For rain gutters to work properly, they can’t be clogged up with pine needles and leaves.

It’s easy enough to clean out the gutter itself. But the problem often occurs where the downspout joins the gutter. Elbows in downspouts are the worst culprits.

To unclog gutters and clean downspouts, just make a quick trip to the plumbing section of the home store and buy a plumber’s snake. The flexible metal cable of a plumber’s snake is the best way to clean them out.

Here’s how to unclog gutters with a plumber’s snake:

  • Insert the end of the plumber’s snake in the downspout until it meets resistance.
  • Turn the crank and work it back and forth to loosen the clog.
  • Insert a garden hose in the downspout and turn on the water to flush out any debris.

To prevent downspouts from becoming clogged, install a strainer in the gutter immediately above the outlet to a downspout. The strainer allows rainwater to flow through while gutter debris is stopped where it can be easily cleaned away. Just don’t forget to keep the strainer clean, or else you’re back to square one unclogging the gutters again.

Another tool you can use to prevent clogs is GutterBrush. This cylindrical bottle brush fills the space inside your home’s gutters and lets water flow through while serving as a barrier from debris buildup.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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