Clogged Gutters

When gutters work properly, rainwater travels down the roof and into the gutter channel, where it’s directed toward the downspouts and exits the gutter system. If clogs form, blocked gutters can result in pooling and/or overflowing. Then gutters become ineffectual in protecting your home from major water damage. But how do gutters get clogged in the first place?

Leaves, dirt, twigs, needles and bits of miscellaneous debris (asphalt shingle granules, seeds, pine cones, etc.) are washed into the gutters and accumulate in the channels. If the water simply flowed around the debris, there might not be a problem. But what typically happens is the debris interacts with the rainwater, breaking down and turning it into sludge.

Clogged gutters can cause more damage than you might be aware of. Complications from blocked gutters include:

  • water moving slowly or not at all
  • added weight to the gutter system
  • rotted fascia boards and soffit panels
  • overflowing gutters allowing water to pool around the foundation or seep in behind siding
  • ground erosion and compromised landscaping
  • dry debris being ignited by embers blown into the system
  • an attractive place for little critters (birds, wasps, squirrels) to build a nest

The effects of clogged gutters can easily be avoided by regular maintenance. Add a leaf protection system to keep as much debris as possible from entering the gutters. Clean the gutters at least twice a year or schedule a time to have them cleaned by a gutter cleaning company. After a bout of temperamental weather, get into the habit of inspecting the gutters for any damage or potential problems.