Waterfalls are beautiful, but you didn’t plan to have one streaming from your gutters. If your gutters or downspouts seem to be clogged, what can you do to remedy the situation? You have a short-term goal of removing the debris, but your long-term goal is to prevent this from happening again.
Check Your Entire Gutter System
If you notice that water is backing up in your drainage system, your first goal is to find out where the problem lies. There could be a problem anywhere in your drainage system, from your roof to your underground pipes. Look at your gutters, try to remove debris from your downspouts, and finally, examine your drainage system if you don’t have a solution.
From a bird’s nest that clogs your gutter to tree roots that have invaded your underground drainage system, you’ll find that clogs can occur in many places in your home drainage system. If you have a gutter system that sends water to another part of your garden, see if the end of the system is blocked with debris. If your downspout pours water into a dry well, the dry well could be clogged. It’s your job, or the job of a gutter professional, to pinpoint the problem area so you can address your drainage concerns effectively.
Remove the Clog
If you find that the problem is in your downspout, place a plumber’s snake in the downspout. Move it down until you can’t go any farther, and you’ve reached your blockage. Turn the snake back and forth until the clog becomes loose, then place a hose in the downspout to move the debris along. Do this process gently, since many downspouts are plastic and can break easily. If you have an ongoing problem with your downspouts, you may need to remove part of the downspout, clean it, or replace it entirely if it is damaged inside.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
To keep your downspouts and drainage system clear of debris, you need to look back in the drainage system and see where that debris originated. Leaves and blossoms are the culprits behind many a clogged gutter. To avoid clogged downspouts, clean your gutters regularly. Schedule cleaning at least once a year, after the Fall leaves flow into the gutters. If you have a lot of blossoms or other debris, consider cleaning your gutters at least twice a year, after each round of debris falls into the gutter.
Add Gutter Covers or Gutter Heat
Gutters and downspouts get clogged for several reasons. You could have animals nesting in your gutters, and the debris from nests could make its way into your gutters and downspouts. You could have small branches in your gutters from a recent storm. Large amounts of debris such as leaves and blossoms could pack together, causing water to spill over your gutters and back up in your downspout. Gutters can also clog due to accumulations of ice and snow.
Adding gutter covers can help avoid problems from leaves, blossoms, and sticks since the cover protects your gutter from debris accumulation. If you live in a place with a lot of ice and snow, consider adding gutter heat as well, so that ice and snow don’t clump in your gutters and downspouts, causing them to clog.