How to Clean Out Underground Gutter Drains?

Maintaining the functionality and cleanliness of underground gutter drains is crucial for the overall upkeep of your property. A well-maintained drainage system not only ensures the smooth flow of water away from your home but also prevents potential damages caused by water clogging.

In this guide, we will explore various effective methods to keep your underground gutter drains in optimal condition, focusing on both preventative measures and solutions for existing clog issues.

How to Clean Out Underground Gutter Drains

Preventive Maintenance: Key to Long-Lasting Drains

1. Utilizing Enzyme Cleaners: A Natural Approach

Enzyme cleaners are an excellent, eco-friendly solution for maintaining clear drains. These cleaners work by breaking down organic matter, such as leaves and twigs, which are common causes of clogs in underground drains.

Regular use of enzyme cleaners can significantly reduce the likelihood of blockages.

2. Downpipe Strainers: Your First Line of Defense

Installing downpipe strainers is another effective preventive measure. These strainers act as a barrier, catching debris before it enters the underground system.

They are easy to install and maintain, making them a practical solution for long-term drain care.

3. Investing in Leaf Guards: Ultimate Protection

Leaf guards offer comprehensive protection for your drainage system. These guards cover the entire gutter, preventing leaves and larger debris from entering the drain.

While they require an initial investment, leaf guards are highly effective in reducing the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Read more: How to Clean Your Drain Vent: Essential Tips and Methods

Remedial Actions for Clogged Drains

If your underground gutter drains are already clogged, several methods can be employed to address the issue.

1. Cable Rodding: A Mechanical Solution

Cable rodding involves using a long, flexible rod to manually remove blockages. This method is effective for dislodging and breaking up clogs, especially in cases where the blockage is located near the drain opening.

2. Blow Bag Method: Water Pressure to the Rescue

The blow bag technique utilizes water pressure to clear clogs. A bag attached to a hose is inserted into the drain, and water is then turned on.

The pressure from the water expands the bag, dislodging the clog and flushing it out of the system.

3. Hydro Jetting: High-Pressure Cleaning

For more stubborn clogs, hydrojetting is an effective solution. This method uses high-pressure water streams to break apart and wash away blockages.

It’s particularly useful for clearing out accumulations of grease, sediment, and other hard-to-remove substances.

4. Picote Milling Machine: Advanced Technology for Tough Clogs

For the most challenging clogs, the Picote milling machine offers a high-tech solution. This powerful tool uses a rotating head to mechanically break up clogs, making it effective for clearing even the most persistent blockages.

5. Manual Clog Removal: A Hands-On Approach

In some cases, locating the outlet of the drain and manually removing the clog might be necessary.

This method involves tracing the pipe to its outlet, digging down to the clog, and physically removing the blockage. While labor-intensive, this approach can be effective for large, accessible clogs.

Consulting with Professionals: Ensuring the Best Outcome

While many of these techniques can be performed as DIY projects, consulting with a professional plumber is often advisable. A professional can assess your specific situation and recommend the most effective and safe method for cleaning your underground gutter drains.

If you’re dealing with slow-moving drains or any other plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us at 414-420-0736 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services. Trust MKE Drain Cleaning to keep your drains clean and your plumbing system in top condition.


In conclusion, effective maintenance and timely intervention are key to preserving the functionality of underground gutter drains. Utilizing preventive strategies like enzyme cleaners, downpipe strainers, and leaf guards significantly reduces the risk of clogs. For existing blockages, techniques such as cable rodding, the blow bag method, hydro jetting, and the Picote milling machine offer reliable solutions. Consulting with professionals ensures a tailored approach to your specific needs.

Regular attention to these drains is not just about avoiding water damage; it’s about ensuring the longevity and integrity of your property’s foundation and the overall health of the home environment.

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