When Is The Best Time To Clean Your Roof & Gutter?
Each spring homeowners all over the U.S. find themselves thinking about cleaning their roofs and gutters. In fact, spring is the perfect time of year to get a roof inspection from a professional roofing company. It pays to make sure that gutters are clean, free of cracks and still getting the job done.
It’s also the time of year when people install gutter guards. Spring cleaning your roof includes not only a complete roof inspection but the installation of gutter guards when necessary. For homes that suffered severe damage during the winter, spring is a popular time for roof repair, too.
It’s recommended to carry out rain gutter maintenance every four months but at a minimum, twice a year, in the fall and spring. You can also use your judgment on how often to clean your gutters based on how frequently leaves fall in your area and the types of leaves. It’s a good idea before and after heavy rains or snowfall to do a visual inspection of your home’s gutters. If you see a build-up of leaves, twigs, berries and so on, use a garden hose to flush out the debris that’s blocking the free flow of water. We don’t recommend tackling a new gutter installation yourself, but some straightforward maintenance will help get your home prepped for the summer storms.
How To Clean Your Roof
Whether the harsh winter season left you with roof and gutter damage or not, spring is a good time to take a close look at your home’s exterior. Here’s a quick spring-cleaning checklist for your roof that every homeowner should know about:
- Visibly inspect all major components of the home’s roof, including gutters, shingles, protrusions (chimneys, air ducts, antenna supports, etc.)
- Shine a strong flashlight into the guttering and look for debris and blockages of any kind
- Note any areas where shingles are worn or missing
- Look under eaves and on all exterior walls for water and other types of damage, discoloration, dents from hail, worn spots, and chipped paint
- Walk around the perimeter of the foundation in search of apparent entry points for water, gully-like perforations in the ground, and holes
- Contact a local roofing contractor (such as AmeriPro Roofing) if you spot anything suspicious
- Photograph everything you find during your short inspection and make notes about the overall health of the gutters and roof that you can share with the roofing expert when they come to inspect your roof
If everything appears to be in good shape, it’s still a good idea to call a roofing professional for a post-winter inspection. AmeriPro Roofing can come out and inspect your roof for any damage. Our highly trained team can also clean the gutters, install gutter guards and make sure your home is ready for the next round of climate extremes.
Why Do Gutters Matter?
Gutters are not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the beauty or curb appeal of our home. You might find yourself asking, “why do I need gutters?”. The reality is, while gutters are not that pretty, they play an integral role in protecting your most substantial investment—your home. Gutters redirect rainwater runoff away from your home, helping avoid soil erosion, foundation water damage, roofing problems, siding damage, and wood rot. Keeping the entire gutter system around your home in top shape will go a long way toward preventing these kinds of issues.
Why Should You Maintain Your Gutters?
Rain gutters fail when leaves and other types of debris clog the downspouts, trapping water which can then seep behind the fascia board and gutters, causing rot and mold. Even before hiring a professional team to clean or carry out maintenance on your gutters, there are some basic things you can do to help minimize debris build up, such as regular gutter cleaning with a high-pressure hose. It’s always better to take preventive measures rather than treating the problem after the fact which can be more costly and take longer to fix. Although cleaning gutters is a task most homeowners can do themselves, it can be dangerous work.
Signs of Gutter Damage
Always keep an eye on possible gutter damage, like any type of splits or cracks, peeled paint near rain gutters, mildew or pooled water near the foundation, watermarks or water damage directly below the gutters, and guttering that is sagging or appears to be separating from the house.
Gutter Cleaning Tips
Even if you don’t own any specialized gutter cleaning tools, it’s relatively easy to do a fast cleaning job all-around your home’s guttering system.
1. Wear a strong pair of plastic or rubber gloves. Gutter cleaning is a dirty job!
2. If you don’t have a gutter scoop, use a sturdy plastic cup that’s cut for the purpose. Take a quart-sized plastic drinking cup that’s thick enough to withstand scooping debris from a gutter. If your gutters are extra-wide, you’ll want to use a 52-ounce cup for a scoop. Simply slice the cup in half, from top to bottom, to fashion your scooping tool.
3. Use a ladder to place your eye level about 2-3 feet above the top of guttering.
4. Gently and slowly scoop the debris, mud, dirt, leaves, and anything else from the gutter. Toss each load either onto the ground or into a bag that hangs from the ladder.
5. Have someone hand a hose to you so you can now rinse out all the guttering canals. If possible, use a high-pressure nozzle in order to do a thorough job. Be sure to aim the water flow from the hose into the direction of the nearest down-spout (drainpipe). If you get any backup due to clogged spouts, stop rinsing and get off the ladder.
6. Move the ladder to the nearest the clogged drainpipe and climb back up. Have your helper hand you a plumber’s snake and run it down the problem drainpipe until the clog is broken up. When you get through the clog, hand down the snake and take the hose. Run the hose at its highest pressure straight down the drainpipe to remove excess debris and built-up soil.
Use Gutter Guards To Minimize Gutter Cleaning
It is possible to clean gutters every year after winter is over. The problem is that most guttering systems are completely open and thus allow all sorts of junk to build up and block water flow. The team at AmeriPro Roofing (AmeriPro) can install gutter guards on your gutters that will prevent debris build-up and minimize annual maintenance. An effective guttering system can include screen, topper or insert guards for maximum protection. Guards are the best way to avoid the hassle of gutter cleaning.
AmeriPro Roofing is the roofing contractor with decades of experience in all kinds of roof repair and roof cleaning. There’s really no reason for homeowners to worry about their gutters. Even after an especially harsh winter, your home can still be in top shape if you have yearly inspections and pay attention to seasonal damage.
What Can a Professional Roofing Company Do?
Homeowners can do a lot on their own. Vigilance and a pro-active approach make a big difference in the life of a roof and the overall health of a structure. Professional roofers, like the pros from AmeriPro Roofing, are the other piece of the puzzle. They can follow up on anything you find when you inspect your own roof. That way, the experts will know, right away, what to look for and what the problem areas are.
Smart homeowners work with roofing professionals to extend the life of their roof, protect against harsh weather and make certain that when those unexpected climate events happen, your family, and your biggest financial investment (your home), will be safe and sound.