How To Clean Your Roof’s Gutters and Drain System
According to Wikipedia, Florida reports more thunderstorms than any other state in the U.S., with three-fourths of all storms occurring between August and October; September being the stormiest month.
Storms not only produce a lot of rain, but they also stir up a lot of branches and leaves. As a Florida homeowner, cleaning your roof’s drain should be included in your routine property maintenance.
How Often Should I Clean My Roof’s Gutters?
Most professional roofers recommend that you clean your roof’s gutters and drain system twice a year, once in spring and once in fall. However, for Florida homeowners, we suggest that you maintain your roof’s drain and gutter system cleaning throughout the hurricane season, cleaning it at least once every few months.
Where possible, do not clean your gutters directly after it rains. Allow them to dry out for a few days before cleaning, this will make cleaning your gutters much easier.
As you will need a ladder to reach your gutters, we advise that you use all necessary measures to ensure complete safety. Here are a few safety guidelines to follow when cleaning your gutters:
- If you are not comfortable with ladders, consider hiring a professional.
- Ensure your ladder is stabilized on solid ground before climbing on it. Do not climb above the second rung of your ladder.
- Do not extend your reach sideways
- For two-story homes, use an extension ladder and have someone at the bottom of the ladder holding it to make sure it remains stable.
- Use a ladder stabilizer to help keep your ladder in place, if using an extension ladder.
- Use the necessary protective gear.
The First Step of Cleaning Your Gutters and Drain
The first step is to assess the condition of your gutters from top good companies. Do they need to be cleaned, or do they need to be replaced?
Hopefully, you have been maintaining them regularly so there will be no need to replace them.
Your roof gutters would need to be repaired or replaced if you note cracks or splits between the gutters or the drain. As a lot of water moves through the gutters, even small cracks will soon grow and could potentially damage your roof.
Paint damage and rust are also a sign that your gutters need to be repaired or possibly replaced.
Pools of water or mold indicate that your gutters are clogged. While clogs can be fixed by cleaning your gutters, if you note they consistently clog, this could mean there is a defect somewhere in your gutter and drain system that may need to be repaired or replaced.
On a dry day, check around and under the gutters and the drain for signs of water damage. This could mean that when it rains, they overflow and do not drain properly.
Saggy gutters show that there is water build-up and is a sign that your gutters or drains definitely need to be repaired and may need to be replaced.
Here Are The Basics Steps To Take to Clean Your Roof’s Gutters and Drains suggested by Top Companies:
- Once stably on your ladder, start cleaning your gutter at the downspout working your way towards the closed end.
- Clear all leaves, branches, and debris from gutters using a brush, or a gutter scoop. Collect all the debris in a bucket or trash can. Use a towel or gutter scoop to remove any compact debris. Ensure to maintain good balance while on your ladder and do not overextend yourself.
- Clean the downspout
- Remove and clean the downspout strainer
- Use a trowel or gutter scoop for compacted debris.
- Once the main of the debris has been removed, flush the remaining bits out with a garden hose. For best results use a nob that provides a good amount of water pressure.
- Start spraying the house at the far end moving towards the downspout.
- Spray underneath the roof shingles as you go.
- After the gutters are clean, check the downspout for clogs or lodged debris. Turn the hose on and spray the water down the downspout. Check the amount of water coming out at the bottom of the downspout to ensure it’s more or less the same amount that you are spraying into it, this means there are no clogs.
- Climb down your ladder and spray the hose up the downspout from the bottom up.
- If any clogs, turn the hose on full pressure.
- If the clogs are not dislodging you will need to use a plumbers snake to break up the blockage.
- Now that you’ve cleaned your gutters and your drain, check the gutter system for any slopes. You can see these by checking to see if there is any water buildup in the gutter system. If so, this means they are not sloped properly. Fix this by sloping them and using a screw to hold them in place at the right slope. Note that at this point, if you’re seeing many different water puddles along your gutter, you may need to call a professional roofer to get them repaired.
- Ensure all gutters are firm and well secured to your house. If not, screw them into place securely. You can also add gutter support hangers to help hold the gutters in place.
- Seal any leaking seams and joints with gutter sealer, the gutter sealer will have instructions on the bottle.
- If you want to also make them look better, you can touch up your gutters with paint.
- If you do not already have them in place, consider adding gutter screens to reduce the amount of cleaning needed next time.
Senior Editor, No1 Home Roofing