Downspouts are the main component of any gutter system. They prevent buildings from foundational damage, water problems, and soil erosion. Like the gutters, downspouts also need to be cleaned and maintained to avoid any bad effects on the water flow.
Why Do Downspouts Freeze?
If your downspouts are clogged, water will have no path to flow. This trapped water in the downspouts can get frozen during the winter season. The elbows of the downspouts are especially vulnerable as they can cause pressure, and the joints can rupture, leading to a much bigger damage potential.
What Can You Do About It?
You can do some things to ensure that your downspouts don’t incur much bigger damage than they have to. Here is a brief overview of everything you can do to protect your downspouts.
Clear Away Any Snow Buildup
If you have snow piling up at the bottom of the downspout, clearing this snow will allow the water to have a passage, and thus the water won’t get frozen in the downspouts. Always make sure that the downspouts are cleared from any hindrances.
Thaw Frozen Downspouts
Once you think it is totally safe, get on a ladder and pour some water in the downspout’s top opening. You can use a pipe to connect with a tap and splash warm water into the opening. The water might come out of the top opening initially, but after some time, the snow will start melting, and you will be on your way to a much cleaner downspout. If you have metallic downspouts, applying heat to the exterior of the downspout might also be able to do the trick.
Don’t Use Force
Using force is never the answer when it comes to clearing your downspouts. It would help if you didn’t use a bat or a hammer to break the ice inside the downspout. Doing so can lead to extensive damage. If you have to apply force, use a professional heat gun or a hairdryer to warm up the outer surface of the downspout.
Treating the illness is much better than treating the symptoms, and the same goes for your downspouts. Don’t wait until your downspouts are completely frozen. Instead, try to ensure that your downspouts don’t have the chance to get frozen, and the only way to do that is by keeping the cleaning through periodic maintenance.