How to Clean Downspouts

Follow this guide to clean and unclog your downspout
Nov 13, 2023

Downspouts can become clogged with leaves and other debris over time. Clogged downspouts aren’t just a nuisance, however. If a downspout is clogged, then the water won’t be directed away from your home. Instead, it may pool by the walls of your house and even flood your basement. The water damage resulting from a clogged downspout can be costly.

What is a Downspout?

DefinitionThe downspout is an essential component of your gutter system that takes the water collected by your gutters and sends it far away from your house. It is designed to protect your home from soil erosion and foundation damage. Downspouts may also be referred to as drainpipes, drain spouts, and downpipes.

Keeping your downspout clean is essential to avoid costly water damage. But how can you keep your downspout clean so that it works properly?

Equipment You’ll Need

You’ll need to gather the following before you begin the cleaning process:

  • Ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Garden hose
  • Trowel
  • Handheld auger
  • Leaf blower
  • Wet or dry vac
  • Power washer

1. Start By Cleaning Your Gutters

Person cleaing out gutters

Your gutters feed water into your downspout, but they can send leaves and other debris into your downspout as well. It’s a good idea to thoroughly clean your gutters before you turn your attention to your downspout to avoid any leaves getting into your downspout after you’ve cleaned it.

2. Clean the Bottom of the Downspout

The next step is to clean out the bottom of the downspout. If your downspout has an extension, you should remove it, especially if there’s an underground drain that it’s connected to. If you don’t remove the extension, then you might just push any clog further into the downspout or into the drain where it’s harder to reach. Use your trowel to remove any leaves or debris that you can reach from within the downspout. Then, rinse out the extension with your garden hose to clear out any debris that may have become lodged in it.

3. Clean the Top of the Downspout

Once you have the bottom of the downspout and the downspout extension cleaned out, it’s time to clean the top of the downspout. You’ll need a ladder and someone to help you. Climb up on the ladder with the garden hose and ask your helper to turn on the water. Use the hose to spray water down the downspout to clear out any debris. If the water flows out the bottom, carrying any leaves and debris with it, then you’ve finished. If the water comes back up, then your downspout is clogged.

4. Clear Clogs Out of the Downspout

If your downspout is clogged, there are a few different ways to clear it out. The first step is to try tapping on the side of the downspout as you climb down the ladder. This may dislodge any debris or leaves that are stuck inside. Then, try with the hose again. If the clog still exists, then you can try using a tool to unclog it. You may be able to repurpose a power tool that you already have at home to dislodge the debris. If you have a leaf blower or a power washer, try sticking the tool into the top of the downspout. The pressure from the air or water should dislodge any clog.

Alternative: Hire a Professional

Another option is to hire a professional to clean out your gutters and downspout. You may not have all of the tools you need to do the job safely, but a professional will. Hiring someone else to clean out your gutters and downspout for you will save you time and ensure that the job is done properly and safely.

Need Help Cleaning Your Gutters & Downspouts?

Contact us to request a no-obligation quote.

Request Your Estimate