Downspout Strainer Basket Clogged

Stop Clogged French Drains with a Larger Gutter Strainer

As a homeowner deeply invested in the well-being of my property, I've encountered numerous challenges over the years, but few have been as persistent and troubling as maintaining clear and functional French drains and in-ground storm drains. The battle against the accumulation of leaves, twigs, and miscellaneous debris in these critical drainage pathways has been an ongoing struggle, highlighting the importance of an effective solution to safeguard my home's foundation and prevent water damage. 

How Do I Keep Gutter Leaves out of my French Drains

I really want to keep my french drain and in-ground pipes from clogging with debris that originates from the gutters.  The significance of keeping my French drains and in-ground storm drains clear cannot be overstated. These systems are my home's first line of defense against water accumulation that can lead to a host of problems, including dampness, mold, and structural damage.   I want to keep them from clogging, both to protect my home from the damage the rain water can cause, but I also want to keep my french drains from clogging and being blocked by obstructions, in order to avoid the cost of having to roto-rooter them out; or even worse I want to avoid the cost of having to dig up my french drains and replace them. Initially, my attempts to protect these drains involved the use of traditional downspout guards, downspout strainers, and downspout wire baskets. These seemed like the ideal solution, promising to filter out debris before it could enter and clog the drainage system. Installing a downspout strainer or wire basket is very easy so I can do it myself.   I simply purchased the wire basket strainers and set them into the gutter hole over the downspout.  The rain water can flow between the downspout strainer wire,  while the debris will get trapped by the strainer.  Essentially,  the gutter strainer will simply keep the gutter leaves from entering the downspout, clogging the downspout, and even worse causing an obstruction or back-up in the in-ground gutter drainage system which I refer to as a french drain.  However, very shortly after I installed these  simple wire basket downspout strainers, truth and reality soon set in. These traditional devices, while initially effective at keeping the debris out of the pipes, quickly became overwhelmed because they are just too small to do the job for a long period of time.  Their limited size and surface area meant they could not handle the volume of leaves and debris brought by the wind and rain, leading to complete blockage of the wire strainer itself, gutter overflows, and the dreaded task of having to get the ladder out frequently in order to climb up there and scoop the debris from the area immediately surrounding the strainer.   The strainer did a good job at keeping the debris out of the downspouts, but the strainer would get clogged with just a small amount of gutter debris so I found myself having to clear the debris from the area surrounding the strainer about every two weeks.  The strainer worked, but climbing up and down a ladder to clear these strainers became a routine chore; one that was both time-consuming and, frankly, a bit hazardous.  I had solved one problem but created another.

French Drain Pipe Clogged

Can I Find a Maintenance Free Gutter strainer

I had solved the problem with my strainer, but the solution did not last long enough.  I needed a solution that would last a longer duration so that I wouldn't have to climb the ladder and clear out the gutter around the strainer every two weeks.   In order to solve the problem, I would need to find a downspout guard that would keep the debris out but it would also have to be much larger in order to keep far more gutter leaves at bay, while also allowing the water to flow through.   It only seems logical that I needed to find a gutter strainer that had far more length and far more surface area.  If the gutter strainer downspout protection were large enough, it could trap and protect the downspouts from the debris but the rain water could also flow around the debris and make it into the downspout.   I simply need to search for a larger gutter outlet strainer with far more surface area down in the gutter to both trap the debris and also let water flow through.  The larger my savior gutter strainer would be, the better it would work in keeping me off the ladder.

Finding Larger Gutter Strainer that Needs Less Cleaning

My search for a more efficient and less labor-intensive solution led me to find GutterBrush. Here' a video about the fact that in order to keep debris out of downspouts, leader pipes and in ground storm drains, we need a solution that's better than wire basket strainer.  I came across this blog when searching about the French Drain Clogging issue. I can not believe it!  These gutter brushes are exactly what I was looking for!   These guards represented a significant departure from the traditional strainers I had used because they are a lengthwise longitude item that can protect far more footage of gutter. At 36 inches long, brush gutter guards offered a vastly larger surface area for water to flow through as well as the collection and trapping of debris, dramatically reducing the likelihood of clogs and the need for routine cleaning.  Like a cat,  it is as if this full length gutter strainer were to have 9 lives.   One wind storm and rain storm can happen bringing debris from the unprotected gutter to the Gutterbrush, but the Gutterbrush is so large that the water can run above and around the debris constantly giving my gutters the optimum chance for flow.   Like a cat having 9 lives,  the larger surface area seems to provide more than 9 ways or 9 surfaces for the debris to get strained out yet still allowing the water to flow around and or over, through the brush, and cleanly exit down the downspout. The concept was simple yet ingenious, allowing rain water to pass down into the french drain while effectively trapping debris on the surface of the brush.

