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Old 11-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


Our house is located on a wooded site, surrounded by numerous mature deciduous and coniferous trees. In the fall, our roof (composite shingles) and gardens get covered, up to a foot in places, with pine needles and oak and maple leaves. If we really wanted to keep the place clear, we would need to sweep/blow the driveway/roof on a daily basis at the peak of the leaf/needle fall. We clear the driveway and lawns once per week but the roof is another story. Due to the very steep pitch in places, we have to get a roof cleaning company in to blow off the stuff and clear the gutters. We've already had the roof cleared (blown and washed) once this season and it got covered again within a few days. How much stuff (leaves/needles) can accumulate up there before I need to worry about roof damage? Would clearing the roof twice in the Fall suffice?

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


How often and how much does it rain where you live?

The leaves, needles, and detritis wouldn't be much of a concern if you lived in the desert. But if you lived in, say, the Pacific Northwest where every day rain is the norm, then it is something that will cause long term damage.

In the fall, my gutters would get clogged weekly before I threw in the towel and had the chief offenders cut down.

Short term, the only deal was the gutters overflowing at various spots around the house.

However, over 50 years of this led to a cracked and sunken driveway, one sidewalk that was slanted, foundation settling and cracked stucco, and some rotted soffits. Fortunately, my roof decking was spared.

In a situation like yours, I'd imagine valleys getting clogged and detritis working beneath shingles. Runoff, then, can be expected to work its way into your roof and leading to leaks.

In a nutshell, if you have to ask how often then you probably know already the answer: the more frequent the better.

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


How often should you clean the roof and gutters? How often is it needed? I mean it varies from house to house to house. Some we clean once a year, most twice, however a few we clean up to 4 times a year.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


I neglected to mention the very important fact that I live in the rainy PNW - Portland, to be precise. And yes, meltdowndave, although I knew the answer was/is I should be clearing the roof more often than I do, I was hoping I was wrong (!) I can't afford to have it done more than 3 times each Fall and I cannot get up there myself. Since we live in a very wooded neighborhood, even if we wanted to *cut down* (shock) our trees, the neighbors' trees would still impact us.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:37 AM   #5
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


why not install some gutter leaf guards.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:29 AM   #6
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


I installed gutter leaf guards years ago & now just check the gutters once a year - sometimes not at all
Pine needles can be a bigger problem & you would need check on the gutter guard 1st to make sure they are effective in keeping needles out
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


Not to put the roof cleaners out of business but could you not go to your local hardware store and buy a 20'section of copper pipe and rig it up so you can hook it up to a compressor and just blow the leaves and pine needles off of your roof. Be careful if you have shingles though, you dont want to lift them off of their tar lines or lift them at all. Just an idea.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


Thanks for the new ideas.

Gutter leaf guards would certainly take care of the gutters (if they can deal with the volume of long pine needles) but my bigger concern is debris on the roof surface. Given the pitch, size, and height to the top of the roof (almost 3 stories in places --the house is a NW Contemporary), the copper pipe idea seems an unlikely solution but I will give it some thought and maybe we can make a variant work.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:52 PM   #9
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


Hi,

Twice is good.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Ha!

Just saw a relavent banner ad and clicked to find this.

http://store.irobot.com/category/ind...guttercleaning

If only it could solve all of our household problems...
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:58 PM   #11
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


"leaf guards" don't keep out all the leaves and none of the pine needles. You'll find that out soon enough. I would just pay to have it cleaned and call it maintenance. Some people's houses just have more maintenance than others.


Every roof we have done with "leaf guard" installed, the homeowner hates it.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:11 AM   #12
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


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"leaf guards" don't keep out all the leaves and none of the pine needles. You'll find that out soon enough. I would just pay to have it cleaned and call it maintenance. Some people's houses just have more maintenance than others.


Every roof we have done with "leaf guard" installed, the homeowner hates it.

There are many types of guards. Many do offer systems that will guard against leaves and pine needles. Seems you need to do more research before offering incorrect information.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:36 AM   #13
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


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There are many types of guards. Many do offer systems that will guard against leaves and pine needles. Seems you need to do more research before offering incorrect information.

Wanna put a wager on that?

If water can get in, pine needles can also.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:12 AM   #14
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


you seem to have a lot to learn yet. Surface tension guides water into the gutter. The debris from trees and roof shingles is supposed to fall off with the water. This does not always happen and the aperture and gutter gets clogged and needs cleaning. This problem may be what you are dealing with. But use a micro mesh screen along with this method and nothing will even need to be cleaned again. I also can use gutters with air bladders.... this self cleans and is another option. You can also not use gutters, but a rain shield which breaks up the water into tiny droplets which get dispersed into the air... thus no buildup of water around the foundation.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:48 PM   #15
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Clearing roof of leaves/needles -- how often?


With a screen the needles stick in it and clog. If the gutter protection is too much then it defeats the purpose of the gutter. Water simply goes over it. What about the leaf guards that are a solid piece of aluminum......They slide up under the shingles, right? Then in the winter, snow melts, down to the cold aluminum and creates an ice dam. I've seen it all before and all the gimmicks. It's all just advertising. Nothing is perfectly weather proof in all situations.

Your scenario is in perfect conditions. Get out of the engineering room and things change.

Tell me what else I "have to learn yet".

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