Gutters are installed to carry water off of your roof to a designated area on your property. When working properly, gutters are very effective at doing their job. If a gutter gets clogged up by dust, leaves, dirt, etc, however, it can stop or slow the drainage off your roof, causing more damage than you may know. Clogged gutters can rot fascia boards, therefore making it easier for water to enter the house to cause wall and ceiling damage.
Clogged gutters have a tendency to become over-weighted with slow moving water, soiled dirt, leaves, and ice (in the winter months). This not only stresses the gutters but it puts even more stress on fascia boards and soffits. In some cases if the gutter doesn’t break free from the part of the building it’s attached to, it can bring that part of the building down with it. It is not uncommon to see a clogged gutter take part of the fascia and soffit down with it.
If you are having drainage issues or leaking in the foundation, a clogged gutter can only enhance the problem. A slow-draining gutter can cause pooling around the foundation rather than being discharged away from it. A well flowing gutter can discharge water at a high rate when needed. Thus heavy rain conditions require a properly flowing gutter.
Clogged gutters during the winter months can create many hazards. Ice can collect around the gutter discharge causing a slippage hazard in walkways. Ice can also back-up in a clogged gutter, causing ice build-up that fills the gutter and prevents proper flow of melting snow. This snow melt then turns to ice on the roof and continues to build ‘up’ with nowhere else to go. Built-up ice on the roof, as it starts to melt, can cause leaking into the interior of the house.
Gutter cleaning is important preventive maintenance and should be done at least twice a year if possible. Inspect your gutters to see if they are working properly and doing their job as intended.