Clogged gutters have many destructive effects on your home. The immediate effects are damage to your house’s various components, including the roof, walls, windows, foundation, and landscaping. 

Fortunately, there are two ways to prevent the negative effects of gutter clogging: cleaning your gutters regularly and taking measures to prevent gutter clogging in the first place. Here is a brief overview of the causes and effects of gutter clogging and three tips to stop gutter clogs. 

What Causes Clogged Gutters? 

Gutter clogging depends on various factors, including weather factors beyond your control. Here is an overview of the three most common causes of clogged gutters: 

  • Tree Debris 

Trees are one of the main causes of clogged gutters. Breakaway leaves and twigs often get trapped in gutters and drains, causing clogging. The debris collects, rots, and builds up over time, blocking the gutter and drains and causing clogging. 

Trees that shed more than others are more problematic for gutter clogging. It is also worth noting that gutter clogging is most prevalent during fall when trees shed their leaves. 

  • Drainage & Sloping Problems 

Many gutters feature one common flaw: large drains run into disproportionately smaller drains. This leaves insufficient room for large quantities of water containing debris to flow down the drain fast enough without backing up, during which time the debris is lodged and trapped along the drains. Sloping is also a problem in many gutters – they don’t slope at the right degree to facilitate the unrestricted flow of water and debris. These are technical problems that usually occur during gutter installation

  • Snow & Ice 

Snow and ice are the leading causes of gutter clogging. Snow collects on the roof and flows down into the gutters, where it hardens and forms ice dams. The snow and ice dams cause water damage and act as an obstacle, blocking flow and causing clogging. It is also worth noting that ice dams and snow are heavy and may cause structural damage to the gutters. 

The Negative Effects of Clogged Gutters 

Besides causing a mess, clogged gutters can also cause the following damages to your house: 

  • Roof Damage 

Trapped water can cause rotting in the wooden fascia boards to which the gutters are mounted. The rotten boards can then let the trapped water and moisture seep through, damaging the roof and ceiling. A leaking roof also causes molding, posing a health problem. 

  • Foundation Damage 

Clogged gutters cannot properly drain water down the downspouts, and the excess water usually collects on the ground. Water pools around your house’s foundation can cause damage to the concrete, wood, soil, and other elements. Signs of foundation damage include basement leaks and concrete damage. 

  • Landscaping Damage 

The excess water from your clogged gutters may flow to your home’s landscape, including the grass and flowerbeds. The water can become lodged in the soil, choking the plants and causing other damages. 

Preventing Gutter Clogging 

Preventing gutter clogging can save you a lot of work and money, considering the damages caused by clogged gutters. Here is an overview of three efficient ways to prevent gutter clogging: 

  • Professional Gutter Installation 

Sloping and drainage are some of the most common causes of gutter clogging. These are technical complications that occur during installation, and they can make clogging a persistent problem. For example, you cannot do much about narrow drains or faulty slopes yourself. 

This is why it is important to get professionals to do the gutter installation properly. You can also get faulty gutters repaired or replaced. Investing in the right type of gutters and professional installation services is worth the short-term and long-term financial and non-financial benefits of clog-free gutters. 

  • Regular Cleaning & Inspection 

Cleaning gutters regularly is the easiest way to prevent clogging. Small debris gets lodged and stuck on the gutter over time, and regular cleaning helps remove them. It is prudent to increase your gutter cleaning cycles during the fall when trees start shedding and winter when it starts snowing. 

Regular gutter cleaning also creates the ideal opportunity for regular gutter inspections. The gutter inspection should be detailed, and some of the aspects to look out for include cracks, breaks, hanging, and loose connections. It is important to contact a professional as soon as you identify signs of damage. 

  • Installing Leaf Guards & Trimming Trees 

You can also prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from getting into your gutter by installing guard systems. Some of the most efficient gutter guard systems include the following: 

  • Gutter Screens – For protecting against large debris such as large leaves (usually not efficient against smaller debris). 
  • Leaf Catchers – Leaf catchers trap leaves and direct them to the downpipe, making them easier to remove and clean (you don’t have to climb up the roof). 
  • Surface Tension Guards – For keeping debris off the water flowing through the gutters. 
  • Mesh Gutter Guards – For trapping large and small debris (usually more efficient than gutter screens). 

It is prudent to trim the trees in and around your compound at least once annually. Trimming the trees will reduce the number of leaves, twigs, and other debris getting trapped in your gutters. 

Let the Experts Help 

Clogged or damaged gutters can be inconvenient and costly. Fortunately, VanWeelden Co., your roofing and siding expert, is here to solve your gutter clogging problem. We also offer comprehensive gutter and roofing services, including installation, repairs, and regular inspections. Get in touch today to learn more about our services and how we can help.