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Clear your downspouts without a ladder!

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Joined: Aug 16 2007

With many days of rain ahead of us, I thought I'd share a tip for how I keep the downspouts on my flat-roof Eichler clear of debris without having to climb on the roof all the time. After all, the last thing you want to be doing on a rainy day is climbing on a ladder.

I bought a 10' piece of standard solid 3/4" electrical conduit, a few bucks at the hardware store.

Using my handy conduit bender (though you don't really need to be this fancy), I made two bends, transforming the conduit into what looks like an overgrown shepherd's staff. One bend is at about 14". That's the depth of the cleanout. The other is about another 28" in. That's a little more than the distance in from the roof overhang to the downspouts - you should measure yours first.

Using this thing is then a simple matter of walking to the downspout, lining up the tool and then feeling for the hole forward and backward. After doing this a few times, you get a sense for how far the vertical pole should be from the edge of the roof and it goes faster.

So after those big rains now I take out my downspout cleaner and in less than 5 minutes I can go all around the house and check all of them!

Enjoy and be safe!