Leafs resting on the roof and in the gutters of a home.

Trees enhance the natural beauty around your home and neighborhood. Gaithersburg has many beautiful native trees that shed their leaves and acorns in the fall. They provide shade and when autumn hits, yard clean-up begins.  

But don’t stop at yard clean-up, raking leaves, and gutter cleaning! Shanco recommends that homeowners remove the fallen leaves on the roof. 

Isn’t yardwork enough? Leaving leaves on your roof can create problems.  

Can Leaves on Roof Cause a Leak? 

Yes, leaves on your roof can lead to roof leaks. Let’s get into the details of how this can happen. 

First, have you ever cleaned up leaves in your yard a couple of days after a rain? The top layer is dry and then comes the layers of muck, rot, and dampness. It weighs more than you imagined. Soon your gloves are soaked through and it’s just unpleasant. 

Now, imagine that same damp, muck sitting on your roof shingles. It’s important to note that shingles should dry out.  

Do you have a part of your roof that develops a little moss patch? It’s probably on a heavily shaded part of your roof or on the north side. Shingles aren’t waterproof or meant to be submerged in water. Leaving decomposing piles of leaves or pine needles traps moisture in a concentrated area and does not allow your shingles to dry. 

The mass of organic matter can trap moisture which can get into your shingles and eventually start a small leak in your roof. At that point, you will be looking at some level of professional roof repairs. Not to mention that wet leaves are heavy and will create extra weight on your roof and weaken it.  

Leaves Clogging Your Gutters 

We recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. If you need any gutter cleaning tips or tricks, Shanco has you covered!  

How to Get Leaves Off Your Roof Without Getting on the Roof 

The team at Shanco gets it, football on Saturday and Sunday, trick-or-treating, enjoying Autumn weather, who has time to drag out the ladder and clear the roof of leaves! Gaithersburg homeowners can always hire a gutter cleaning service to take care of gutters and leaves on the roof. 

Trim Overhanging Branches 

Trimming overhanging branches is a surefire way to reduce the number of times you need to get on your roof. Not to mention, it is recommended to ensure no branches snap and fall during an extreme weather event. Clearing branches away will reduce the leaves that can accumulate in your gutters and roof. 

When it comes to having branches removed, always use a certified and insured tree removal/ trimming company. Much like the roofing industry, homeowners may take a chance on something that is too cheap to be good and must pay out of pocket for uninsured damages to their homes or property.  

Best Way to Clean Leaves off Your Roof 

Power tools help expedite cleaning your roof. The best way is using a leaf blower. There are attachments and specialized tools, but nothing beats the old leaf blower. 

Leaf Blower 

The most common method of cleaning your roof is using a leaf power blower. They are powerful and work well. Regardless of if you are using an electric blower, gas leaf blower, or backpack blower, they get the job done! 

Two things to remember when using a leaf blower on your roof involve getting it onto the roof and the direction in which it should operate.  

Always err on the side of safety than perceived convenience when getting your leaf blower onto the roof. Never ascend a ladder while carrying or wearing a leaf blower. Always raise it and lower it via rope to the level that you need.  

Secondly, leaf blowers are powerful. They can cause damage to your roof even with the slightest pressure on the throttle so keeping it in the proper direction is key. Always blow down the roof and never point up the roof. If you point up the roof, you run the risk of raising the shingle which can cause the need for roof repair.  

What to do With Leaves and Debris from Your Roof? 

Now that you have a pile of leaves from your roof and from the ground, what can you do? There are plenty of options to dispose of leaves and debris that has accumulated.  

Leaving fallen leaves in your flower beds is a great way of enriching your soil. An abundance of leaves could suffocate plants to be wary of adding too many leaves. Adding them to your compost pile is another way to use them as compost in the future.   

Tips For Getting Leaves off Your Roof 

1. Wait for a dry spell 

Leaf removal can be messy especially if they are wet. Damp leaves will stick to shingles so wait for a dry spell to ensure quick and easy removal. 

2. How steep is your roof? 

Too steep? Call a professional gutter cleaning service. There is no set level of too steep, it all depends on your comfort level.  

3. Always pick the safest option 

Steep roof or uncomfortable with heights? There is nothing wrong with that. Hire a trusted professional to handle it for you. 

4. Get the tools to the roof safely 

Using a blower is dependent on getting it to your roof safely. Develop a plan on how to get it on and off the roof as safe as possible.  

5. Never point your blower up the roof 

Blower strength is measured in CFM, cubic feet per minute. Winds are measured at MPH, miles per hour. Strong wind can damage your roof at 45 MPH. 

  • Electric leaf blowers measure from 95-250 MPH 

  • Handheld gas blowers can go from 145-195 MPH 

  • Backpack blowers measure from 145-250 MPH 

  • Battery-powered blowers can range from 150- 250 MPH 

Any blower can expose a problem on your roof that requires repairs so play it smart and aim downward or off the roof. 

6. Blow leaves off the side without gutters, if applicable 

If you are blowing leaves and debris into your gutters, you’re going to need to remove the leaves and debris. Blow it off a side of the house without any gutters to reduce the amount of gutter removal. 

7. Do your gutter cleaning after removing the leaves 

In case you do get leaves and debris in the gutters, always clean after clearing your roof. There is no need to do the same work twice! 

Shanco Serves the Washington DC metro area, NOVA, and Richmond for Roofing Services 

Shanco proudly maintains an A+ rating on the BBB for our roofing services and home exterior services. Contact Shanco today if you need an expert roofer in the DMV, NOVA, or Richmond VA.