How to Clean Your Roof Drain Gutters

How To Easily Clean Your Roof Drain Gutters

Cleaning your roof drain should be part of the regular maintenance of your property to avoid damages that could cost you a fortune.  Understanding the causes of roof drain clogs and how you can clean out your roof drain, and actually doing it on a yearly basis at a minimum, will go a long way towards keeping disasters to a minimum.  Results? You save money.

Consistency is still the key, because when you fail to clean out your roof drain, resulting water damage might lead to a property restoration overhaul instead of a typical roof drain cleaning. 


What is a roof drain?

Before we discuss how you can clean out your roof drain easily, we need to know what it is first. Then, we can proceed to identifying the clogs you need to fix.  


A roof drain connects the roof of the house to an outlet pipe.  The purpose of a roof drain, as you would imagine, is to drain water from the roof.  Its top portion has a strainer to keep debris out of the drain.  


However, waste can accumulate overtime and that could lead to clogs. That is why the best way to prevent a clogged roof drain is consistent cleaning and maintenance.

Why do roof drains get clogged?


There are different drains in your home, and the roof drain is the one that is exposed to a lot of elements that can cause clogs.  When properly installed, roof drains provide protection against rain, melting hail, high winds or other weather conditions that can cause major property damage. 


Pollutants, leaves, animal nests, and are the common causes of clogs to your roof drain, blocking or reducing the speed of water draining.  Also, the usual entry point of animals is through the lower portion of the drain. Since that portion is open (to allow out running water), animals have easy access to drains where they build their nests. These nests can block the drain and cause damage to property.


What happens if roof drains get clogged?

Clogged drains can flood your roof and you most likely would not notice that right away since roof drains are located outside the house, up on the roof, and who looks there?  You would only gradually notice the reduced drainage in other house drains. 


Clogged drains can cause water to back up on the roof.  Flooded roofs can lead to bigger problems like overflow and leakage around the house.  Worse, water can even cause a roof collapse. Thus, there must be a conscious effort to check on the roof drain to ensure that your roof is not flooded. 


Series of pools around your roof can also deteriorate caulking, tar, and roofing cement.  When water gets into gaps of roofing materials seams, they weaken. They can also seep into areas of AC units, skylights, vents, chimney, or other parts of the house connected to the roof. 


The additional weight of water can also strain the structural support of the roof.  Pools around your roof could freeze during winter and this will pose safety hazards.  With water damaging your property there are additional possibilities of growth of unwanted plants like moss and slime. They also become ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. 


How to Clean Out Your Roof Drain


Now that we know what roof drains are, how they get clogged, and what consequences you need to deal with when they do, let’s discuss briefly the steps in unclogging your roof drains.


1.    Identify a Roof Drain Clog

The first thing to do in any case of clogged roof drains is to determine if the clog is really in the roof drain. There are other drains in the house, and they might be the problem instead of your roof drain. 


To make sure that it is your roof drain that needs fixing, you must identify where the reduced drainage problem is.  One way to find out is to listen to the sound when the water drains. A gurgling sound is indicative of a roof drain blockage. 


To be sure, unclog the drains inside the house before doing so for your roof drain. They might need immediate fixing more than your roof drain does. If all other drains are working fine, start inspecting your roof.

2.    Inspect Your Roof Drain

You need to check if the problem is really a clog because there are other reasons roof water drainage is reduced.  Some of these are cracks in pipes and improper pipe installation. To properly determine cracks and installation problems, you need to consult a professional. 


However, there are inspections that you can do on your own. You can clear debris from the outside of the drain.  Unscrew the cover using a common screwdriver, so you can check inside using your flashlight. If there are large obstructions, you can remove them while using gloves. 


A pipe brush, broom, leaf blower, or dry vacuum cleaner can remove leaves.  If there are animals inside the drain, you need to call a professional to remove them safely without hurting them (or yourself). There are also risks of getting attacked by a mother animal so it is better that you let the experts do that part.

3.    Use  A Pipe Brush for Your Roof Drain

If your gloved hands don’t work, you can always use a pipe brush for clogs inside the roof drain. A pipe brush is a long brush that is used to clean out the roof drain from the top. Unscrew the cap then simply run the pipe brush into the roof drain until it reaches the clog.  Push the pipe brush, and continue doing this until the clog flushes down the drain. 


You need to use water from the hose for flushing the clog down the outlet pipe. Since flushing is done after the dislodging the roof drain blockage, this method will not make the water back up onto the roof. 


Using the pipe brush is not just a method for clogs, but also a good way to keep your roof drain clear of debris when done on a regular basis. This will not harm your pipes. You can do this twice a month during autumn when there is a large amount of falling leaves, since this is when most deciduous trees shed their leaves, Once a month would be enough during other seasons.


There are other means of unclogging roof drains such as using a snake, a sewer jetter, a blow bag, a wet vacuum, a high-powered suction machine, a water hose, or even hot water.  Using the pipe brush is the basic and safest solution for a clogged roof drain. Also, it works as an effective maintenance method that even unskilled people can do to avoid expensive services to recover from water damage. 


If these basic steps don’t work, you can also consider other means, and never forget to call a professional to execute a more intensive roof drain cleaning. 


So Cal Services - The Top Local Plumber

If you have a drain clog or another plumbing problem you need help with, do not hesitate to call us.  We at So Cal Services are honest, affordable and offer a 100% guarantee on our work. Call us today at 951-926-1978


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