It's that time of year again; Autumn leaves are falling, and your downpipes are getting clogged. A clogged downpipe can cause water to overflow, potentially damaging your property's exterior and foundation. Knowing how to clean out blocked downpipes is crucial for maintaining the health of your gutters and protecting your home.

Whether you're a seasoned DIYer or a gutter-cleaning newbie, we've got some fun and easy ways to get the job done. So, grab your gloves, put on some tunes, and dive into how to clean blocked downpipes to keep your gutters flowing free and easy!

Dangers of Blocked Downpipes

Addressing blocked downpipes as soon as possible is crucial to avoid significant damage to your home. Blocked downpipes cause rainwater to overflow, pool, and eventually seep into the foundations, leading to cracks and structural instability.

Damp patches may start forming on exterior walls leading to mould and mildew growth, which can negatively impact indoor air quality and pose health risks. Don't wait to address blocked downpipes; avoid these hassles by looking for signs of blocked downpipes.

Signs that Your Downpipes are Blocked

If your gutters are clean, but water is overflowing from them, it indicates that your downpipes are blocked. You may also notice a gurgling sound coming from your downpipes, caused by air bubbles in the water trying to force their way through the blockage. In some cases, you may even notice a foul smell emanating from your downpipes, a surefire sign that something is blocking the water flow. If you see any of these signs, it's best to act immediately to prevent further damage.

Cleaning Blockages at the Top of Your Downpipe

Consider safety if you're dealing with a blockage at the top of your downpipe. Grab a ladder if needed and take a peek inside. If you can spot the blockage, grab a length of wire and bend one end into a hook shape to fish it out carefully. But beware - stubborn blockages that don't want to budge may fall further down the pipe, causing even more trouble. To avoid this, place a piece of wood over the drain at the bottom of the pipe before you start.

If you can't hook the blockage out, you can try cleaning out blocked downpipes by running the wire up and down the pipe to break up the blockage. Once the blockage clears, flush everything away by pouring buckets of water down the pipe.

Cleaning Blockages from the Middle of Downpipes

Dealing with downpipes blocked from the middle can be tricky, especially if you have swan-necked pipes. However, there are a couple of options available to you. You can take apart the downpipe, though this may involve removing almost all the pipe if you're unsure where the blockage is. To help locate the blockage, give the pipe a few taps along its length and listen for any tell-tale signs of a blockage. A solid "thunk" means you're getting warmer. With a bit of persistence, you'll find that blockage eventually.

Alternatively, to clean out downpipes blocked from the middle, you can use flexible drain-clearing rods to help dislodge the blockage. Flexible drain-clearing rods are long, thin, and flexible and can wriggle through even the tightest pipes. The hooks and brushes on these rods mean you can delve deep into the pipe and dislodge even the most stubborn blockages.

How to Prevent Blocked Downpipes

Preventing downpipes from getting blocked is easier than you might think. Keep your gutters clean by not letting those pesky leaves and sticks accumulate and clog things up. Keeping your gutters free of debris may require you to trim surrounding trees or install a gutter guard. Gutter guards will prevent leaves and other debris from entering the gutter in the first place.

Ensure that your downpipes are correctly installed and have the suitable capacity for your roof, as a poorly installed downpipe can quickly become overwhelmed during heavy rainfall.

Keep Your Downpipes Clean and Blockage Free

Autumn is upon us, and with it comes the inevitable falling leaves that can wreak havoc on your gutters and downpipes. A clogged downpipe is a recipe for disaster, with overflowing water potentially causing severe damage to your property's exterior and foundation. But now, armed with the knowledge on how to clean out blocked downpipes, you can rest easy knowing your gutters are safe this season.

Contact the European Gutters team today for more help with your home's guttering.