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Roof TLC: Unblocking Gutters and Downpipes

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Roof Maintenance in West LinnIt’s great to have big trees slumping over your roof as they provide a natural shade, and it’s such a delight to watch the colors of the leaves change throughout the year. But when the trees begin to shed in the autumn, your roof gutters and downpipes may be in big trouble.

Fallen leaves and other residues can get deposited in your gutters and downpipes and may prevent the efficient flow of rainwater. If rainwater stays too long on your roof, it will cause severe damage to the structure, as well as your home’s façade and foundation. To avoid this, you must routinely unblock your gutter.

Unblocking a Gutter

It is crucial to get the necessary tools to do the job effectively and efficiently, without causing any more damage to roof components. If you plan to do it yourself, you should get hold of a ladder, gloves, a bucket, a trowel and a water jet, or buy a gutter cleaning kit from a hardware store.

Unblocking or cleaning a gutter basically involves removing the leaves and residues from the gutter to make way for rainwater drainage. The difficulty of the task will depend on the design and location of your gutter.

Unclogging a downpipe is a lot more complicated, regardless of the roof type, as you will have to dismantle it and clean it by hand. If you don’t have the tools and skills to do this, Action Maintenance & Construction Northwest says that it is best to seek professional help, to avoid incurring more damages and for your own safety as well.

If you collect rainwater for alternative usage and consumption, it is best to unblock your gutter and downpipe more frequently. You can also consider adding a grating or brush leaf guard which ensures leaves don’t block the channel.

Post-Cleaning Assessment

Once the gutter and downpipe are clean and free of residue and leaves, it is best to take advantage of the opportunity to evaluate the general state of the structure. Other than leaf and residue deposits, there may be other problems causing your downpipe to perform poorly.

There could be leaks, cracks or faulty joints that could affect the performance of the gutter and downpipes. As soon as you detect the problems, repair them right away before they escalate. If you don’t have a brush leaf guard yet, it’s time to install one to avoid more complicated blockages in the future.

Unblocking your roof gutter and downpipe should be an integral part of your home maintenance routine. If you keep putting it off, your roof structure will weaken and eventually collapse.

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