Gutters Rainwater flowing from downspout

Published on May 24th, 2017 | by Henri


Plugged gutters drain onto steps

Q.   I live in Chicago suburbs and am having problems with my gutters plugging up and draining over onto my front steps and driveway. This is even a bigger problem in the winter time as my steps freeze up and I am forever putting salt down and being on them with ice scrapers.

When I look at the Rainhandler, it seems to me that I will still have this problem. If this is true would it be possible for you to give me other suggestions that will help with this problem? Thank you.

A.  If you keep your gutters and downspouts clean of leaves and other debris as needed, which means in the fall after the leaves have fallen and in the spring after the trees have shed their spring bloom, the only thing that comes to mind is that your downspouts cannot handle the flow from the gutters because they are too few from the roof area draining into the gutters. There may be other reasons, but this seems to be the most likely.
Gutters are installed with a slight pitch to drain to the downspouts, so it may not be possible to add more downspouts. And it could also be that there is no way to have them discharge in a safe way.

One possible solution is to replace the downspouts with the larger commercial ones that have twice the cross section of residential spouts. But it will be essential to change the gutters’ residential outlets to the commercial one to allow the gutters to drain much faster. For this you should call an experienced gutter installer who is familiar with changing outlets.

The Rainhandler (, a gutterless alternative, which I have highly recommended for years to solve difficult situations, will not solve the problem of keeping roof water from your front steps and your driveway.

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