Cleaning out gutters and drains on commercial buildings on a regular basis is essential. Easy to overlook, they are a critical part of the roof system that protects your business and property.
Drains and gutters keep water and debris from collecting on the roof. They help water flow harmlessly off the roof, due to heavy rains and melting snow. Water that collects seeps through cracks, causing interior damage. Water is heavy and when it pools in a single spot, it can damage the roof.
Debris like leaves accumulate through the year in drains and gutters, clogging them. This prevents them from doing their job of keeping excess water flowing away from the building.
Here is a look at how to inspect and maintain your drains and gutters.
Regular Inspections, Cleaning and Repair
Regular inspections keep the system of drains and gutters to work efficiently. Scheduling them at least every six months, usually before spring and fall, can prevent problems before they start. If your system clogs easily, do it more often. If you have had professionals work on or near the roof, it is also a good idea to inspect the work.
If you or an employee know how to work at heights safely, you can do the work yourself. If your building is several stories or very large, it makes sense to hire a roofing contractor to do the job.
Here is what to look for:
- Remove debris like twigs, leaves, roof cover granules and materials left by contractors
- Look for signs of standing water in the gutters. Fix the blockage that is causing the problem. Make sure it is aligned with the downspout properly.
- Trim trees that overhang the roof to decrease the amount of debris that drops.
- Find and fix leaks in the drainage system.
The Right Materials
Install the right types of drains and gutters. If you need to replace your old gutters, buy a larger size. This lets more water get through safely.
Make sure you are prepared for the specific conditions in your area. Choose noncombustible materials for downspouts and gutters if in an area prone to wildfires. If hurricanes are part of the weather system, use gutter straps to anchor them in high winds. If freezing weather is normal, get professional help making your drainage system workable during cold temperatures.
Regular inspections and maintenance should keep your gutters and drains in proper working condition in most circumstances. But problems can develop. Leaks, flooding and roof cave-ins are costly. Every small business should carry adequate commercial property insurance in case the worst happens.