Signs Your Downspout Drain Is Clogged
And What To Do About It
When it rains, you need to be able to count on your drainage system to do its job, and your downspout is a key part of that system. Without a functioning downspout drain, standing water collects around your house, leaking into the basement and seeping into walls, causing mold growth and structural damage.
What Is a Downspout Drain?
Your downspout drain is designed to move rainwater 7 to 10 feet away from your home and into a sewer or storm drainage system. Many homes have their downspout drain underground so pipes aren’t visibly cutting across their yards, often 10 to 100 feet long.
Many things can clog and damage this underground piping, such as vehicles or heavy equipment driving through your yard and crushing the pipes. Downspout drains are often damaged by landscapers, electricians, or other contractors digging holes.
When a drainpipe is only slightly damaged, many homeowners assume it’s no big deal since the leaking rainwater will only soak into the ground. However, that water will attract plant and tree roots, which will burrow into this new water source and grow. The flow of water through the pipes will slow then stop, as the drainpipe becomes rootbound. Eventually, the roots will grow enough to burst the pipe.
Even without roots, damaged drainpipes will lead to clogs since dirt, leaves, and debris can make their way into the pipe. This buildup and/or objects flowing through the pipe can also damage the pipe’s inner surface.
Signs Your Underground Drain is Clogged
If you’re concerned that your underground drain is clogged, here are some signs to look for the next time it rains.
Water Leaks and/or Damage in Your Basement
You might notice evidence of a clog inside first. When water is not properly drained from around your home, it will eventually make its way into your basement. Look for drips, wet spots, and mold growth.
When the underground drain won’t let water through, rainwater will fill your gutters, leak out from the seams, and eventually overflow at the top. However, you should also check if the downspout itself is clogged since an overflow will also happen in that case.
Water Overflowing or Pooling at the Downspout Connection
Downspouts are supposed to be connected to your underground drain with an adapter. If you don’t have the right kind, water will overflow when it rains, even without a clog, so check that first.
When your downspout drain is clogged, rainwater will gush backward from the pipe, spilling from the adapter seams. Water will also collect and pool in the area.
Slow or No Waterflow at the Drain’s Exit Point
At your drain’s exit point, if rainwater flows slowly, trickles, or doesn’t flow at all, then your drain is probably clogged — especially if you see neighboring storm drains with a strong waterflow.
So, How Do You Fix a Clogged Underground Drain?
Unclogging an underground drain isn’t a DIY type of job. Drain cleaning for a downspout drainpipe, which can be up to 100 feet long, either requires a high-powered snake or drain auger or hydro jetting with high-powered water. These are tools only professional plumbers have. You may also need replacement piping if your downspout drain is damaged.
For prompt assistance with your downspout drain problems, you need Superior Drainage. Our expertise and customer service have made us Northeast Ohio’s one-stop shop for all plumbing needs for over 25 years.
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