unclogging a gutter downspout the diy way: important tips
6 Aug, 2021, 3:38 AM

The falling leaves, especially during autumn, can cause serious damage to your gutters and downspouts if they are not cleaned out in a timely manner. However, if you have, after all, left it for too late, you have a problem on your hands—in the form of a clogged downspout!

However, no need to fret as of yet. With these simple to follow tips from Universal Tradesman, you can unclog your downspouts and gutters and put things back to normal again.

Observe Caution

man climbing up the ladder

However, before you get going on the task, do understand that you will possibly need to climb onto the top of your roof to get the job done. Therefore, it is important that you take the right precautions before you start. So, what should you do?

  • Get another person – a friend or someone from the household to assist you on the job. This person will come handy when it is time to turn the water on from below and to hold the ladder so that it stands steady.
  • If you’ve high roofs, you will need to get a strong and sturdy extension ladder.
  • When performing the job, wear work goggles and thick suede gloves.
  • If you can manage it, try to do the cleaning job from the ladder itself and avoid stepping on the roof.
  • Wait for good and clear weather to clean your gutter and downspout.

However, if you don’t feel too confident about this, we suggest that you leave the job to a professional cleaning service. After all, there is no need to take unnecessary risks to save a few bucks.

Start With the Bottom Downspout Opening

If you have a downspout extension, especially one that connects to an underground drain, it is important that you remove it first. This will expose the bottom opening and the clogged materials will be able to get out from there. Otherwise, they may only get pushed further down the drain.

With the help of a garden trowel, remove as much leaves and debris as you can from the downspout. Also use a garden hose to rinse the downspout well and free up the debris caught up there.

Now is time to clean the downspout from the top. You must start with cleaning the gutters and only then start with the job of unclogging the spout from the top. With a garden hose on hand, climb up the ladder and once you reach the top of the downspout opening, ask your helper to turn the water on. If leaves and the debris smoothly flow out of the bottom, your job is done. However, if the water comes up through the downspout again, this means there is still some stubborn debris left there.

So, What to Do Now?

corner of the house with rain gutter

Follow any of the methods put down below. Naturally, we have started with the easiest first.

  1. Walk down the ladder slowly and keep tapping on the side of the downspout as you do so. Then go back up and rinse with water again and see if the debris get dislodged.
  2. If that does not work, create a seal with a small towel and then run water from the garden hose again.
  3. Feed a handheld auger either into the bottom or top opening of the downspout and turn the auger drum clockwise. Once the all of it is inserted, pull back the cable. Repeat these a few times and your job may be done.
  4. Use some kind of power tool such as dry or wet vacuum, power washer, leaf blower, etc. to unclog all the stubborn debris.

Get A Professional to Do The Hard Work, If It’s Still Not For You!

However, if you don’t feel too comfortable with this job or if you fail to clean the downspout even after these efforts, there is always Universal Tradesman to do the job for you. Give us a call and our staff will finish the job for you.

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