November 25, 2012
As the leaves fall, you may not worry about raking them off the lawn, but you should make sure that a few key areas start the winter relatively leaf-free. Keeping such places clear protects against drainage problems that can develop whether you live in the New Mexico mountains (Cloudcroft or Ruidoso) or in the warmer, lower areas of El Paso, TX.
Leaves can fall into gutters and downspouts and accumulate in the roof valley—the junction between two roof slopes. The buildup of leaves can prevent proper and complete drainage and should be cleaned out. On low slope roofs, this is most critical to prevent roof damage and water entry into your home. Scuppers (low slope roof drains) should be inspected for debris regularly.
If trees overhang the roof, take extra precautions to ensure that no dead leaves accumulate in the valleys or elsewhere. Needle-bearing trees such as pine, hemlock, and redwood can be just as much a nuisance in this respect as broadleaf trees like the mulberry. The overhanging trees should also be trimmed to keep them from rubbing the roof or walls of the home and causing damage.
When inspecting a roof I will call out debris that is found.