To get downspout flushing, or not get downspout flushing with gutter cleaning…that was the question posed by William Shakespeare. No, not really! Nevertheless, we do get asked this very question thousands of times a year, and the answer is always the same. Yes. When you are having your gutters cleaned, you should always have the downspouts flushed thoroughly. To me (Ken Wilson with The Gutter Boys), getting your gutters cleaned, but leaving the downspouts unchecked simply doesn’t make sense.
Gutters and Downspouts need to be cleaned and flushed at least 2x a year (spring and fall)
Some companies do not emphasize the importance of downspout flushing. Sure, saving a couple of bucks for a bare-bones clean seems nice, but leaving the downspouts packed with debris surely will lead to much larger issues down the road. We have heard of companies “reaming” or “snaking” the downspouts, but this isn’t a definitive way to know whether the downspout is clear or not. The best, and by that I mean the worst, story I have heard is a company that trained their workers to knock on the downspouts to see if they are full. That’s pretty pathetic. Again, the only way to know with certainty that the downspouts are free flowing is to use water. There is no shortcut to doing this properly.
I will always remember the client in Westlake, OH who was hesitant about having us come clean their gutters and downspouts. They admitted on the phone that they couldn’t see any debris in the gutters from their vantage point. If it wasn’t for mini Niagara Falls occurring several places around their home, they wouldn’t have even called. Our crews got to the home and the gutters were indeed spotless, but we still checked each and every downspout just to be sure. Guess what we found? 11 out of the 12 downspouts around the home were packed full of decaying debris. The customer was happy to have 12 free-flowing downspouts rather than Niagara Falls, and we were happy one more customer realized the importance of regular gutter cleaning and downspout flushing.