Although roof leaks often seem to spring from nowhere, at times, problems are developing up on the roof long before a leak forms. One of the most common causes of roof leaks is clogged roof drains. When a roof drain becomes clogged, water can accumulate on the top of the roof. As water builds up and puddles form, the roofing materials can become damaged, allowing water to seep in through cracks. Standing water on the roof can also infiltrate existing flaws in the roofing.
If you suspect a clog, try the following to eliminate the problem:
- Start by removing leaf litter and debris from around the roof drain. Sometimes it is only material on the exterior of the drain that is causing poor drainage and by removing these items, you may be able to unblock the drain.
- Use a flashlight to look inside of the drain. Occasionally, animals or birds that have made nests inside the pipes cause clogs. If you see an animal inside, it’s best to contact a professional plumbing company for assistance than to try and remove the animal yourself.
- Try to loosen the clog with an ordinary garden hose. A hose at full blast can sometimes push debris out of the drain. To add extra force, push the hose downward while you spray. You’ll need to use caution; should the clog not break free, the water from the hose will cause more backups onto the roof. This makes it important that you only apply the water for a few minutes and stop if you don’t make headway with the clog.
- If water alone is not enough to dislodge a clog, try using a pipe brush. These long brushes are specially designed to reach into pipes without causing damage to the roof plumbing. Push with the brush until the clog is out of reach and then flush with water to try and remove it.
While you can often deal with clogged roof drains on your own, a serious clog that you cannot resolve will require professional assistance. This is particularly the case if you are unable to safely access your roof or if a leak has already sprung.
Whether you’re facing an emergency situation or are just developing a clog, call Sydney Emergency Plumbing for assistance. We have professional tools like plumber’s snakes that can remove clogs and clear your roof drains.