Debris and what it can tell You about Your Gutters

Clean gutters are critical in protecting your home’s exterior from water damage. A neglected gutter system can cause a lot of problems for your roof, siding, fascia, and foundation. Gutter cleaning removes twigs, leaves, and other kinds of material, preventing build-up that might form clogs in your gutters and downspouts. But did you know that the different types of debris found in a gutter system might be a sign that something is wrong?

When Debris is Wet

If the debris in the gutter system remains wet 48 hours after a rainstorm, it could be an indication of clogs in the gutter channel or debris buildup in the downspouts. Standing water in the gutters, combined with the weight of collected debris can add extra stress to the fascia boards.

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt shingles have granules on the surface of the roofing tile designed to protect it from UV rays and the damage sunlight can cause. If you see a few roofing granules in the gutters every now and then, it’s nothing to worry about. However, when you consistently find granules in the gutter channel when cleaning the gutters it is often a sign that the roof is aging, and it might need repairing or replacing in the near future.

Discovering Nests

Nests in a gutter system indicate that the gutters aren’t cleaned according to a regular schedule. Insects and pests such as wasps, bees, rats, and mice look for places that are secluded – one that provides both materials to make a nest and a safe haven is a great place to make a home. If they stayed in the nest, it might not be so bad, but they can infiltrate small gaps in soffit, fascia, and siding. Critters like rats, mice, and squirrels can wear pathways in a roof traveling back and forth for food.

Unintentional Gutter Garden

Almost invisible types of debris such as pine needles, dust, pollen, or small amounts of soil carried on the wind can enter the gutters. An accumulation of these types of materials can be hard to flush out of a gutter system. If not thoroughly removed when the gutters are cleaned, the remaining silt can encourage plant growth. Moisture mixed with airborne seedlings can turn a gutter system into a gutter garden. When plants, shrubs, or even grasses invade your gutters, it can cause serious damage not only to the gutters but to other parts of your home’s exterior including the roof and the siding.

When Debris is Dry

When the debris in the gutters is dry it’s an excellent indicator that the gutters are working the way they are supposed to. The water is exiting the downspouts and draining properly and safely away from the foundation of your home. An added bonus to dry debris that has collected in the gutter channel is it’s easier to clean the gutters.