The Plumbing Tool Your Leaf-Stuffed Rainspout Is Begging For

Today, we'll be delving into an issue that might seem small but can have big consequences for your home's well-being: clogged rainspouts. Rainspouts, also known as downspouts and drainpipes among other things, are a crucial part of your home drainage system, helping to divert rainwater away from your foundation. However, they're often overlooked until a problem arises. One common culprit? Leaves. Good thing there's the good ole plumbing snake, which you can repurpose to clean out your clogged rainspouts.

Rainspouts play a pivotal role in safeguarding your home against water damage. When rain falls on the roof, it flows down into the gutters and is channeled toward the rainspouts. From there, it's directed away from your home's foundation, preventing moisture from seeping into your basement or causing structural issues. In short, rainspouts are the unsung heroes of home maintenance.

Thing is, over time, leaves, twigs, and debris can accumulate in your gutters, gradually clogging them up. When rainspouts get blocked, rainwater can overflow, damaging your home exterior, foundation, and landscaping. Plus, all this can lead to costly repairs down the road. Now that we've established the importance of maintaining clear rainspouts, let's talk about using a plumbing snake (also known as a drain snake or auger) to clear those clogs.

Unblocking rainspouts with a plumbing snake

Ready with your plumbing snake? Working with one can be messy so, before you start, ensure you have the necessary safety gear, like gloves and eye protection. Aside from the plumbing snake, you'll also need a ladder, and a bucket for collecting debris from your clogged rainspout(s).

Examine the gutters and rainspouts for visible debris or signs of overflowing to identify the clogs. When using a plumbing snake, you can either start at the top and push the snake down into the downspout or begin from the bottom and push it up. The choice is entirely up to you and the location of the clog. Next, carefully feed the plumbing snake into the rainspout (aka downspout), using gentle but consistent pressure. The snake's rotating coil will help break up and dislodge the debris that's blocking the drainpipe. Turn the crank to move the snake back and forth as needed to clear the obstruction.

Unclogging a rainspout may take time, so be patient and avoid forcing the snake in, as this could damage the drainpipe. As you work, pull the snake out slowly, allowing it to bring the debris with it. Finally, collect the debris in the bucket. With the clogs removed, your rainspouts should once again function efficiently. Regularly cleaning them, especially during the fall when leaves are most likely to accumulate, will help prevent future issues and protect your home from water damage.