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The Job of Downspouts on Your Roof & How to Keep Them Clean

June 19, 2024

When maintaining your roof, the downspout is one crucial component that often goes unnoticed.

When maintaining your roof, the downspout is one crucial component that often goes unnoticed. Downspouts are vital for safely channeling rainwater away from your home, preventing water damage and other costly issues. 

Read on to learn about the role of downspouts on your roof and how to keep them clean and functional.


The Job of Downspouts

Downspouts are vertical pipes attached to your gutters that direct rainwater away from your roof and foundation. They help manage water runoff from rainfall, melting snow, and ice accumulating on your roof. By effectively diverting water from your home, downspouts help prevent roof damage, foundation damage, basement flooding, and landscape erosion.


How to Keep Downspouts Clean

Keeping your downspouts clean and clear is essential for their performance and the overall maintenance of your home. Here are five key points on how to keep your downspouts clean:

Remove Debris

Begin by clearing debris from your gutters and downspouts using a ladder and a small scoop. Leaves, twigs, and other items can accumulate over time. Wear gloves to protect your hands and work cautiously for your safety. You can also contact a professional to do the work for you. Make it a routine to check for debris at least once each season or after significant weather events to maintain optimal downspout function.

Flush with Water

After removing visible debris from your gutters and downspouts, use a garden hose to flush the downspouts thoroughly. The force of the water can help dislodge smaller particles and any remaining debris that might be stuck inside. It’s important to flush the downspouts from the top down, ensuring that the water flows freely through the entire length of the pipe. This process helps maintain optimal water flow, prevents clogs and overflow, and ensures your downspouts protect your home.

Check for Clogs

Signs of a clog include slow water flow, gurgling sounds, or water backing up and overflowing. To identify a clog, carefully inspect the downspout and use a plumber’s snake or pressure washer to dislodge any blockages. Persistent clogs may require professional assistance. A professional will have the necessary tools to check for clogs and do the needful if there is water clogging. 

Secure Connections

Begin by inspecting the points where your downspouts connect to your gutters and other joints along the downspout’s path. Look for loose screws, brackets, or sections that may have shifted out of place. Tighten any loose connections with a screwdriver or wrench, as needed. 

Properly secured downspouts prevent water from leaking or overflowing at joints, thus safeguarding your home’s foundation and exterior. Regularly checking and securing these connections helps maintain the integrity of your downspout system.

Consider Downspout Extensions

Downspout extensions are a valuable addition to your gutter system, especially if your current setup does not effectively direct water far enough away from your home’s foundation. Extensions attach to the end of your downspouts and guide water several feet away from your home. This added distance helps prevent water from pooling near your foundation, reducing the risk of erosion, flooding, and potential structural damage.


Proper upkeep of downspouts is particularly important in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area, where heavy rain and snow are common. If you need assistance, TR Exteriors professionals are ready to provide expert advice and maintenance. Contact us for a free inspection.