Who would’ve thought that there’s something of a fine art to clearing muck from a simple system of pipes? After all, it’s just debris that will eventually, at some point, get washed away and disappear entirely, right? In theory, yes. In practice… unfortunately not.
However, guttering is the most simple, essential element of any roofing system you can maintain yourself – although this can also make it the easiest to ignore, in terms of taking care of problems. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing it yourself.
Work from the bottom up
The most common process of identifying a guttering problem and removing it is when we see unusual splashes of water, or build-ups of debris, in the guttering that runs parallel to the roof. However, the best place to start, when clearing out your gutters, is where the system runs into the local drains.
While the build-up of leaves, growing plants, and maybe even the odd birds’ nest may be the most immediately visible sign of blocked guttering, the initial problem could be in the downspout itself – so ensure that this is sorted in the first instance.
Get the ladders out
Adding to this a trowel, maybe a bucket, and certainly a helping hand to hold the ladders, the next step is to get right up to the roofline and investigate the extent of any visible blockage. While you may find one large clump of debris, there could also be many smaller blockages waiting for you when you reach the roof.
If this is the case, it goes without saying that you should never lean to your left or right to remove them. Climb up and down the ladder as many times as required to safely remove everything that shouldn’t be there, and keep a look out for any cracks or parts of the guttering system that have been damaged.
Test the entire system
After the larger parts of debris have been removed, the rest of the debris should be washed out with rainwater. However, to ensure the system is working properly, you could also use a gutter-cleaning attachment, applied to a hose, and test how the water flows from the start of the system to the drain below.
With just a light flow of water, you’ll quickly be able to see if any areas of the system are allowing water to escape, before it reaches the drain, or establish whether the water is flowing smoothly through every piece of the system. If it’s not, the price of a professional gutter check far outweighs the potential cost to the damage of your property, so contact a professional.
Leave it to the experts
Effectively, we could have added this final piece of advice right from the start, but at least now you know the right DIY drain-cleaning process to follow, regardless. Anyway, if a professional is required to help you take care of your guttering problems, it may be worth looking for a roofing specialist at the same time.
The recommended guidelines for maintaining your roof and gutter is actually for a twice-annual roof inspection, and a yearly check of your gutters. Findley roofers in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, for instance, offer a free roof health check, so wherever you’re based you should be able to find professional guttering maintenance and roofing expertise all under one (excuse the pun!) roof.