Q: What is the Maintenance of Roof Drainage Systems?

A: During construction of a new home it is paramount that the builder protects the roof drainage system. It absolutely makes no sense to me for a new homeowner to receive a home that has a polluted roof drainage system. I would say that this is one of the most overlooked areas when a new home is purchased. Prior to closing on a new home I recommend an inspection to make sure you receive a system that is working properly.

To maintain your roof drainage system you must know what you have. Make sure on the new home orientation that this is covered.

Last week I discussed three types of systems. All systems have gutters and downspouts. What makes them differ is how is the water is handled at the bottom of the downspout. You could have a splash block, a piped rain drain system where water is carried to the street or a piped system where water is transferred to an underground infiltration system.

What typically happens is gutters are cleaned manually and then a water hose is used to flush the small debris down the downspout. When using splash blocks the small debris washes out on the ground. No big deal. If your downspout feeds into a piped system-this flushing technique may not be so good.. Overtime the small debris can build up and clog your system. If you have an underground infiltration system this can be a major headache. A simple remedy is to take a shop-vac and vacuum the gutters.

I have seen products that help filter the small particles from clogging your system. Your local hardware stores sell a product that is installed at the bottom of your downspout. Think of this as a trap. It will collect the debris-preventing it from going further into your system.

Gutter guards are also available. These product help prevent leaves from entering into the gutter system. If you live around trees I would suggest this as a must have.

Underground infiltration system typically have a trapping system for debris. Find out where that is and keep it clean.

I’ll be back next week on how to protect these systems during construction and maintain them after the home is built.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!