Pick a dry, wind-free day to blow leaves off your roof. Not only will good conditions make removing leaves easier, but they will also keep you safer. If you have a steep roof, do not attempt to climb onto it to blow leaves. Instead, use a roof rake to safely pull leaves off. If you have a low-pitched roof, climb onto the roof, then pull your leaf blower up via a rope tied to the handle. Once you’re safely on the roof, blow leaves towards an edge where there is no gutter. Finally, clean the gutters to finish removing leaves from your roof.
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What Happens if You Don’t Clean Leaves Off Your Roof?
Leaves left on your roof will collect water, causing moss, algae, and mold to form on your roof. Wet leaves can also clog your gutters, leading to roof leaks and gutter damage. It is far less expensive to remove leaves than it is to pay for roof repairs.
- Excess leaves on your roof cause mold, algae, and moss to form on your roof.
- If they are not removed, leaves from your roof can clog gutters, causing leaks and roof damage.
- Keep your roof and gutters safe by cleaning cleaves from your roof in spring and fall.
To prevent roof damage, clean leaves and pine needles off your roof at least twice per year—in spring and fall. Fall cleaning will get rid of autumn leaves. A cleaning in spring helps to clear off any leaves and twigs that accumulated during winter, as well as spring seeds and other tree debris.
7 Tips to Safely and Easily Blow Leaves Off Your Roof
Climbing onto your roof to wield a leaf blower and clear off those fall leaves can seem risky and time-consuming. However, you can accomplish roof cleaning yourself with very little special equipment. By following the tips below, you will be able to remain safe while easily removing leaves from your roof like a pro.
Choose the Right Day
Pick a day with low wind and no rain in the forecast when you are planning to clean your leaves. It’s also a good idea to choose a day when there has been no recent rain. The simplest reason for this is that it’s far easier to remove dry leaves from your roof than wet ones. Wet leaves cling to roof shingles, creating far more work with a blower. It’s also much easier to direct leaves off your roof when there is little or no wind.
- Choose a day with no rain and low winds for roof cleaning.
- It’s much easier to blow leaves off a dry roof, especially when there’s no wind to send leaves back in your face.
- You will have much safer footing on a dry roof.
A dry, wind-free day not only makes your work easier but also helps keep you safer. You’ll have much steadier footing on a dry roof than a slick, wet one. Still, it’s best to wear work boots or slip-resistant shoes any time you are working on a roof.
Determine if Your Roof is Safe to Climb On
OSHA defines any roof with more than a 18.4-degree pitch as a steep roof. This may not seem like a very steep angle, but any roof with an angle greater than this is dangerous to work on and requires special safety gear and training. If your roof is steep, don’t climb on it to blow off leaves.
- A roof with a pitch greater than 18.4 degrees is considered steep.
- Refer to this guide to gauge your roof’s pitch. If your roof appears steeper than a 4/12 (18.43 degree) pitch, do not attempt to climb onto it to clean off leaves.
- If your roof has a low pitch, use a sturdy ladder to safely climb onto your roof.
If you are certain that your roof is not steeper than 18.4 degrees, you should still take care when climbing onto your roof. Use a sturdy ladder to climb onto the roof at its lowest point. Do not attempt to bring any tools up with you as you climb the ladder. If possible, enlist an assistant to keep the ladder steady as you ascend.
Use Alternatives for Cleaning a High-Pitched Roof
If you have a steep roof as defined above, a leaf blower is not the best tool for cleaning leaves off your roof. Instead, it’s best to use a telescoping leaf rake to pull leaves off your roof. This way, you never have to climb onto your roof to clean it.
- If your roof is steep, do not attempt to clean it with a leaf blower.
- Use this telescoping leaf rake to pull leaves and other debris off a steep roof.
- If you cannot reach steep portions of your roof for cleaning, contact a professional service for roof cleaning.
It may be difficult to reach some parts of a large, steep roof with a leaf rake. If it’s truly impossible to clean your roof with a rake, contact a professional roof cleaning service to safely clear debris from your steep roof.
Bring Your Blower to the Roof Safely
When climbing a ladder to get onto your roof, do not attempt to bring your leaf blower up in one hand. This prevents you from gripping the ladder safely and may unbalance you, causing you to fall. Instead, tie a rope around the handle of your leaf blower. Then, climb the ladder while holding the rope. Once you are safely on the roof, use the rope to haul the leaf blower from the ground up to you.
- Do not attempt to climb up a ladder carrying your leaf blower.
- Tie a rope to the leaf blower handle and carry the rope with you as you climb onto the roof.
- After you have climbed onto the roof, haul the leaf blower up to yourself using the rope.
The rope trick is great to keep in mind whether you are using a ladder to trim tree branches or climbing onto your roof for other maintenance. Always leave your tools on the ground and haul them up with a rope once you’re ready to begin work. It’s much safer than trying to climb a ladder while carrying heavy tools.
Blow Leaves Without Damaging Shingles
When using a leaf blower to get leaves off your roof, make sure to blow the leaves down or across the shingles. Never blow the leaves up the roof, against the flow of the shingles. Doing so can cause sections of your shingles to lift and tear. Yes, the force of air exiting the leaf blower really is enough to do roof damage.
- Blow leaves downward (in the direction the shingles flow) or across the shingles, parallel to their flow.
- Do not blow leaves up the roof, against the pattern of the shingles.
- Air from the leaf blower can lift or tear shingles if you blow against the pattern of the shingles.
Work the blower in smooth arcs, moving the leaves across the roof without focusing the air in a single place for long. This will help keep your roofing material safe.
Do Not Blow Leaves Toward Gutters
Pay close attention to where your gutters are when blowing leaves off your roof. Whenever possible, direct the leaves towards roof edges that do not have gutters. This will make it easy to blow the leaves off your roof without blowing them into the gutter.
- Blow leaves toward roof edges that do not have gutters.
- Blowing leaves towards gutters will lead to clogged gutters and more difficult gutter cleaning.
Most roofs have gutters on level, low roof edges. The slanted edge of a roof often does not have a gutter. That makes these angled edges the best place to blow leaves off your roof.
Clean the Gutters After Blowing
Once you’ve cleared the leaves off your roof with a blower, now’s the perfect time for a gutter cleaning. It’s inevitable that some of the leaves and debris on your roof will make their way into your gutters during roof cleaning. To prevent clogs and roof damage, clean your gutters once the roof is clear of leaves and pine needles.
- After clearing leaves off the roof, clean gutters to ensure there are no clogs.
- The best time to clean gutters is right after roof cleaning.
- Use this gutter cleaning wand to make clearing gutters faster and easier.
Instead of using a ladder and cleaning gutters by hand, try a hose-attached gutter cleaning wand. These tools make quick work of gutters and don’t require the use of a ladder.
What is the Best Way to Clean Leaves Off Your Roof?
In order to clean leaves off your roof safely and easily, you should:
- Choose a dry, calm day for roof cleaning.
- Determine the slope of your roof. If it is steep, do not climb onto your roof to clean off leaves.
- If you have a steep roof, use a roof rake to clear off leaves instead of a blower.
- If your roof has a gentle slope, climb onto the roof, then haul up the leaf blower using a rope tied to the blower handle.
- When blowing leaves off your roof, do not blow upwards, against the shingle pattern. This can damage roof shingles.
- Blow leaves towards roof edges with no gutters to prevent gutter clogs.
- After blowing leaves off your roof, perform a thorough gutter cleaning.
By assessing your roof for safety, blowing leaves in a manner to protect your shingles and gutters, and then clearing out gutters, you will protect your roof. These methods remove debris and keep your home safe from harm.