It seems the list of household chores is ever-increasing, and often it isn’t until a storm hits or a heavy downpour that you’ll notice your gutters overflowing and discover that you’ve now got a blocked downpipe on your hands!
Clogs and blocked downpipes are often caused by a build-up of leaf litter, moss, dirt, other debris, animal nesting materials and even the odd tennis ball. It is best to unblock a downpipe as soon as possible, as ignoring downpipe blockages leads to severe and costly structural damage to your home and foundations.
If you suspect a blocked downpipe, the best thing to do is to check it out and assess the pipe to gauge the situation. Blocked Downpipe Assessments are time-consuming and involve climbing and the necessary know-how to evaluate the situation appropriately.
4 Ways to unblock a downpipe
Use a sturdy wire
- Position the ladder along the roof gutter to view down inside the downpipe.
- If you can’t see the downpipe blockage, thread a piece of sturdy wire (wire coat hanger) or a thin piece of timber down the downpipe until you hit the blockage.
- Use the wire to break up the blockage by moving it in and out.
- Use a garden hose to flush any remaining debris out.
Call to get a professional gutter cleaner today.
Dismantle the blocked downpipe
If the first technique isn’t successful, you may have to move on to the more arduous task of dismantling the blocked downpipe:
- Tap down the pipe with your knuckles until you hear a solid sound which indicates where the downpipes blockages.
- Dismantle the down pipe up to this section.
- Now break up and clear the blockage.
- Use a garden hose to flush the pipe from the top, checking that the blockage has been cleared. It’s also a good idea to clean the loose pipe parts while dismantling them.
Several professional tools are available from your local hardware store or online stores. Some are more expensive and complex than others but can be very effective in clearing blocked downpipes, such as
- Gutter vacuum
- Sani-snake or Drain snake
- High-pressure jet rodding machines
- Chemicals (Generally, we caution against chemicals, as they can harm you and the environment. In some cases, chemicals may be the best solution. However, we advise seeking professional advice.)
Request a professional gutter cleaner for your home today.
Seek a professional
If both these measures fail, it might be time to call a plumber. For more severe blockages, plumbers can use their sani-snake, drain snake or high-pressure jet rodding machines to clear the blockage.
Sometimes, the cause of your blocked downpipe is underground, for example, a blocked stormwater system. This requires contacting a specialist plumber as they have powerful drain cleanings tools like a high-pressure jet rodder that can clear away tree roots and hard-to-reach blockages and gunk.
Ensure Safety Unblocking Downpipes
As with all work at heights on a roof gutter and adding moisture, mould and running water, you must practice safety.
The following are suggestions to ensure you safely unclog your blocked downpipes,
- Ensure your ladder is securely placed on even, dry ground.
- All work at heights is in pairs
- Do not attempt to access the roof gutter in wet weather or around storms
- Wear appropriate footwear that grips the ladder and covers the toes
- Use eye protection
Prevent downpipe blockages
Once the blocked downpipe is clear, consider preventative measures. This could take removing overhanging trees, or you could look at one of several DIY gutter guards products, such as brush gutter guards, foam inserts, mesh panels or downpipe guards.
We prefer a more permanent gutter protection solution with our integrated gutter mesh systems with guaranteed workmanship warranties at Aussie Gutter Protection. Gutter mesh is a reliable solution for residential and commercial buildings and prevents debris from falling into gutters, causing blocked downpipes.
Aussie Gutter Protection is renowned for its high-quality, durable products. It can help you with all your gutter protection requirements in Melbourne, Victoria and across major metropolitan areas in Australia.
Aussie gutter protection is a leader in the gutter protection industry, working with high-quality materials; products GutterMesh, TuffMesh, SteelMesh and SolarMesh; installation methods for leaf guard, bird proofing, rainwater harvesting, bushfire prevention and solar panel protection. AGP offers professional installation and gutter cleaning at affordable pricing to keep your gutters clean and ensure rainwater flows freely. Get a free consultation and the right gutter guard for your particular solution.