How to Clean a Downpipe Spreader

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A complete gutter cleaning service from the best gutter cleaners will include the flushing out of your drainage system. This flush out should include all your downpipes, rainheads and valleys. If your house has a double or triple storey, you might also have spreaders that need attention.

Downpipe Spreader blocked
A downpipe spreader with you guessed it.. a fern tree growing. This is most certainly blocked.

What is a Downpipe Spreader?

A downpipe spreader is only found on multi storey buildings. It’s basically a modified section at the bottom of an upper storey downpipe. The spreader “spreads” the flow of water out over a greater area of the lower roof. Because it’s not always possible for every downpipe to travel all the way down to the ground, some upper storey spouts must empty out onto the roof below, which is where the spreader comes into play.

Plumbers will build customised spreaders when they are installing your guttering and spouting system. Spreaders are not a standard shelf item; they are customised during your guttering installation. Downspout spreaders vary greatly depending on the roof that they are draining.

Tiled roof with downpipe spreader blocked
Tiled roof with downpipe spreader blocked

Spreader blockages can be difficult to fix

Cleaning Process

Cleaning out a blocked downpipe normally starts from the top; there’s various tools used for this like vacuums and snake-like brushes. Often, a simple garden hose can unblock most clogs at the top s-bend section of your downpipe.

If your spreader is clogged at the bottom, we recommend getting your garden hose up inside the spreader from different angles and just force flushing it clear. Spreaders are often positioned next to wall flashings and other roof-to-wall joins that are potential leakage weaknesses, so take care not to spray excess water because it may penetrate your roof cavity.

If you’re not confident up on a roof, call in a professional gutter cleaning company like Grayson’s. Professionals will have the knowledge to locate these spreader blockages and rectify them.
Blocked Downpipe Spreader located on a Corrugated Roof

Spreader Inspection

It’s very common to see faulty downpipes and spreaders on houses. Our staff are experts at finding these faults, and can let you know about them once weve completed our full gutter clean. If the spreader is filled with dirt at the bottom, we may need to start the unblockage process at that location, before force flushing from above.

Badly Blocked Spreaders

Construction of properly functioning spreaders can be a tricky thing. Even the best plumbers cannot possibly predict the type of debris that will be hitting your roof a decade afterwards. In our mission to unblock guttering, we see neglected spreaders every week. Our Gutter Cleaners know how to clear even the most clogged spreaders without dismantling the downpipes. H

However, there are some limitations in what we can do to unblock your downpipes. If the blocked downpipe is outside the scope of a regular gutter cleaning, we will advise you to have a plumber out to replace or repair your spreader.

Can Gutter Protection Meshes Help?

Yes, gutter guard can stop spreaders from blocking up!

Most spreader blockages will be caused by leaf entry into the downpipes, where the spreaders end up full of leaves. This leaf entry to your spreader will be coming from the roof and gutters above. With a gutter protection system covering your gutters, the leaves cannot enter your downpipe and your spreaders will also be protected!

Call us today on 1300 GRAYSONS (1300 472 976) for advice and a detailed gutter cleaning service that is prompt and reliable!

Downspout spreader rescued on a tiled roof. We must always be careful not to force water in the wrong direction, such as up under the flashing metal that protects the lower ceiling space under the roof tiles.


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