Roofing Tips 101: Cleaning Your Gutters

When it comes to roofing, people generally think of shingles and the physical roof, but few understand the importance of keeping the gutters and downspouts clean. The purpose of a gutter system is to keep rain water from pooling on the roof and in your yard.

The water is supposed to fall from the sky, onto the roof and the travel down to the gutter system where it is harmlessly directed to an area such as the street or retention cache. As years pass, leaves and other debris can fall into the gutters and clog them. This can be very dangerous for the roof. If water is allowed to pool, then it can ruin the shingles or seep into the boards, creating rot and eventually leakage.

You can tell if your gutters need cleaning by simply looking at them from above. If you see leaves and debris covering the holes to the down spout, or piled up in the gutters themselves, then your gutters need cleaning. You can tell if your downspouts are clogged by pouring water into the gutters and seeing how it comes out. If it doesn’t come out at all, or only trickles, than the downspout is clogged.

Begin the process by taking out a ladder and climbing up to the gutters with a box of garbage or leaf bags. Cleaning a gutter is messy work, so you’ll going to want to wear some pretty heavy duty rubber gloves. Don’t use cloth as the leaves are likely wet and will only soak through fabric.

Put the box of bags on the roof above the gutter and take out a bag. Begin scooping out the leaves and debris and placing them in the bag. When the bag is filled, simply tie it off and drop it to the ground. Don’t forget to pick it up later. When the leaves are gone, use a leaf blower and blow out any remaining debris.

The downspout is a little bit trickier. The clogs on the downspout usually happen at the opening at the roof or at the curved opening at the bottom. Take a broomstick or snake and shove it down the downspout hole at the roof to dislodge any debris. At the bottom, use a snake to go up the curved pipe and knock out the debris there. Once the entire system has been cleaned, take a hose and run water through the system to make sure the path is clear all the way from the gutter through the downspouts.

In addition to gutter repair and placement, Yancey Home Improvements your Sacramento roofer offers roofing repairs and emergency repairs. Should you find you have a stubborn leak or any wind damage from our unpredictable Northern California weather, we can help. Minor repairs are no problems for us either; let us help you with your home repairs and upkeep.