Downspouts compliment your gutter draining system. They allow the water collected by the gutters to drain down and away from your house’s walls.
For them to do that, they need to have good structural integrity. When you hear them vibrating, that’s often your first clue that the downspout’s stability isn’t as it should be. If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance that you’re wondering: Why is my downspout vibrating?
Downspouts vibrate for various reasons, including loose screws, clogging, improper sizes, or damage.
However, not all vibration you hear means a problem. In this post, we’ll show you when to worry about vibration. We’ll also show you its reasons and how to prevent it from happening.
It’s important to understand that downspouts will normally vibrate when there’s rainwater inside them, especially if there’s a harsh rainstorm.
This vibration should barely be audible, but you should feel it if you place your hand over the downspouts while they’re draining water.
Fortunately, this minimal vibration is normal and shouldn’t raise concern. However, if your downspouts are audibly vibrating with the slightest wind, even when they’re not draining anything, then you may have a problem.
Here are the reasons for vibrating downspouts:
Loose screws are arguably the most common reason why your downspouts would vibrate.
The telltale sign of loose screws is that the vibration will gradually increase as the screws loosen over time. They would then get louder and louder and start visibility shaking with the slightest wind.
Fortunately, loose screws are easy to detect and fix. All you have to do is to tighten those screws or replace them if they’re damaged.
If the screws are somewhere inaccessible to you, you should consider hiring a professional who can fix the issue safely.
Water isn’t the only thing that your downspout may collect. People have found all sorts of debris and dirt clogging their downspouts.
Much like loose screws, it’s easy to detect when there’s a clog because you’ll be able to pinpoint the vibration to a specific part of the downspout.
More often than not, simple cleaning of your downspout should solve the problem. Whatever gets clogged in downspouts often makes its way down. It then gets stuck by the curvature at the end of the pipe, making it easier to reach and remove.
With a reliable pair of gloves and a leaf scooper, you should be able to remove any clogging in the downspout.
Unfortunately, you won’t always manage to clear the clogging as it can sometimes be in an awkward location. When that happens, professional cleaners should be able to help.
5 and 6-inch gutters are often the size most people use. Having your gutters too large or too small may cause excessive vibration during water drainage.
For example, if the downspout is too small for the amount of water it’s supposed to carry, it will vibrate under the water pressure.
Alternatively, excessively large downspouts will create turbulence and instability in the water flow during draining, resulting in vibration.
Make sure to understand the weather conditions of the area in which you’re installing the gutter system. Areas with heavier rainfall tend to require larger downspout sizes.
Any sort of damage can cause your downspout to operate abnormally. The issue might range from a simple vibration sound to a complete failure or breakage of the downspout.
Rust is also a damaging element that can slowly erode your downspout and cause it to vibrate and eventually cause malfunction.
Rust often affects individual downspouts, so you shouldn’t hear vibration from your entire gutter system.
Typically, you’ll start sensing a louder vibration on a particular downspout. That pipe might be giving you an early warning that something is off. If rust is the culprit, you should find those iconic brown blotches somewhere along the downspout.
The downspouts may be firmly attached to your house’s walls. However, they’ll still vibrate if the interface between them and your gutters isn’t secure enough.
To eliminate that possibility, you should get on your roof and apply some pressure under the connection point.
If your downspout moves, even if slightly, then the connection to the gutter is loose and in need of tightening.
Before proceeding further, you should understand that you can never completely eliminate the vibration. Even if your gutter system is working perfectly, a minimum vibration level will always be there.
However, what you need to do is to ensure that this vibration remains within acceptable levels. Here’s how:
Make a habit of occasionally checking your downspouts. You may do that after every time it rains. However, try to keep doing it at least once a month regardless of rain. This can save some future costs by detecting issues early.
The easiest way to check is to apply some pressure with your hands on the downspout. If it’s well-fixed in place, then you shouldn’t feel any movement.
Follow that by tapping on the downspout to check for anything that may be lodged inside. In most cases, you’ll find some dust and leaves inside. Clean those regularly to avoid having to deal with bigger debris.
Rust is liable to happen at any given time. If you’ve just installed your downspouts, the paint will protect them for a while, but you’ll need to refresh that paint regularly to prevent rust.
Also, it’s a good idea to invest in high-quality pipes from the start. For example, aluminum and galvanized steel offer superior rust resistance compared to other metals.
Your downspouts shouldn’t vibrate as long as there’s no water running through them. If the slightest wind causes vibration, then the fitting of your gutter system isn’t secure.
The brackets you use should be harmonious with the size of your downspouts. For example, using smaller downspouts with larger brackets will cause the pipes to vibrate.
Insulation comes in handy when you double-check your downspout’s screws and stability but still hear vibration when it’s windy.
In that case, insulating the downspout could solve the problem. Insulation won’t only reduce the noise, but it will also protect your downspouts from freezing in the winter.
You may have tried everything to fix that stubborn downspout, but sometimes fetching a new one is a better solution. Since this can be expensive, only replace the downspout when the problem is in a sole pipe.
If your entire gutter system is vibrating, then there’s an issue with the structural integrity. You’ll need to have a professional check the alignment and the orientation of your gutter system to find and fix the issue.
Downspouts have a minimum acceptable level of vibration when they’re draining water. However, when it’s not raining, they should be as silent as your home’s walls.
If there’s a vibration, then something could be loose or out of place. Double-check your downspouts to ensure that everything is secured.
You may also check for anything that could be stuck inside the downspouts. You should also utilize insulation to reduce that noise and prevent freezing.
If all fails, you may need to replace that downspout.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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