Reasons Gutters and Downspouts are Noisy

The sound of gentle rain falling on the roof can be very soothing, so relaxing it can help you fall asleep. But when the sound of water dripping from the gutters and downspouts during a rainfall and then continues after the rain stops, it can become intrusive and annoying, especially if it’s loud enough to wake you up. Here are some reasons why gutters and downspouts are noisy and what can be done about it.

Leaks and Clogs Need Attention

The sound you hear might not be coming directly from the gutters or downpipes at all. Check for leaking seams or joints where gutter sections have separated from one another. Also, look for holes in aluminum gutters and clumps of debris that can cause gutters to overflow. Water leaking from worn seams and overflowing gutters can drip on to siding, the edge or lip of aluminum gutters, or the outside of metal downpipes. Check the windows near the gutter section or downspout making the noise to see if the escaping water is hitting something metal.

Gutter System Hardware has become Loose

In order for the gutter system to protect your home from water damage the way it should all hardware should be tight, in good repair, and not missing. The brackets and anchors that hold the gutters in place should be screwed tightly in place on the fascia. But the elements can take a toll on a roofing system. Heavy rain, windstorms, and snowfall can impact gutter sections, making them vulnerable to dents and scratches. Fluctuating temperatures causing aluminum gutters to expand and contract often loosen hardware to the point where gutter sections pull away from the fascia. When water moves through a gutter system that is not firmly attached to the roof, the additional movement can be enough to splash water onto the downspout.

A similar process occurs when downspout straps or downspout brackets become loose, they can shift from side to side when it becomes windy or downpipes are subjected to heavy rains. If wind or rain causes the downspout to vibrate, it can result in a noisy downspout.

Angle of the Downspout Needs Readjusting

Downspouts are made up of a straight length of pipe and downspout elbows – one elbow that connects the pipe to the gutters and a second elbow that allows the rainwater to drain away from the house’s foundation. While it might appear the downpipes run straight from the gutter outlet to the ground, in order for them to allow water to flow freely, they should actually have a slight tilt. When water repeatedly drips on the inside of the downspout directly on the elbow, the dripping sound is amplified (and loud). Try readjusting the angle of the downspout by doing one of the following:

  • Depending on which elbow makes the most noise, move the top or bottom section of the downpipe away from the exterior wall by using a spacer or a longer clip
  • Install a downspout extender
  • Replace the bottom downspout elbow with a vinyl or plastic elbow