As fall arrives, so do lots of leaves. If you have an overhanging tree, this, could be a problem for your rain gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause roof damage as well as damage to the ground around the home. However, the good news is that this is a relatively easy DIY task to handle.
In most cases, the clog will occur where the downspout and gutter connect. Since there is an elbow here, it is the ideal location for dirt and leaves to gather. In most cases, the elbow of the gutter system can be removed rather easily and you can quickly clean out the area and replace the elbow.
If the elbow is clean, the clog may be further down in the downspout. This will be a bit more difficult to clean, but can still be accomplished. Use a plumbers snake and run it down the downspout. This will be powerful enough to dislodge any items that may be caught inside the tubing.
Once you have the area cleaned out, it would be wise to install precautions to ensure that this does not happen again. You can purchase a leaf guard at your local hardware store or simply make one up from some spare screening. The screen will allow the water to flow, while catching all of the leaves and other debris that cause clogs in gutters and downspouts.
You will also want to inspect the downspout and gutter for any leaks. These are easily repaired with a plastic sealant. You will need to scrape the area clean of any rust with a steel brush. Next, paint the area with a primer specifically meant to inhibit rust growth. Once it is dry, cover the area with a plastic cement or liquid rubber sealant. If the damage is significant, you will need to replace that section of gutter.