Fall or autumn indicates the transition from summer to winter so it is the only time your roof can take a break from these two extreme weather cases. Frequent gutter and downspout cleaning are necessary during fall to prevent blockage and buildup.
Usually, homeowners and other building owners hire professional roofers to check and maintain their roofs, especially the gutter and downspout section during fall to prepare for winter.
You can just imagine how busy roofers will be at that time. You can schedule an inspection and maintenance in advance or you can do it yourself like a pro.
Gutters and downspouts prevent water and debris from staying on your roof. In summer, many kinds of debris (leaves, pine needles, dust, twigs, pollen, or an abandoned bird’s nest) tend to collect on these roof parts, which disables them to perform their functions.
Standing water indicates a possible clogging or blockage. Before thinking that your gutters and downspouts might be broken or damaged, clean them first.
Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts
Gutter cleaning is easy and can be done with the following materials:
- a sturdy or new ladder
- a pair of gloves
- a gutter brush
- a trowel
- a bucket
- a garden hose
- a leaf scooper
- Wear the gloves.
- Grab and pull out large items out of your gutter by hand.
- Then, use the trowel or brush to get rid of the mud.
- Aside from using a bucket, you can scoop out the gutter debris and drop them onto a plastic tarp or cloth on the ground. This is a more practical method if the debris is wet or damp and add unnecessary weight to the bucket.
- Clean your gutter with the hose.
- Check if your gutter can drain water properly.
- Check for sagging, loose connections, and broken or missing fasteners.
To clear your downspouts, you will need the materials above plus:
- pressure washer and
- A plumbing snake
- Place a hose into the downspout. Then, have someone turn on the water.
- If the downspout is clogged, pack the downspout opening around the pressure washer (or the hose with maximum pressure) with a rag or a piece of clothing to seal the hose tight.
- Turn on the pressure washer as hard as possible to clear the clog and let the water flow freely from the bottom opening of the downspout.
- If you can’t unclog it, you’ll have to manually clear it using a plumbing snake. Put the plumbing snake in the downspout until it hits the obstruction.
- Then, test for flow with a garden hose.
After finishing all the steps above, the final step is to rinse and gutter and downspout system. Then, flush it out using a hose supplying water at the farthest gutter section from the downspout opening.
When the gutter section is rinsed thoroughly, proceed to the next gutter following the same entire process.
Aside from ensuring the proper flow of water from the roof to your home’s foundation, cleaning and maintaining your gutter and downspouts will help in preventing wood rot and failure of the fascia boards and body of your house.
Repairing Gutters and Downspouts
If a standing water remains after cleaning and flushing the gutter, it might not be sloped correctly and should be adjusted. Usually, this is the time you seek professional help. However, if you think you can do it, knock yourself out.
The length of the gutter should decline for at least 1/4 inch every 10 feet toward the downspout.
If it doesn’t slope enough, you need to detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly. Then, reattach the hangers.
To repair leaks in the gutter:
- To repair leaks at the seams, keep the gutter lengths tight against each other. Then, run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all the joints.
- To repair end caps leaks, add sealant along the inside of the joint.
- To repair holes in the gutter, call your professional roofer.
This indispensable guide comes from Masterpiece Roofing and Painting. They are a Denver Roofing Company who specializes in residential and commercial roof replacements, residential and commercial painting, siding, windows, and gutter work.