All About Downspouts: Keep Them Clean and Functional

Downspouts are a key component of your gutter system. In fact, without downspouts, gutters
would only collect water — they wouldn’t drain it away from your home.

Downspout in heavy rain

Understanding how and why to keep yours clean can help protect your home from serious water damage.

What’s the Purpose of a Downspout?

Usually there will be one downspout for every 40-foot run of gutter. Downspouts are usually
installed at every corner of your home, since it’s best that gutters don’t run around roof corners,
but they can also be added at any low point in a roof.

They’re attached to a hole in the bottom of the gutter, a connecting piece is placed inside, then it’s secured with glue or screws. The bottom of the downspout is either curved or connected to an extension, which empties the water away from the home’s foundation.

Cleaning Downspouts

While it’s relatively easy to spot clogs in open gutters, it’s harder to identify blockages in
downspouts. The most common place for a clog is in the curved arm where the downspout bends to run along the wall of your home. Leaves, sticks and debris can build up inside easily and quickly, causing water to overflow and pool in the gutters.

Eventually, if left unattended, standing gutter water can rot the fascia boards of your roof and rust away the gutters themselves.

Gutter cleaning is a dangerous job, since you have to climb on a ladder and use both hands to
remove piles of wet leaves and sticks, all the while keeping your balance. But downspout cleaning can be even harder.

You may need to use a plumber’s snake to dislodge the blockage. You can also try disconnecting the top piece of the downspout and clearing out the clog that way, or inserting a garden hose and turning it on full blast to wash away the debris.

Prevent Pooling Water

It’s important to watch where the flow of water is heading from the bottom of the downspout. If
you have water pooling around your foundation or causing soil erosion, it’s time to take action.
Attach a downspout extension to the bottom of the pipe, or place a concrete splash guard at the opening to better direct the water flow. Make sure you direct all water away from the foundation, or you could end up with costly basement water damage, not to mention ruined landscaping.

Cleaning your gutters and downspouts can be challenging, but Wizard Screens and Gutter can
help. Contact us today for professional, fast service, and keep your home’s water drainage system clean and functional.