Downspouts, elbows, end caps – these are all basic parts of a gutter. Each of these parts plays an important role in draining rainwater and ice melt away from your home and its foundation, thus keeping your home safe from damage.
One of the key parts to a gutter system is the downspout. How much do you know about your gutter system? Are you familiar with how they work? Do you know how to properly clean and maintain them so they effectively drain rainwater and ice melt away from your home?
If you’re not entirely sure how to answer any of all of the questions above, don’t worry! All of us here at K-Guard Chicago are expertly trained professionals that know a thing or two about downspouts. Keep reading to learn all about downspouts, how they work and how to maintain and clean them. Welcome to Downspouts 101!
What is a Downspout?
A downspout is the part of a gutter system that is attached to the bottom of the gutter and sits vertically on the sides of homes. Gutter systems have approximately one downspout placed every 30-50 feet, so there are typically several found around the exterior of a home.
While other materials are available but less common, downspouts are typically made from steel and aluminum. Downspouts are available in a variety of sizes, the most common being 2×3 inches and 3×4 inches. You’ll even see up to 8 inches in some commercial applications.
How Does a Downspout Work?
Gutter systems differ depending on which system you choose for your home, but downspouts function the same way for all. They’re designed to collect and direct storm and meltwater at least a few inches away from your home to keep water away from your home’s foundation.
With traditional gutter systems, the downspout is connected to the gutter trough then bracketed to the side of the home. The bottom of a downspout has elbows which is where the downspout changes direction and bends at an angle to keep water away from a home’s foundation.
Because downspouts are connected to the gutter itself, they can become clogged if they’re not cleaned and properly maintained. Whether your home is surrounded by trees or not, debris always finds its way into gutters and causes a nuisance for homeowners. Small birds, insects or animals can also use downspouts to nest or travel into your gutter system.
Common debris like silt and mud, leaves and even nests can form inside of gutters and can cause some damage if left alone to accumulate. If you fail to clean your gutters and downspouts frequently then ice melt and rain can’t properly drain away from your home, leading to problems like water damage to your roof decking and/or your home’s interior.
How Can I Maintain & Clean My Downspouts?
In order for your downspouts to properly drain stormwater and meltwater away from your home you’ll need to clean them at least three times per year. You may need to clean them more often if you have a lot of trees on your property, at least once in the spring and twice in the fall.
Maintaining and cleaning downspouts is relatively easy and starts with cleaning your gutters. To start, make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands from any sharp debris or nests you may encounter. In addition to gloves you’ll need a ladder, scoop, bucket, hose, and maybe even a plumber’s snake. Follow these steps to clean your downspouts:
- Remove all of the debris from the gutters
- Flush out the gutters with water to remove any build-up of dirt or rocks
- To clean a clogged downspout, place a foot or two of a plumber’s snake into the corners where the gutters meet the downspout and remove leaves and debris
- Follow up by flushing the downspout out with a garden hose to further remove any dirt and debris
Tired of cleaning your downspouts and gutters every season? Looking for a maintenance-free solution? Trust the experts at K-Guard Chicago to install our Leaf Free Gutter System. They’re durable and are built to last a lifetime.
The answer is simple: K-Guard is the only gutter system that has 45 degree by 45 degree inside corners that allows water to flow from the gutters to the downspouts and eliminates “chokepoints” (which translates to being clog free). Our K-Guard Gutter Systems are backed by a lifetime clog-free warranty to keep all types of debris out under any extreme weather condition. That means whether there’s a snowstorm, ice storm or strong winds carrying debris, your gutters will never become clogged. We guarantee it.
K-Guard Chicago is the only gutter company in the Chicago region to use the most durable and corrosion-free aluminum for a leaf free gutter system. Our larger sized 3×4 downspouts allow for rain and snow/ice melt to be pushed even further away from your home than traditional gutter systems. K-Guard is the largest leaf free system on the market, handling 40% more water than Leaf Guard.
To make the switch from traditional gutters to K-Guard, call (224) 808-3078 or send us a message to schedule an estimate. We’ll take a look at your home or business and will provide you with a timely and FREE estimate.
We look forward to helping you eliminate the need to maintain and clean your gutter system!