Tracking Down Roofing Issues

Roof Drainage: Tips On Inspecting And Maintaining Your Gutters

Gutters are a vital part of your roof's drainage system, charged with quickly removing water off the structure so it does not pool and cause structural damage or leaking. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to properly maintain their gutters, leading to many problems that shorten the life of their entire roof.

In this article, you will learn the importance of maintaining your gutters and get tips on how to keep these important roof components in great shape so as to enhance the drainage of your roof.

Why is gutter maintenance important?

Gutters are designed to not only remove water from the roof surface during a rain storm but to also help remove water from the winter thaw so as to reduce the weight on the roof and prevent structural damage or even a collapse.

Without proper cleaning, gutters can easily get clogged with dirt and debris, reducing their effectiveness in draining water from the roof. This in turn causes water to back up on the roof surface, leaks, rotting of shingles, mold infestation and discoloration. A clogged gutter can also divert water from the roof your home's foundation, causing basement flooding issues.

If a gutter isn't properly sloped, it can trap rain water that eventually form ice dams during the cold days. These ice dams can increase the weight of the roof, damaging the gutters themselves and other important roof drainage systems such as an interior drain or scupper. 

With proper maintenance, your gutters can improve the efficiency of your roof and help prevent most of these problems.

Tips for maintaining gutters

The first step to maintain these critical components of your roofing system is to keep them free of debris. You can do this by occasionally sweeping the entire roof to prevent leaves and branches on the surface from reaching the gutters. Additionally, use a pressure washer to remove any dirt stuck inside the leader pipe and downspouts to ensure the free flow of rain water.

Next, check the gutter brackets which fasten the gutter pipe to the roof. Any brackets that are loosely attached to the gutter should be fastened, as they could cause the gutter to tear away from the roof during a storm.

Another important thing to keep an eye on is the angle of the gutter. Have your roofer adjust the slope of the entire gutter to prevent water and debris from collecting in the low area. You should also keep tree branches near the roof trimmed away, as they could hit the gutter in heavy winds and damage or bend the gutter out of proportion.

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