How To Clear A Leaf Clog From A Downspout So Your Gutters Don't Spill Water

If rain spills over your gutters, you'll want to fix the problem fast, so the water doesn't run under your siding or ruin your landscaping. A few things can interfere with your gutters draining properly. A clogged downspout is one of them. Here are some suggestions for repairing your gutters, so they drain water away from your home like they should.

Determine If The Downspout Is The Problem

If you can climb up a ladder, you may want to look inside the gutters for piles of leaves or other things, such as a bird's nest, that could be blocking the flow of water through the troughs. If the troughs seem clear, the next thing to check is their tilt. They need to slant toward the downspout, so they can drain. If that's okay, it's time to check the downspout itself.

You can't see what's inside there, and it's possible it is filled with a big leaf clog. One way to tell is to use a garden hose to run water into the top of the downspout. If the water backs up into the trough or only trickles out of the bottom of the downspout, that's a good sign there is a clog that needs to be removed.

Break Apart The Clog With Water Or A Broom

Find something with a long handle, such as a broom, and shove it in the top and bottom of the downspout, to see if you can break apart the clog. This may work if the handle can reach far enough into the downspout and if the clog isn't compacted too tightly. If leaves don't break loose and fall out when you try that, then you may want to try using a pressure washer to blast the leaves out from the top.

Be careful not to use pressure so high that the downspout or trough is pushed out of alignment or damaged. You might be able to break up a clog with the water pressure, and push the leaves on through. If you don't have luck with your own attempts to clear out the downspout, you may need to call a professional to do the job.

Get Professional Help For Tough Clogs

If you can't get the clog to budge, you'll want to call for help, so your gutters start draining. A plumber can use a sewer snake on the downspout in much the same way a snake is used on a roof vent. The snake chops up the leaves to weaken the clog, so it can be pushed on through with water from a hose. Once the clog falls out the bottom of the downspout, the spout should be rinsed out well, to get rid of any clinging leaves so the clog doesn't return. A good way to do that is to start at the other end of the trough, and run water through the entire gutter system, so you can verify the water now drains properly and doesn't spill over the sides of the gutters.

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