What to Do When Your Drainpipe Is Clogged

Managing rainwater on your property is vital to protecting your home and ensuring the longevity of everything from your roof to your siding to your foundation. A clog anywhere in your gutter system can lead to stagnant water, which can cause rot in various housing materials. And a backup in the system can also lead to heavy water flowing through your yard in the wrong direction which can cause soil erosion and threaten your grass and plants. That’s why it’s so important to know how to handle a clog in your drainpipes, downspouts, or gutters. Take a look at some tips for handling these problems.

Start At the Top

Clog in your drainpipe
If there are leaves in your yard, they may also be clogging your gutters.

Most homeowners are familiar with the problem of clogged gutters. Open gutters tend to collect more than just rainwater – they also collect leaves and other debris that land on the roof or are blown in by a storm. You can tell that your gutter is clogged when you see water flowing over the edges of the gutter during a storm, or when you notice eroded soil below the gutter. Peeling paint, moisture, and dirt on your siding can also be a sign that your gutters are clogged.

You can clean your gutters yourself if you’re comfortable on a ladder, but you shouldn’t hesitate to hire a professional if you have any doubts that you can clean them safely. Gutter cleaning can be dangerous because it requires going up the ladder with a gutter cleaning tool, like a trowel. But the best thing that you can do is take proactive measures to prevent clogs in your gutter, which can also prevent clogs further down in the gutter system. Gutter mesh or helmets that fit over the open gutters and prevent debris from entering the gutter system in the first place can all but eliminate clogs.

Find Downspout Clogs

Clog in your drainpipe
Downspout clogs are often located in the bends or angles.

Sometimes it’s not as easy as surveying the open part of your gutters to find the clogs. Once you have debris in your gutter system, it can move until it reaches the downspout, clogging that up. If you see that water isn’t coming out of your downspout during the storm, chances are that there is a clog in it somewhere. There should be a downspout cage, usually made of wire mesh, in the area where your gutters and downspout connect. This is supposed to strain the material in gutters, allowing the water to flow through while trapping debris. However, if the wire mesh becomes damaged, it can allow debris into the downspout where it can form clogs.

Finding a clog in a downspout can be tricky, since you can’t see inside the piping. The best way to find the clog is to tap the downspout with a screwdriver, starting at the top and working your way down. Most of the time you’ll hear a hollow sound, but at the location of the clog you should hear a dull thud. You can try to clear the drain with a hose or auger, but if that doesn’t work, you may need to dismantle the downspout to remove the clog.

Clear Drainpipe Clogs

Some downspouts connect to a drainpipe that goes into the ground, funneling water away to another location like a storm sewer or a dry well. If you have one of these, you could end up with a clog in your drainpipe as well. These are the most difficult kind of clogs because they are located underground, making them very difficult to get to. Also, they’re not always caused by debris in your gutter system – you could end up with a clog due to a tree root growing into the pipe.

You can try removing the downspout from the drain pipe first. Then you can try to clear the clog with a plumbing snake, or by using a hose to send water into the pipe and dislodge the clog. However, if the clog is too far down, or if it’s caused by something immobile, like a tree root, you’ll need to hire a professional to excavate the drain pipe and clear the clog.

If you need help dealing with gutter system clogs, we have the materials and expertise to solve your problem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Written by Del Thebaud

May Sale
$350 OFF
Hurry, Offer Ends May 31st
By clicking below, I ask that Harry Helmet call me so I can learn more about its products.

REVIEWS

100,000 HAPPY CUSTOMERS & COUNTING

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
StarStarStarStarStar
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
StarStarStarStarStar
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
StarStarStarStarStar
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
StarStarStarStarStar
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
StarStarStarStarStar
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
StarStarStarStarStar

May SALE $350 OFF

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You

  1. Baltimore, MD

    1121 Benfield Blvd S
    Millersville, MD 21108
    888-543-5638
  2. Philadelphia

    109 Gaither Dr #305
    Mt Laurel, NJ 08054
    877-281-7233
  3. Long Island, NY

    1395 Lakeland Ave #25
    Bohemia, NY 11716
    888-543-5638
  4. Pittsburgh PA

    401 Plum Industrial Park
    Pittsburgh, PA 15239
    888-543-5638
  5. Cleveland OH

    8059 Lewis Rd #305
    Berea, OH 44017
    888-543-5638
  6. Columbus OH

    690 Lakeview Plaza Blvd
    Worthington, OH 43085
    888-543-5638
  7. St Louis MO / Illinois

    3319 IL-162
    Granite City, IL 62040
    888-543-5638
  8. Kansas City MO

    1339 NW Main St Lees Summit
    MO 64086,
    888-543-5638
  9. Portland OR

    8900 SW Burnham St
    Tigard, OR 97223
    888-543-5638
  10. Seattle WA

    12830 Interurban Ave S
    Tukwila, WA 98168
    888-543-5638
  11. Tacoma, WA

    12830 Interurban Ave S
    Tukwila, WA 98168
    888-543-5638
  12. Northern Virginia

    1121 Benfield Blvd
    Millersville, MD
    888-543-5638
  13. New Jersey

    109 Gaither Dr #305
    Mt Laurel, NJ 08054
    877-281-7233
  14. Delaware

    109 Gaither Dr
    Mt Laurel, NJ 08054
    877-281-7233
  15. Northern New Jersey

    109 Gaither Dr #305
    Mt Laurel, NJ 08054
    877-281-7233
  16. West Virginia

    401 Plum Industrial Park
    Pittsburgh, PA 15239
    888-543-5638
Careers

Join the Harry Helmet Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Harry Helmet is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!