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  • Jason Wood

How to Fix a Clogged Gutter Downspout



A clogged gutter downspout is a common homeowner's woe, especially during the rainy seasons or when leaves start to fall. When water cannot flow freely through your gutters and downspouts, it can lead to a range of issues, from water damage to your home's foundation to unsightly overflow and damage to your landscaping. In this guide, we'll show you how to fix a clogged gutter downspout and prevent future blockages.

Identifying the Problem

Before we dive into the solutions, it's essential to diagnose the issue correctly. A clogged downspout usually manifests in the form of water overflowing from the gutters, causing erosion around your home's foundation and water damage in your basement. The root cause of these problems is often debris like leaves, twigs, dirt, or even small animal nests obstructing the downspout.

Tools You'll Need

If you can see the clog in the downspout or simply suspect this is the problem causing your gutters to overflow when it rains, you can easily clear the blockage with a few simple steps. First, to fix a clogged gutter downspout, you need to gather one of the following tools:


  • Garden Hose: A standard garden hose is the perfect way to tackle a downspout clog on a budget and with tools you likely already have in your garage or shed.

  • Plumbing Snake: This flexible tool is invaluable for dislodging stubborn blockages deep within the downspout.

  • Leaf Blower: High-pressure air from a leaf blower can be effective in blowing debris out of the downspout.

  • Pressure Washer: If the clog in your downspout is extreme, the pressurized water from a power washer may be your best bet. Just remember that this tool can cause damage or injuries if not handled properly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unclog a Gutter Downspout

Now that you’ve chosen your tool of choice, follow these steps to unclog your gutter downspout effectively:

Step 1: Safety First

Before you start working on your gutter system, ensure you have a stable ladder and ask someone to be your spotter while you work on it. Additionally, wear protective eyewear and gloves to prevent injuries.

Step 2: Clear the Top of the Downspout

Begin by removing any debris or leaves that may have accumulated at the top of the downspout. You can do this by hand or with a small trowel.

Step 3: Turn on the Water

Take your garden hose and turn it on at full blast. Insert the hose into the top of the downspout and let the high-pressure water flow. This should dislodge and flush out any loose debris that's causing the clog. Be prepared for water and debris to flow out of the bottom of the downspout.

Step 4: Plumbing Snake for Stubborn Clogs

If the water doesn't clear the clog entirely, it's time to use a plumbing snake. Insert the snake into the top of the downspout and gently work it down until you encounter resistance. Rotate the snake to break up and dislodge the clog. Slowly withdraw the snake and repeat this process until the downspout is clear.

Step 5: Pressure Washer as a Last Resort

For extremely stubborn clogs, a pressure washer can be your final option. Place the nozzle at the top of the downspout and turn it on. The high-pressure water should force the blockage down and out through the bottom of the downspout.

Preventing Future Clogs

Once you've successfully unclogged your gutter downspout, it's crucial to take steps to prevent future blockages. While regular gutter cleaning is beneficial, this task can become cumbersome and costly. Instead of wasting money on gutter cleaning services or risking your own safety, consider installing a gutter guard system to keep debris out of your gutters and downspouts for good!

Gutter Guards — Your Best Defense

Gutter guards, like those offered by Gutter Guard Experts, are an effective way to prevent future downspout clogs. These guards act as a barrier, allowing water to flow freely into the gutters while keeping leaves and debris out. With a gutter guard in place, you'll spend less time on maintenance and enjoy a more efficient gutter system.


Schedule a gutter guard installation service and protect your home from potential water damage while saving yourself the hassle of constant gutter cleaning. With our patented design, you will quickly see why the 2.0 PRO® Gutter Guard vs. LeafFilter debate is a no-brainer. Prioritize the health and longevity of your gutter system by contacting us today.

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