Downspout Maintenance for Beginners | Roto-Rooter Reading
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Downspout Maintenance for Beginners | Roto-Rooter Reading

Flowing downspoutWhen most people think of plumbing, their mind probably doesn't go right to the gutter. But in reality, water flow through gutters is every bit as important as water flow through the pipes in your walls. 

Rain will fall, gutters will clog

Over time, gutters begin to fill up with leaves, twigs, mildew, mud and other detritus. Unfortunately, the only real way to get rid of it is to climb up a ladder with rubber gloves and begin scooping. As far as the actual hardware goes, it's also important to ensure that the spikes holding the mantle in place are sturdy. 

However, there's a part of the gutter that even the most meticulous homeowners often neglect. It's called the downspout.

What is the downspout, and how do you maintain it?

In the simplest of terms, the downspout is the drain that funnels the water from the gutter to the ground. Just as the actual gutter can accumulate filth over time that can cause it run over and cause floods, the piping can also get backed up. Even if the gutter is clean as a whistle, a plugged-up downspout is unforgiving.

As such, it's important that with each checkup of your gutter, you also ensure your downspout is unencumbered by leaves and other forms of buildup that can cause flooding around your house during the next Tallahassee torrent. 

The easiest way to do this is to start by clearing away any visible detritus at the mouth of the downspout, on both ends. If it appears that gunk is really lodged in there, take a garden hose and shoot water down through the downspout. This can help clear out the pipe. Don't use a power washer, however, as this can damage plastic equipment. 

When is it time to call a plumber?

There's always the possibility that your downspout drains underground, leading to the sewer system or a dry well. If this is the case for you, and the above-ground components are in good shape, it could be a deeper clog that requires help from a professional.

Your local Roto-Rooter's technicians are highly skilled in outdoor plumbing, and can help you unclog your downspout. 

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