition, wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your hands, and have an extra set of hands to help hold the ladder steady.

If you have tried any or all of these methods and still have clogged downspouts — or — you’ve decided that it’s something you don’t want to tackle yourself, contact Calhoun Plumbing.  Our team can help you with removing the debris and clearing the clog. If the clog is far down the downspout drain, we can use cameras to determine where the clog is and how to best clear it.

Calhoun Plumbing has provided services to the Columbus-Dublin area for more than two decades. Consult with one of our licensed plumbers to choose the best solution for unclogging your downspouts. We can also make recommendations to help prevent this problem from happening in the future. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment that’s convenient for you.