How to Unclog a Downspout From The Ground
Your downspout is an important part in helping your home stay safe. it gathers in all of the water from the gutters and helps to lead it away from the home. This is a good thing for the foundation of the home and it can keep water from rushing into the basement and making a big flood. But when something gets stuck in the downspout, such as leaves, then it is not able to do its job.
There are several methods that you can use to help unclog the downspout when you believe something is stuck. You can start from the stop and use a snake or a pressure washer, start from the bottom and use a plumbing snake, or use an auger to get it out, no matter where the clog is found. The earlier you get started on removing the clog, the easier it will be to remove.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the methods that you can use to unclog the downspout and some of the signs that will tell you it is time to get a clog out of your gutters or out of the downspout.
How to Unclog a Downspout
When your downspout starts to get clogged, it can make a mess. The water is not able to drain down and it can really make an issue when the water will overflow and rain out of the gutters to make a mess. Getting the clog out is one of the best options to use. This will keep your home safe and helps the gutters do their job. Some of the steps that you can take to help unclog the downspout includes:
Start From the Top
One method to use is to start from the top. You will need to get on a ladder and bring the plumbing snake along with you. A pressure washer can be useful here to help out as well. You can use either the pressure washer or the plumbing snake to help flush out the water quickly, dislodging it from wherever it gets stock in the downspout. With these two options, the clog should be able to go through. If you find that the clog is really stubborn, then you may need to take apart the downspout to get rid of the clog.
Before you climb up to the top of the downspout, make sure that you have a good ladder. You will need to focus more on the tools that you plan to use, including the snake and the pressure washer. If the ladder is not sturdy and stable, then you either need to have someone else around while you do the work or you need to consider using a different ladder to get the job done.
Use a Plumbing Snake
If you do not have a ladder or do not want to get up high, then you may want to try a few methods that allow you to stay on the ground. To do this, you can take the downspout out at the place where it comes in contact with the ground. You can then use a plumbing snake to help force the water out with more pressure. This will work pretty well unless the clog is way up high in the downspout.
Make sure that you get a snake that is long enough to reach the clog. It does not need to be the same length as the whole downspout though. If the clog is way at the top of the downspout, you can use the snake from the top. And if it is at the bottom, you can use the snake while you are on the ground to get it removed. A pressure washer along with the snake can help loosen it and then push it all the way through the spout until it falls out.
Use an Auger
You may also find that a handheld auger is going to be a good way to get clogs out of the downspout, even if you are at ground level. You can find these for around $30 so they are an effective way to keep the area clean and to prevent clogs. You do need to use eye protectors and gloves before you get started with the auger.
When you are ready, you can take the auger and insert it from the bottom of the downspout. You can do this by locking in the cable and then turning the drum of the auger going clockwise. Then unlock the cable and feed the cable so that the tip of the auger will pass on through each of the blockages. The tip of the tool will do the work of unclogging all of the blockages.
Once you run into a blockage, you can pull the cable back. You may find that with some of the stubborn blocks, you will need to do this a few times. Once you think you have it all done, or if there is a stubborn clog that you need some pressure against, add in a garden hose and turn on the water to help get everything out and keep it clean.
Hire the Professionals
For those who do not have time to get the work done on their own, or if none of the other options work, then it may be time to hire the professionals to get it done. They will be able to clean out your gutters in no time and will put them back in the proper position for you when they are done. This is often the most efficient method and you may want to consider doing it once or twice a year to keep your gutters working well.
How to Tell That the Gutters are Clogged
Before you try to do any of the steps above, it is important to know ahead of time that the gutters are getting clogged. Often by the time we notice that something is wrong with the gutters, there is a major problem. Regular checks and maintenance of the gutter will make a big difference. Some of the big signs that will tell you it is time to clean out your downspout includes:
- You notice there is water spilling over the edges of the gutter.
- You see that there is water that sprays out of the elbow joints and seams.
- You notice there is an inability for water to flow from the bottom of the extensions on the downspout.
These are signs that you will notice when it is raining. If you want to know whether the downspout is running into trouble, but there is no rain in the forecast, then you may need to get a little bit creative with this. Some of the signs that you can look for when it is not raining to see if the gutter is clogged includes:
- There is erosion of the earth right below the line of the gutters.
- You notice that there is peeling paint on your fascia.
- The siding that is right beneath the gutter line is dirty and moist.
- You see that the gutters are pulling away because there is extra weight present.
Watching for these signs, whether it is raining or not, will give you an idea if there is a clog present or not. You can then use the steps that we listed above to get the issue fixed and to make sure your home stays safe from the rain.
Unclogging Your Downspout
It is normal for your downspout and the gutters to get clogged over time. Things will fall right in and since the gutters are up high, it is sometimes hard to tell whether something is in the way or not. Using the tips above will make it easier to tell when the gutters are getting clogged and can help you to get the issue fixed.