If you notice water backing up in your gutter and spilling over the edges, this could mean the downspout is clogged. Don’t ignore this problem – it could lead to a flooded basement, damaged siding, eroded landscaping or fallen gutters.
The question is how to unclog your gutter effectively once it gets backed up with leaves, twigs, pine needles and other debris. Here are some tips for doing just that, along with suggestions to prevent clogged gutters in the future.
Unclogging a Gutter
- Remove debris by hand: Sometimes, it’s possible to scoop out the mess clogging your gutters with your hands or a small shovel. Don work gloves and climb a sturdy ladder to reach the gutter in question. Lift out the debris and throw it into a bag or onto the ground where you can collect it later.
- Spray the clog away: Attach a high-pressure spray nozzle to your garden hose and set it to the closed position. Insert the hose into the downspout at ground level and twist the nozzle to the full-force spray setting. If you can’t clear the clog completely from the ground, repeat this process from the top of the downspout.
- Clear the obstruction with a plumbing snake: Insert the end of the snake into the top of the downspout, and crank the handle to send the snake further down. Once you feel resistance, rotate the snake against the blockage. Push it all the way through, or pull the snake back out, bringing the clog with it. Flush the gutter to rinse any remaining debris away.
- Disassemble the downspout: If these efforts to clear the clog are unsuccessful, take apart your downspout at the bends using a screwdriver. Find the clog and extract it with gloved hands. Rinse the downspout thoroughly and reassemble it.
Preventing Clogged Gutters
The true solution to clogged gutters is to prevent them in the first place. Here are some affordable options:
- Trim nearby trees: Debris from trees is a primary cause of clogged gutters. They also provide a pathway for squirrels, chipmunks and other pests to get onto your roof and nest in your gutters. Trim back branches that overhang your roof and avoid planting new trees close to your house to limit these problems.
- Clean your gutters twice a year: In general, you should plan to clean your gutters once in the spring and again in the fall. If you remove debris as it enters the gutters, it won’t have a chance to clog the downspout.
- Install GutterStuff: Say goodbye to clogged gutters forever with GutterStuff foam inserts. These are a type of gutter guard that seals out leaves and other debris while letting water flow through easily. It eliminates dangerous and dirty gutter cleaning without unsightly gutter covers. Inserts are available for most types of gutters, and you can install them yourself with no tools required!
To learn more about GutterStuff, please contact us at 866-766-3442.