How to Drain Gutters


Downspouts and gutters protect your house from water damage. When the gutters are not draining properly, either the gutters are full of debris or the downspouts are clogged. Gutters need regular maintenance so that they will drain properly. If the drainage problem is left unattended, you run the risk of causing water damage to your house. If you are comfortable working on a ladder, cleaning gutters and downspouts is a relatively easy procedure.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder Work gloves Garbage bags Trowel Scooper Putty knife Garden hose Plumber's snake
  • Gutters can get clogged with leaves, twigs and other material that falls from trees. Connect a large plastic garbage bag to the ladder. Scoop out the debris with a trowel or scooping device and place the debris in the bag. Heavy-duty work gloves are recommended so you can remove small pieces of debris that the trowel can't reach.

  • Some of the dirt and debris may be stuck the gutter. Spray it with the garden hose. Carefully scrape it off with a trowel or putty knife. Repeat as needed.

  • Wash the gutters out with a garden hose. Turn the hose to full force. Start at one end of the gutter and spray toward the downspout. If the gutter still does not drain properly, the downspout is probably clogged.

  • Place the nozzle of the hose in the top of the downspout. Turn the water pressure down a little bit on the hose. Flush the downspout with water to remove or loosen the clog.

  • If the clog can't be removed with the hose, tap the downspout starting at the top to locate it. The downspout should reverberate with a pinging sound. When you reach the clog, you will hear a muffled, thudding sound.

  • Place the plumber's snake in the downspout, either from the top or the bottom, depending on where the clog is. Rotate the snake until the clog is removed.

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