It is surprising how noisy dripping water can be. This is especially true of water drops hitting the sides of your gutter system’s downspouts. There are steps that you can take to help eliminate these noises, especially on downspouts near your bedroom.
1. Using Rope To Eliminate Gutter Noises
One popular trick that homeowners use to help eliminate dripping noises is to install a run of rope in the downspout. The rope acts as a wick to absorb small amounts of water as well as a path for larger amounts of water to run without hitting the metal siding of downspouts. Even with larger amounts of water, the rope can provide a “highway” that will greatly reduce noise, especially with elbows that are near the top of your gutter system.
What will you need?
This simple process requires only caulking and rope to create this gutter alteration. The caulking should be a type that is used to seal gutter systems. These products are designed to stick to the metal surfaces and will resist breakdown or molding caused by contact with water.
A nylon rope will last longer than those made from other materials as the nylon will not retain water like cotton or similar products. It should be 3/8-inch in diameter, as this size can handle continuous flow without creating another point for water to drip from.
Putting the Rope to Use
To begin with, lay a bead of caulking around the lip of the downspout opening, leaving a small gap of about 1/4-inch. This will help to direct water to the gap where the rope will be placed.
Next, use the caulking to secure one end of the rope at the gap. Drop the rope through the downspout run, leaving a small tag end hanging out of the bottom. You can then use the caulking to secure the rope to the interior walls of the downspout, especially at bends made at the elbows.
This will allow water that drizzles down the gutter run to reach the downspout opening before being directed to the gap made by the caulking. The nylon rope will wick small amounts of water while providing a point for heavier water drainage to run along. By leaving a tag end along the bottom, you will move the water outside of the metal downspout where it can then drip on the ground.
2. Using Insulation To Eliminate Gutter Noises
The loud dripping noise created by water drops is intensified by vibrations. These vibrations are caused by water drops hitting the metal sides of the vertical gutter runs. Placing insulation around the downspout, especially on bends where water drops hit, will help to reduce the vibrations that make loud dripping noises.
What will you need?
You can choose between materials such as spray foam or foam sheeting. You will also need some gutter sealing caulking to help secure sheets in place if you decide to go with foam sheeting.
Insullating your downspouts
First, you must decide which materials you plan to use for insulation. Next, if you plan to use a foam sheeting for insulation, you must determine if you want to wrap the material on the outside or if you wish to place a piece inside the elbow of a downspout.
If you decide to use foam, you will want to clean the outer surface of the elbow where you plan to spray the insulation. Once dry, follow the manufacturer’s directions in order to apply the sprayed material at the bend.
It will be critical that this material is applied a few inches above the bend as well as a few inches after the bend in order to provide an adequate dampening effect. You need to focus on applying the spray on the underside where the water drops will hit to eliminate the vibrations. You can spray around the entire elbow if you wish, but top and sides of the downspout are not as critical as the bottom of the elbow.
Should you decide to wrap the exterior of your downspouts with foam sheeting materials, you will want to wrap the entire elbow. The sheeting should also run up from the elbow for a few inches and for a few inches beyond the elbow. This will help the insulation make enough contact to actually dampen the surface and prevent vibrations from drips.
If you want to place foam sheeting on the interior of the elbow, you will only need to place material on the bottom of the elbow where the water drops make contact with the metal siding. Make sure to use material designed for the purpose as they will be thin enough to avoid most clogs and will require fewer replacements.
With exterior or interior placements, you should use caulking made for sealing gutters to hold the sheeting in place. Thicker foam blocks are also sold for this purpose, but these products will tend to clog as debris from the gutter clogs them.
3. Alter The End Of The Downspout To Eliminate Gutter Noises
You can make alterations to the end of the downspout to help eliminate dripping noises in one of two ways.
Perhaps the easiest alteration to make would be to adjust the angle of the downspout end. You can place a spacer between the downspout and the wall, creating an angle that moves away from the wall. This will create a slope in the interior that prevents drops of water from hitting at the lower elbow, forcing the drops to make contact with the spout further up the run and at an angle.
Another adjustment you can consider is to remove the lower elbow near the ground and replacing it with an end made from PVC. The material does not generate as many vibrations as the metal and will go a long way to silencing drips. Keep in mind if you replace the bottom of the gutter spout, you will need a caulking sealant to hold the PVC in place.
Keep Things Simple
Each option listed above will provide you with sound relief. One option may be easier to try depending upon how high your downspouts reach as well as what access you have. All methods listed are budget-friendly, but the rope fix may be the cheapest of the three.
Keep in mind safety as well. If you are uncomfortable working from a ladder, altering the bottom of the downspout would be suggested. Feel free to give one or more of these a try and eliminate irritating dripping noises around your gutter system!
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