DIY Plan for Even Less French Drain Maintenance.

I found the footage packs of GutterBrush as the solution to my french drain gutter maintenance problem.   I was able to buy 3 foot sections of GutterBrush and simply slide them under the gutter brackets and leave them in the gutter over the gutter outlet to protect debris from flowing down the leader pipe and into the french drains.  I tried an 18 inch piece of GutterBrush and it worked so well being a longer larger gutter strainer, that I then switched it for a 36 inch length.  The footage boxes of GutterBrush, not the samples or trial packs, but the boxes that contain longer amounts of footage, contain 36 inch lengths so I put one of those over each downspout and it stopped the debris the way I wanted it to and also greatly decreased future  maintenance and increased the amount of time between ladder visits.


More Gutter Strainer Footage Is Even Better

Installing one piece of Gutterbrush over the downspouts is a very good solution for keeping debris out of the pipes; so then I started thinking, if 3 foot is good then 6 feet would be even better.   By the way, you can cut the GutterBrushes, so if an 18 inch piece works well, a 3 foot piece works even better and 6 feet or 9 feet works even better than that, so as I increase my budget for gutter protection,  I can purchase more three foot lengths and continue to increase the size of my gutter strainer to continue on the path of decreasing my maintenance and increasing the time between visits where I need to get out the ladder.   So then I started thinking even further,  that the area of unprotected gutter is the area that is sending the debris so whenever I decrease the unprotected footage of gutter, I will be decreasing the maintenance needed to keep it flowing.  Then it dawned on me; why not just fill the whole gutter with GutterBrush!   That would be a full length gutter strainer which is what I needed in the first place. I thought I was brilliant for coming up with this idea but it turns out that is the entire idea behind Gutterbrush in the first place so it is not my discovery.   If one piece of Gutterbrush over the downspout is good,  then 2 or 3 pieces over the downspout is even better but filling the entire gutter with 3 foot lengths of GutterBrush is best.  20 years ago, GutterBrush suggested filling the entire gutter as the easiest way to solve gutter clogging and keep debris out of the downspouts, and they were right.


The GutterBrush Difference: Installation and Maintenance

What truly set GutterBrush apart for me was not just its effectiveness but also its ease of installation and maintenance. As someone who prefers to handle home maintenance projects myself, I appreciated that installing GutterBrush 3 foot lengths as downspout guard protectors required no special tools or professional help. They are self fitting easily into my existing gutters, providing immediate protection for my French drains and in-ground storm drains.

Moreover, the maintenance of these guards proved to be minimal and straightforward unlike the small strainers that necessitated overflow and gutter cleaning much too frequently. This was a welcome relief, significantly reducing the time I spent on a ladder and allowing me to focus on other home improvement projects.

The GutterBrush Solution;  a Homeowner’s Conclusion

As I reflect on my journey to protect my home's drainage system, I am grateful for the discovery of the GutterBrush system used as downspout guards. This solution has not only alleviated the burden of constant cleaning but has also provided peace of mind, knowing that my French drains and in-ground storm drains are safeguarded against debris. The difference has been night and day, transforming a tedious and frequent chore into a minor, infrequent task, and I like the way the system is expandable and that every time I purchase more three foot sections,  I decrease my maintenance even further.   In sharing my experience, I hope to assist other homeowners in their quest to find a reliable solution for keeping their drainage systems clear. The challenges posed by clogged French drains and in-ground storm drains are universal, but so too is the desire for a low-maintenance, effective solution. For those wrestling with similar issues, I cannot recommend GutterBrush highly enough. Their innovative design, ease of installation, and minimal maintenance requirements have made them an indispensable part of my home maintenance routine, ensuring that my property remains protected against the elements.  I feel like I have solved my gutter problems in advance. In conclusion, the journey to maintaining clear French drains and in-ground storm drains is filled with trials and errors, but discovering the right tools for the job can make all the difference.


GutterBrush Downspout Guards - 4 Pack

For me, GutterBrush downspout guards have been that pivotal discovery, offering a practical, efficient,  inexpensive and expandable solution to a problem that once seemed incessant. As a homeowner dedicated to protecting my property, embracing GutterBrush has been one of the best decisions I've made, providing not just an affordable french drain solution, but a significant improvement in my quality of life and peace of mind.  GutterBrush cares about protecting gutters so much, they even provided me with a device so that my ladder rests on the roof and not on the gutter.

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