Keeping Gutters and Drains Clean in Fall

Posted by Roofco September 20, 2018

Within the past couple of weeks, we have discussed in-depth about the importance of checking your commercial roof, performing occasional maintenance and making critical repairs before cool weather sets in. Today, we are going to concentrate on just how damaging debris may be. All of those gorgeous fall leaves may wreak havoc on a commercial roof.

 Debris Buildup and Unexpected Consequences

All it’ll take is a bit of moisture and those autumn leaves to biodegrade into a heavy, soggy mess which blocks scuppers, clogs drains, and invites mildew, fungi, and mold. If not immediately removed, debris and leaves may cause backed-up water that will increase the live load on your roof deck. Standing water, a mere 1” deep, adds 5 lbs. per sq. ft. of live load on a roof assembly. Over a period of time, standing water may leach the pliable properties out of single-ply membranes, and reduce flexibility and the roof’s life.

In the wintertime, ponding becomes crucial as pooling water expands and freezes, and forces its way into small cracks or underneath flashings. Extra ice weight may cause structural damage and costly repairs, or perhaps even roof collapse.

Preventative Maintenance Decreases Risk

Maintenance teams ought to be trained to search for leaves and additional debris around scuppers and drains. In autumn, constant checks and immediate removal of debris are needed to prevent blockage and buildup. Standing water areas could be a sign of blocked drains. Partially-blocked drains permit water flow, albeit slowly; therefore, even if you do not see standing water it does not mean you do not have a drainage issue. Staining of the surface of the roof might be a sign of prior ponding, which also is a red flag. Not every issue caused by leaves and additional debris is apparent to the naked eye; therefore, it is important to have a professional roofer take a look.

Gutters and drains ought to be cleared now — before cold temperatures turn soggy leaf debris to frozen blockages.

Expert Inspection

Besides disposing of debris and leaves, a professional roofer will water-test both external and internal drains and inspect downspouts and gutters. While he is at it – he will check the minor things which may escape the notice of a maintenance team, like assessing strainers to make sure that they’re in place and the bolts that holds them are secure. It’ll take a skilled eye to recognize problems early with flashings, sealants, penetrations, seams, and mortar. Downspouts and gutters ought to be checked for loose connections, sagging, and missing or broken fasteners.

Regular inspections and preventative maintenance plans are the key to lengthy roof life.

At Roofco, our customers receive the most for their roof dollars. For the peace of mind which comes with knowing your commercial company’s roof is in the best possible condition going into wintertime – give our team a call right away to hear more about our preventative maintenance plan.

For more information on keeping gutters and drains clean contact the experienced roofer of Roofco today!