Be honest, now: how often do you think about your downpipes? You probably see them each and every day, but it’s possible the true importance of each and every facet of your stormwater system remains unclear. In fact, a single blocked downpipe can throw the effective and efficient management of the way water is safely directed from your roof to avoid leaks, flooding and even devastating foundation damage into complete disarray.
Remember: along with that stormwater is a whole lot of gunk – including dirt, leaves and other debris – that can lead to blocked downpipes and a whole lot of trouble. Downpipes can also degrade, become damaged and even dislodged, whilst some are completely unaware that the eventual outcome will be leaks and destructive (and expensive!) damage to your home via ceilings, downlights and walls (unfortunately a regular emergency plumber callout).
In the heart of winter, downpipe problems may only now be rearing their ugly heads – when it’s all way too late. So if a blocked downpipe is ruining your day, it could well be too little too late to quickly look up how to unblock a downpipe. And if trouble hasn’t struck yet, the time is most definitely now to get your head around this crucial topic:
How to clear a blocked downpipe in 4 steps
Before we get into how to unblock a downpipe with some fairly simple DIY advice, we need to point out that if you’re not confident, do not proceed. Using professional tools and vast experience, great plumbers can easily rectify any blocked downpipe issue without attacking your bank balance – so if in doubt, skip right now to getting in touch with a local gutter repair services.
For the rest, let’s learn how to unblock a downpipe:
1. Grab your ladder
If you have a quality ladder with a wide, solid base, you’re ready to roll. Also make sure the ladder allows your body to be positioned comfortably above the gutter-line, so you’re safe and comfortable for the task ahead.
Remember: If your roof is a tricky one to work with, bear in mind that professional plumbers will use special harness gear in these cases.
2. Check out the gutters
While you’re up there, check on the status of your gutters. Are they obviously clogged up with gunk – and more resembling a plant and weed-bed than a part of an effective stormwater system? Chances are, your downpipes have also been neglected.
3. Grab the hose
Climb on down, and grab your garden hose. Climb back up, and direct the hose into the opening at the top of the downpipe, making sure it’s firmly positioned for when you crank on the water.
With the tap turned fully on, give the hose plenty of jiggles and upwards-and-downwards motions – and don’t be afraid of getting a little soggy!
4. Disassemble the downpipe
How did you go? Did a lot of gunk flush out the bottom so that the water from the hose is now flowing freely and clearly? It’s likely that a little flush has solved the problem, so give yourself a pat on the back – and remember to do a quick flush every few months or so to avoid a bigger problem in the future.
But if you still have blocked downpipes, it could be because their design features folds, corners and bends – which is ripe ground for blockages. It may be necessary to take the downpipe off so you can give it a closer inspection and maybe even take it apart to remove the clogs by hand.
You may also consider:
- Installing higher-flow downpipes that are less susceptible to blockages
- Installing gutter/downpipe guards to filter out debris before it gets lodged
- Using a plumber’s/drain snake to break up the downpipe blockage
It is also likely that the cause of your blocked downpipe is actually underground, for example, a blocked stormwater drain. If this is the case, you might need to contact a specialist plumber as they have powerful drain cleaning tools like a high-pressure jet rodder that can clear away tree roots and hard-to-reach blockages.
Gold Coast’s downpipe experts can help today
After all of that, are you still having trouble with blocked downpipes? At this point, you should consider whether your stormwater drainage system needs a professional to check it out – because you may require repairs, replacement downpipes, or even a complete re-think and re-design. We can do all of that for you right here at Gold Coast Plumbing Experts, whilst also looking into the overall health and effectiveness of your stormwater drains, which also commonly become blocked – especially in winter.
To talk about effective drainage solutions to your downpipes and the rest of your stormwater system, get in touch with our friendly Gold Coast plumbers today.