The Unexpected Consequences of Clogged Gutters

clogged gutters

Gutters are designed to catch the water flowing off your roof and carry it safely away from your house. When properly maintained and cared for,

your gutters will do a great job protecting your home from damage. Neglect them, however, and you could end up dealing with some unexpected and unintended consequences.

Foundation Damage

The most important function of gutters is to divert water runoff from rain and snow away from your home’s foundation. Gutters that are clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris will overflow, causing a cascade of water to pour over the sides of your gutters and pool around the foundation. This can cause cracks to form, weakening the foundation and threatening the structural integrity of your home.

Damage to Landscaping

The same overflowing gutters that can cause damage to your foundation can also do a number on your landscaping, swamping and destroying any flowers, shrubs and small trees you may have planted around your home.

Detached Gutters

Gutters that are heavy with the combined weight of water, sodden leaves and accumulated dirt and debris can buckle and sag. In addition, the water-saturated fascia boards to which the gutters are attached may start to rot and deteriorate. This greatly increases the likelihood that the gutters will completely detach from the side of your house, in some cases taking the fascia with it.

Ice Dams

Ice dams can be a big problem in the winter for homeowners in colder climates. As snow melts on the roof and then refreezes as it hits the edge where the roof is colder, a dam of ice forms. With nowhere else to go, any subsequent water then backs up, and may soon seep under the shingles and leak into the house. Clogged gutters contribute to this problem, as blockages cause them to fill with ice and increase the rate of ice dam formation.