In addition to cleaning your gutters this fall, be sure to clean out your downspout as well. Your downspout is an integral part of your overall drainage system. Your gutters and downspouts are interconnected and depend on each other. Learn five steps for cleaning and maintaining your downspout.
1. Remove the Downspout Cage
At the point where your gutters and downspout meet, an opening allows water to flow from the gutters and into the downspout. Over the top of this opening may be a filter or cage.
The purpose of the downspout cage is to prevent debris from traveling through the downspout and getting stuck.
Not all gutter and downspout systems have a cage at the top where the two connect. On some systems, a cage or screen is over the bottom of the downspout. The purpose for that setup is to keep pests from traveling up through the downspout.
If your downspout has a cage or filter over the top or bottom of the downspout, remove it. Some filters may lift right off. With other filters, you need to use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the screen in place.
2. Snake Out Debris
Next, get the debris out of your downspout. Leaves, sticks, and other materials often get stuck inside of downspouts, clogging up and slowing down the flow.
The best way to clean out the downspout is to use a plumbing snake. Take a plumbing snake and push it down the spout, starting at the top. When you hit a solid mass of material, you will have to wiggle and push the snake through, or pull the snake out and wash out the debris it brings along with it.
Repeat this process until you can get the snake through the downspout and you break up all the debris inside the spout.
3. Flush With Water
After that, flush the downspout with water, starting at the top. If debris is still inside of the downspout, you may want to use a pressure washer to force the debris out of the downspout.
If most of the debris is gone, a regular garden hose will do the job. In that case, just clean away the small particles left inside the downspout.
Once clear water comes out of the downspout, put the downspout cages or filters back in place.
4. Secure Any Loose Brackets
Next, look at the outside of the downspout and make sure that it is secured to the outside of your home. You don't want your downspout lifting up because of the wind and banging up against your home.
If any of the brackets are loose, tighten up the screws on the brackets and make sure that the brackets have a tight grip around the outside of the downspout.
5. Add a Splash Block
Finally, make sure the water that comes out of the downspout flows in the right direction. You can put in place a moveable splash block to direct the water where you want it to go.
If you know exactly where you want the water to go, you can have a permanent splash block under each of your downspouts. That way, you will not have to move around and reposition the splash block over time.
Get some help improving your gutter and downspout system and making the cleaning process easier. At Rain-Flow Systems, LLC, we would be happy to help you with all of your gutter and roofing needs. Call us now to let us know what you need, and be sure to ask any questions you have. We'll be happy to answer them.