Cleaning roofs and keeping gutters free of obstructions are considered among the most uncomfortable home maintenance works: they are among those we postpone most often, since we are discouraged by danger and fatigue.
But using the right tools, such as a home or semi-professional pressure washer, cleaning roofs and gutters becomes easier and requires less effort.
Throughout the year, leaves, soil, guano and other debris accumulate on the roofs of our houses; transported by rain and wind, they are deposited along the gutters and rainwater channels. If they are not periodically removed, these materials clog the drains and, inevitably, produce very dangerous water stagnations for floors, ceilings and surfaces both inside and outside the house.
The accumulated water, even in a short time, causes corrosion and breakage of pipes, especially metal pipes: this way, uncontrolled water leaks fall on the walls, causing stains, moss and mould. An obstructed gutter cannot properly channel water to the sewers, causing it to fall from the roof in every direction. Worst case scenario, you could get a bad rain shower in your house during a thunderstorm.
The most extreme case, however, occurs when the accumulation of dirt is so heavy that it even causes the gutter itself to detach.
Regular cleaning with a pressure washer can avoid these drawbacks and requires very little effort.
HOW TO CLEAN THE ROOF WITH THE PRESSURE WASHER
If you live in an apartment building or in a very tall building, the smartest choice is to rely on a specialized company, without running the risk of working at heights.
If, on the other hand, you live in a small house or in a private home, you can easily clean the gutters and your roof by yourself, attaching the necessary accessories to your home pressure washer or buying a semi-professional pressure washer. In both cases, the result will be exceptional if you follow a few tips.
The first recommendation is to work safely. If possible, climb directly onto the roof and anchor yourself to a firm point with a rope or sling; alternatively, you can work with a ladder or scaffold (better if assisted by a second person). You can reach any point on the roof thanks to the long hoses supplied with the pressure washer and special curved lances that allow easy cleaning even in the less accessible areas.
The high-pressure water jet of the pressure washer allows removing the dirt deposited on the tiles. Flow rate and pressure can be adjusted by means of special controls, but it is advisable to avoid operating too close or with too high pressure on insulating sheaths and coatings, in order not to cause detachments and cracks. For the hardest incrustations you can rely on special brushes or special nozzles.
HOW TO CLEAN GUTTERS WITH THE PRESSURE WASHER
Pressurized water is the main advantage of using the pressure washer to clean eaves channels, especially if they are clogged: the effort you would make to unclog the pipes with a simple stick or pole is in fact zeroed out thanks to the force of the water jet.
The first thing to do is to remove manually, or with the aid of a dustpan, the layer of dirt that has compacted inside the horizontal sections at the ends of the roof, together with branches and leaves. After removing the bulk, use a stiff brush to clean up the incrustations at the bottom of the pipes.
To find out if the eaves channel is clogged, simply run water through it, even with a common garden hose. If the downpipe is plugged, it's time to rely on pressure and special accessories such as drain nozzle. Both for home and semi-professional pressure washers, products of different lengths to be attached to the spray gun of the pressure washer are available on the market. They consist of a steel nozzle with a rounded shape and use backward-firing high-pressure jets to move forward, thanks to the water pressure, inside the pipe and remove the cause of the obstruction.
You can clean the gutter with the pressure washer and the drain nozzle from the ground, eliminating any risk of falls.
How to proceed:
- connect the pressure washer gun to the drain nozzle
- insert and slide the drain nozzle slowly and carefully into the clogged pipe until you reach the point where the blockage is located
- only at this point - and only if the drain nozzle is inserted by about half a meter, so as not to risk it escape - operate the pressure washer gun
- the water pressure will push the drain nozzle through the obstruction, while you continue to push the drain nozzle along the entire length of the gutter to remove any other blockages
- after the entire passage has been completed, stop the pressure washer and pull out the drain nozzle.
So you’ll have cleaned up your eaves channels in a very short time and without any special effort. With the pressure washer and a drain nozzle you can also clear clogged sewer pipes, while with smaller diameter drain nozzles and more flexible materials you can also unclog the drains and elbows of your home plumbing system.
As you have seen, using a pressure washer makes it much easier to clean roofs and gutters: you can, therefore, repeat the operation several times during the year on a regular basis, without resorting to extraordinary interventions and risking unpleasant damages.