When you think of changing the colors of your house, you probably don’t think of having to clean your gutters. But when it comes to caring for your roof, gutter maintenance is a must as it helps protect your home from water damage and rot caused by clogged gutters. And if you’re noticing shingle granules in the gutter, it’s time for a good clean.
Shingle granules are the small, rough particles that cover or coat the surface of asphalt shingles. They can start to chip off and accumulate in your gutters over time, causing clogs that can prevent water from flowing freely away from your house. Fortunately, with some simple knowledge and tools, removing shingle granules from your gutters is a fairly straightforward task. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to quickly and easily keep your roof and gutters clear of debris and functioning properly with this simple guide to removing shingle granules.
What Are Shingle Granules?
If you’ve recently had a new roof installed or now have to live with an older one, you may start to notice granules in your gutters. But what are they? Well, these granules are actually part of the protective coating of asphalt shingles on your roof. It’s these granules that protect your roofing system from UV rays, helping to prevent premature degradation and damage caused by the sun.
Asphalt shingle roofs typically last around 15-30 years, but the granules slowly wear away over time. As such, it’s important to regularly check your gutters and remove any accumulation of shingle granules—a process we’ll dive into later on in this article. This will help ensure your roof is well maintained and that you can get the most out of it for as long as possible.
Why Do I Need to Clean Them From My Gutters?
If you have asphalt shingles on your roof, then you know that they release small pieces of shingle granules into your gutters. If not cleaned out, these granules can build up and cause damage to your home’s gutter system.
So why do you need to clean them from your gutters? Because when left unchecked, these granules create clogs in your gutters that can lead to water damage. They also block water flow away from the foundation of your house, which could flood your basement and damage the structural integrity of the foundation itself. Not only that, but those clogs will over time cause rusting in steel gutter parts and create a breeding ground for moss and other organisms that can further damage the gutters.
It’s important to clean out these granules regularly and ensure that water is flowing correctly away from your house. By keeping up with cleaning out your gutters, you can rest easy knowing that your roof and gutter systems are taken care of and won’t be causing any costly damage to your home.
What Tools and Supplies Do I Need to Remove Shingle Granules?
The good news is, you don’t need a lot of tools or supplies to remove shingle granules from your roof and gutters. In fact, all you really need is a pair of rubber gloves, a dustpan and brush and the following easy-to-find items:
- A garden hose
- A ladder
- A bucket
- An extension wand for the hose (optional)
- A stiff-bristled brush or an old towel or rag (optional)
Once you have your supplies sorted, you’re ready to start cleaning up those troublesome shingle granules. Of course, it’s important to take safety precautions when using a ladder and be sure you’re on stable ground.
How Do I Safely and Effectively Remove Shingle Granules?
It’s important to take care of your roof, and that means cleaning off any granules it sheds into the gutters. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to do and won’t require too much of your time. Here’s how:
Put on Work Gloves
Start by getting some work gloves on—you don’t want those shingle granules getting into your skin.
Use a Ladder if Necessary
If you need to use a ladder to get to your gutters, be sure it is securely placed on even ground and only climb as high as you feel safe doing. If you are uncomfortable using a ladder, consider hiring a professional gutter cleaner instead.
Collect the Shingle Granules With a Vacuum Cleaner or Soft Brush
Once you have safely reached your gutters, start collecting the shingle granules using either a vacuum cleaner or soft brush. A soft brush is great for cleaning out any small corners or crevices that a vacuum can’t reach.
Rinse Off Excess Shingle Granules
When you’ve finished collecting the shingle granules, rinse off any excess with a light stream of water from your garden hose and make sure there isn’t any debris left behind clogging up your gutters. It’s important to keep these clean so rain water can run freely through them.
By carrying out this simple routine every year, you can keep both your roof and gutters clear of excess shingle granules and in top condition all year round!
What Are Some Preventative Measures to Reduce Shingle Granule Buildup in My Gutters?
The best way to reduce shingle granule buildup in your gutters is to take preventative measures to keep them clean. This way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with the mess once you have a major buildup.
- Regularly inspect your roof, gutters, and downspouts. Look out for signs of damage that can be caused by improperly installed parts or wear and tear from the elements. It’s best to replace or repair these areas as soon as possible.
- Have your gutters professionally cleaned two to four times each year, or more if you live in an area that frequently experiences heavy rainfall or hail.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves, twigs, nests, and other debris that can clog your gutters and prevent them from doing their job.
- Install gutter guards or covers to help reduce foliage and other debris from entering your gutters.
By taking these preventative measures, you can keep your gutters clean and reduce the amount of shingle granules buildup. Your roof and gutters will thank you for taking the time to do some regular maintenance and upkeep. If you ever have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact a professional roofer.
What Should I Do With the Removed Shingle Granules?
Once you have collected the shingle granules, it is important to dispose of them properly so they do not end up back on your roof or in your gutters. Here are a few tips for the best way to handle the removed shingle granules:
- Make sure you store the shingle granules in a sealed container or bag away from your house and out of reach of children and pets.
- Empty the bag or container into a sealed metal trash can for disposal.
- If you are able to, try to take the shingle granules to a local hazardous waste collection site.
- Avoid dumping the shingle granules in a nearby lake, stream, or body of water as this can be dangerous and damaging to the environment.
These steps should help you safely and effectively remove shingle granules from your roof and gutters. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your roof and gutters can help keep your shingle granules buildup to a minimum and extend the life of your roof and gutter systems. And don’t forget to contact a professional roofer if you ever have any questions or need assistance with your roof or gutters.
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Clear gutters and a clean roof are essential to a well-maintained home and they’re easy to achieve—all you really need is the right knowledge and a little bit of time. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you’ll be able to keep your roof and gutters free of shingle granules for years to come.
Shingle granules play an important role in the roofing system, but can clump together and cause damage to your gutters. Taking the time to properly clean them out can help extend the life of your roof and gutters, keeping it looking great and functioning correctly. Make sure you stay on top of your roof and gutter maintenance and you’ll reap the rewards of a well-kept home.