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Downspout Cleaning

Leaf Blower at the Bottom of the Downspout

You may be experiencing some overflowing of your gutter when it rains but nothing appears to be clogged or dirty. A lot of times the first part of your gutter system to clog is at the very top of a downspout. The outlet can fill up with leaves or debris and cause blockage at the very top. You can take a leaf blower and insert it into the bottom elbow where the water exits the downspout to clean it out. This will make your downspout cleaning much easier.

This is especially easy if you do not have an underground drain. If you do have an underground drain you can still use this strategy but you will have to disconnect the drain. Be aware that this will cause debris to fly out of the top of the gutter and some of it may land on you. This will allow you to clean the downspout without using a ladder. Downspout cleaning can be tedious and not having to be on a ladder makes the job a lot easier.

Leaf Blower from the Top of the Downspout

Stand on the roof and place the end of the leaf blower in the top of the downspout to blow the debris out the other side. You can also stand on a ladder to do this. Sometimes the clog can be very small and it just needs a small amount of force to break it loose.

Downspout Cleaning

Hose Pipe Jet Nozzle

Good water pressure can help a lot with downspout cleaning. Use a straight in-line jet nozzle, set your spray pattern and place it in the bottom of the downspout just like the leaf blower. Push the hose into the downspout and move it around as the water clears out the debris. It won’t work quite as good if you try doing it from the top because the outlet might not be able to fit the nozzle. Be sure to check the size before trying this from the top because you might get your hose pipe stuck in the downspout.

Cleaning the "S" Section of the Gutter

At the top of a downspout there is an “S” section, also known as a return. This is one of the most common places for a gutter system to get clogged. Standing on a ladder, unscrewing the top “S” section, take it off, and knock the debris out of it. Once it is clean simply reinstall it.

Detaching the “S” section is not too complicated and you should be able to figure it out fairly easily. If you have never checked this area of your downspout before you could have quite a bit of build up in there.

Using a Broom Handle to Tap the Downspout

Take the broom handle off of your broom and begin tapping down the downspout. You can also use the broom handle to detect whether or not there is a clog in the downspout by listening to the sound it makes. As you tap the aluminum downspout, it will sound really hollow and loose and light.

If the downspout is clogged it will sound really solid and dense. This is a very affordable and easy way of finding where the clog is in your downspout. You can also use the broom to clean out debris if it is close to the end of the downspout. This probably the simplest of the 5 downspout cleaning strategies.

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