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5 Tips For Cleaning Roof and Gutters So That You Never Have to Worry About Water Damage

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1. Water Blast & Wash Your Roof

Black fungus, mould, lichens, algae and moss damage your roof. To effectively get rid of these pervasive destructive organisms, first spray a cleaning solution made up of an environmentally friendly cleaning soap mixed in water at low pressure. Let it sit on the roof for about 15 minutes.

Pressure wash the roof using fresh clean water keeping water pressure at less than 2000 psi. Keep the spray angle at 45 degrees, and work along the roof surface moving the nozzle evenly maintaining a distance of about 8 to 10 inches from the roof surface. This should provide effective cleaning of all black fungus, mold, lichens, algae and moss, making your roof clean and sparkling.

2. Understand Your Roof Gutters

Gutters are U shaped and can be of many shapes and sizes. They can be made of steel, vinyl or aluminum. Gutters from the good old days can even be of wood or cooper. Different methods are used to install gutters. You must know how your gutters are installed if you want to maintain them for proper functioning. Usually they are mounted in four different ways.

(A) Using inside hangers – These hangers fit on the inside of the gutter are fixed to the fascia with nails or screws going through the straps and the gutter face touching the fascia.

(B) Using outside hangers – The hangers are mounted directly onto the fascia with the gutter sitting inside the hangers.

(C) Using spikes and ferrules – Here ferrules are placed in the gutter for maintaining correct gutter width with spikes going through the gutter walls and the ferrule into the fascia.

(D) Using strap hangers – With the gutter sitting in the straps, the straps themselves are nailed or screwed to the roof sheathing below the shingles

When you know your gutters thoroughly you will be able to maintain and repair them as and when required without which the gutters may get welled up and overflow from the sides, leak, sag, bend out of alignment, or need replacement and your house may suffer from water damage to the fascia, basement, and other parts of the house.

Some times merely bending the hangers to some extent may bring the gutter in proper alignment or you may need to replace broken/irreparable hangers or may need to fix additional hangers for getting a properly functioning gutter to prevent water damage.

3. Fix Gutter Shields To Prevent Gutter Clogging

Gutter shields are inexpensive plastic or metal screens that act as guards to prevent leaves, buds, pine needles and other debris from getting into the roof gutters and clogging them.

However in some cases they may trap leaves on the topside of the screen mesh and reduce water flow into the gutter. Gutter guards that completely cover the gutter allowing water flowing down the roof to roll into the gutter and let leaves and debris tumble over the top to fall to the ground are slightly more expensive. You can also place appropriate screens inside the gutter to prevent any debris that manages to get in from flowing down and blocking the drain spout.

4. Clean Accumulated Gutter Debris From Time To Time

Do this at least twice a year i.e. in spring and fall on a good dry day. Place a ladder of sufficient height against the wall and ensure that it is properly balanced and will not slide to the left or right as you climb up and work.

Then get on top and collect dry twigs, leaves from the gutter and drop them onto the ground. You can also use a gutter scoop or a garden trowel. Alternatively, you can use a handheld electric blower to blow off dry leaves and twigs. Some blowers come with attachments for this purpose. You may need to get down several times and move the ladder around the exterior of your house to complete the job. However, you will be rewarded for all your efforts with a clean, free flowing gutter.

5. Clear Down Pipe Blockage

Your gutter may well up and water may spill over the sides if your down pipe is blocked with leaves and debris. The best way is to work from the bottom of the down pipe by using water pressure to unblock it.

You can do this by running up a garden hose into the down pipe from the bottom and pack a rag around the hose and open the water full blast. This should loosen the blockage, which can then flow out. If it does not work try a plumbers snake or just take down the down pipe and clean by poking a broom handle from the bottom. A free flowing gutter is the key to years of water damage free living.

If all the above sounds like hard work then simply hire a professional company to do all the hard work for you. That way at least your gutter and roof cleaning jobs will get done plus they’ll probably save you time and money in the long run.

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