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  • Writer's pictureAdvance Lawn Care

How to unclog a gutter downspout and underground drain.

When flushing the home's gutters downspouts are often overlooked. When tackling gutter cleaning projects people often focus on the gutter channels along the side of the house. Downspout cleaning is essential to ensure a properly functioning gutter system.

How can you tell if your downspouts are clogged and where these clogs commonly form.

There are a couple of things to look for that will tell you if your downspouts are clogged. One good place to look is around downspout elbows.

Downspout elbows are a common place for clogs. When a clog develops water will spray or leak out around this area. Over time this water can create stains on siding and brick indicating possible clogs around that downspout.

Homeowners should check if water is overflowing the gutters near the downspouts. The downspouts should be the lowest point in the gutter system.

Water will be seen overflowing here if there is an issue. This is what commonly happens when the downspout becomes clogged at the top where it attaches to the gutter. This is also a very common place for downspouts to clog.

How to unclog a gutter downspout from the ground.

The safest way to do any gutter cleaning is always from ground level. When trying to unclog a gutter downspout from the ground leaf blowers often do a good job.

It helps to have a helper when doing this process. One person wraps a towel where the blower tube meets the downspout, and the other person uses a leaf blower. This approach will clear most clogged downspouts.

Another way to effectively clean clogged downspouts is to use a drain snake. If a long enough the plumbing snake can be fed from the bottom and worked up towards to top of the downspout.

Lastly using a garden hose with a jet-type nozzle can be useful for unclogging a downspouts. Like the drain snake it also can be fed up from the bottom of the down spout. Most often it will hit the clog and stop allowing the water to slowly break apart the blockage.

Keep in mind if the blockage was caused by a stick it may reclog unless the stick is removed. If the downspout frequently reclogs shortly after cleaning it is likely there is a stick or object inside the downspout. The stick will catch debris as it flows down the downspout eventually clogging the downspout.

If a stick or larger object is in the gutter causing frequent clogging a 2 or 3-inch brush can be fed up the downspout to push the object up and out.

These methods are usually successful in clearing clogged downspouts. However, if they fail then the downspout will most likely need to be disassembled and cleaned.

How to clean underground downspout drains.

Some downspouts attach to underground drains which move the water further from home. They often open up in a location in a field or near a street. Somewhere excess water can be safely dumped. If the pipe can be safely accessed they can often be cleaned from the point where the water exits.

Some of the same methods used to clean a downspout can also be used to clear the underground drain as well. If the drain empties onto the street, it might not be safe to work at this end of the drain line. In this instance, the downspout much be disconnected from the drain in order to access the drain. While this is more work and an extra step it ensures the system is maintained and ready for storm water.

Keep in mind if the downspout is clogged most likely the whole gutter system needs to be cleaned. To finish the job use a garden hose attached to a gutter rinsing tool. This will flush the gutters and ensure everything is draining properly.

Sometimes homeowners can save time and money by hiring a gutter cleaning service. This is especially true if they don't have the necessary tools to do clean clogged gutters. This way, they don't have to buy tools or drive to hardware stores. Our gutter cleaners are out every day ready to help homeowners like you have a little more time to enjoy with the family.


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