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How Clogged or Poorly Designed Gutters Affect Your Roof

Posted December 30, 2021 by Jerry Becker
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Gutters are one of the most recognized, neglected and misunderstood features of a home. If you ask a group of people what a gutter is, you’ll likely receive mixed answers. 

Some may correctly refer to it as the lengthy horizontal pieces, while others may point out the vertical downspouts. Although they’re part of the same system, they have two very distinct roles.

Gutters are the extensive lateral pieces that run along the side of the roof with one purpose. They catch rain and guide running water from the roof to the downspout. Downspouts are the long vertical pieces that release and redirect water flow away from your home. 

Homeowners in areas with heavy rain can attest to the importance of having an effective and efficient gutter in place. However, it’s easy to push its maintenance lower on your list of priorities. This can be problematic because it can lead to clogged gutters and potentially dangerous and costly damages to your home. 

Water Pooling On Roof

Blocked gutters are easily overlooked, especially after periods of heavy winds or storms. When you have clogged gutters, your home has no way of releasing the water it accumulates.

After some time, the weight of the excess water and debris can cause the exterior to create cracks for it to seep through. Generally, most homeowners are unaware of this problem until they notice water damage on their ceilings

The only way to prevent further roof and ceiling damage is to remove the stagnant water and debris. 

Fungal Growth

The still water caused by clogged gutters can become breeding grounds for mold, mildew, moss and other fungal growth. If there are any gaps in your exterior, you can be sure that these growths will make their way inside your home. 

These growths present a health hazard, cause extensive damage and are costly to remove. For example, some blocked gutters can contribute to moss growth

At first glance, a little bit of moss doesn’t seem like much cause for concern. However, moss grows rapidly, and it can drastically reduce your roof’s life without professional removal. 

You’ll find moss growing in the shaded and north-facing sections of your roof. If left alone for extended periods, it can loosen the shingles and create gaps increasing the chance for leaks. Water and hazardous growths eventually make their way to your roof’s wood frame and cause it to rot. 

Uncontrolled moss growth can lead to costly replacement depending on the shingle type. For example, moss strips away the protective oils on asphalt versions that shield the granules from UV rays. Eventually, the lack of protective oils ruins the shingles and requires expensive replacement.  

Structural Damage

If someone gave you an empty bucket and asked you to hold it and your arm out for 30 seconds, it wouldn’t present much of a challenge. However, as they begin filling the bucket with water, your arm will eventually feel the weight and droop. 

Similarly, overflowing or clogged gutters put extra weight on your roof that it’s not designed to handle. The unnecessary weight starts to strain the soffits and fascia. These are essential components of your roof that promote air circulation and prevent moisture from getting in. 

As the two components give in to the weight, you’ll notice cracks forming. From there, the excess water can seep in, causing ceiling damage, electrical problems and hazardous mold growth.

Additionally, clogged gutters force the water to overflow along your home’s exterior and into the foundation. 

A compromised foundation presents a safety risk and reduces your home’s market value. From a buyer’s point of view, the cost and time investment involved with foundation repairs typically aren’t worth the hassle. 

The build-ups that cause structural damage are common after periods of heavy rain or snow. 

Diminished Curb Appeal

Most older and modern homes have landscapes designed around the gutter and downspout. As mentioned earlier, gutters guide excess water away from your roof towards the downspout. The downspout then releases and redirects water flow away from your home. 

When you have blocked gutters, you end up with a minuscule birdbath that overflows and damages your yard and landscape. Your home’s curb appeal sets expectations and leaves a lasting first impression. 

Even if you spent thousands of dollars upgrading the interior, a damaged yard could turn off prospective buyers before they have a chance to look inside. Cleaning clogged gutters is a cost-effective method to increase your home’s curb appeal and overall market value. 

We’ll Clean Your Gutters and Provide a Free Inspection!

Although tedious, maintaining your gutters at least twice a year and after heavy storms can help extend your roof’s lifespan and prevent costly repairs. 

Clogged gutters can be dangerous, and the signs of damage can be invisible until it’s too late. In addition to structural damage and health hazards, blocked gutters can start or accelerate fires. It becomes a fire hazard when the debris accumulates and if the excess water makes its way into your electrical system. 

Get in touch with our specialists at Roof Life of Oregon for a thorough gutter cleaning and a free inspection today.

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