What is a Downspout Cover?
Inside your gutter or eavestrough, there is an area where water is let out commonly known as an outlet. The water flows to the lowest point where a hole is cut for the water to go down into the downspout. There are many different types of outlets and some are cut to different sizes. At the outlet hole where the water flows into the downspout, you can install what is known as downspout covers.
Sometimes it is referred to as a downspout screen or an outlet screen. Downspout covers are really quick to install, and some styles can be pushed into the outlet like an insert. The downspout cover ultimately prevents leaves or large debris from clogging your downspouts or underground drain.
Why Do You Need a Downspout Cover?
Downspouts and underground drains can get clogged with debris. Your downspouts can be anywhere from 10 to 30 feet depending on how many stories your house is. Something can get hung up anywhere in that downspout and completely stop the flow of water.
If the clog is bad enough, your gutters can overflow causing further damage. Overflows can cause leaks in your roof and seriously damage your fascia boards. If there is a leak in your overhang it can cause water to flow back into the house into more sensitive materials such as sheetrock and insulation.
It is very important that you prevent your downspouts from getting clogged. Downspout covers are a great option for making that happen.
How Often Do Downspout Covers Need to Be Cleaned?
It is perfectly fine to clean your downspout covers when you clean your gutters. Ideally, two to three times per year. Twice in the fall and once in the spring is about standard.
If your gutters do not get cleaned that often, it might not be that big of a deal depending on how many leaves you have or what type debris exists in your location. However, the downspout covers can not afford to go without being cleaned at least three times per year. Downspout covers are very easy to clean. All the debris builds up right at the outlet screen.
All you do is pull the screen out, clean around it, stick the screen back in at each downspout, and you are done. Keeping the cover clean is necessary for the function of your gutters. Downspout covers are handy, but their maintenance is very strict. If you do not maintain them, your system will back up and not function.
Do Downspout Covers Fail?
Downspout covers work vey well and last a long time. If they are not maintained correctly, they will fail.
A lot of people remove them because they are high maintenance. If one leaf sticks to the side of the downspout cover it can stop the water from flowing. The product is made of aluminum. It will not deteriorate and is quite durable.
Are Gutter Guards Better Than Downspout Covers?
Gutter guards will significantly reduce the maintenance of your gutter system. Gutter guards are clearly the better product, but budget plays a factor in the decision. You can get all your downspout covers for around $30. A gutter guard system can cost upwards of three to four thousand dollars depending on the size of your home.
If gutter guards do not fit into your budget, downspout covers are highly recommended. If you are installing an underground drain and you do not have gutter guards, get the downspout covers and protect your underground drain system.
Underground drains are very expensive and difficult to unclog. You want to keep debris out of your underground drain as much as possible.
Downspout covers are important not only for water flow but for protecting your underground drain system. You do not want to go even one rain without having the downspout covers or the gutter guard system Downspout covers are a very affordable, high maintenance product for keeping your gutter system functioning properly.