How Blocked Gutters Can Ruin Your California Home
Did you know your gutters can get clogged? It can happen without you even knowing, and blocked gutters can lead to unknown damage in your home and roof.
Blocked gutters are a bigger problem than you think, as if you don’t check and clear them out regularly, you’ll see some serious damage happen to your home.
Here’s just some of the ways your beautiful California home can get damaged, and how you can stop it from happening.
How Do Your Gutters Get Blocked?
Do gutters really get blocked? All they deal with is rainwater, right?
You’d think so, but they easily pick up other debri as well. This is usually the fault of bad weather.
If you experience storms, wind, or rain in your area, you’ll see that detritus such as leaves, twigs and even sometimes branches make their way onto your roof.
When this happens, they’ll fall into your gutters. Unlike rainwater, they can’t flow through and out the downspout, so they get stuck in the gutters.
If this keeps happening and nothing is done about the blocked gutters, they can’t do their job. Water overflows and can’t escape the roof, and so all kinds of damage starts to happen.
5 Ways Blocked Gutters Damage Your Home
So, if your gutters get blocked, how does it affect your home? There are many different things that you’ll need to watch out for.
Here’s some of the most common ways they’ll cause damage:
1. Causing Water Overflow On Your Roof
The first and most obvious problem is that if water can’t get into your gutters, then it’s going to overflow back onto the roof itself.
Your roof can take some water, as it needs to be somewhat waterproof. However, it’s not watertight, and it’s not designed for water to back up out of the gutters.
When this happens, you’ll see that it gets under the shingles or tiles, moving or even breaking them off.
Once it’s under them, it can start seeping into the roof itself. This leads to:
- Roof leaks
- Rot in your timbers
- Mold on your roof
2. Damp And Leaks In Your Ceilings
Following on from no. 1, if the water is getting in under the tiles, it’s almost certainly causing leaks in your attic.
That water is going to make its way to your upstairs ceilings, causing dampness, and damaging the structure itself.
You’ll see this happening if you start:
- Getting dark spots on the upstairs ceilings
- Ceilings start leaking
- The ceiling breaks apart to let water in
- Blistering, where the water is collecting
3. Mold And Mildew In Your Home
Your home needs to be at a certain level of humidity in order to be safe. Usually, it should be around 50%.
If you’re getting leaks thanks to overflowing gutters, then this is going to shoot up and cause you lots of problems. Most commonly, you’ll find mold and mildew growing in your home.
There’s a lot of reasons why you want to avoid this.
- Firstly, it’s unsightly, and you don’t want to deal with it if you don’t have to. It’s also difficult to get rid of entirely once it takes hold, and you want to avoid the expense and time of dealing with that.
- Then, of course, it poses a lot of health risks to you and your family, especially if any of you already struggle with breathing problems.
4. Ice Dams
This is a problem that you’ll come across in the winter months.
You may not be getting as much rain in these months, but you may get snow, and that’s where the problem lies.
If there’s blockages in the gutter, when the snow melts off your roof it’ll roll towards the guttering, but it can’t flow away. In the end it refreezes, creating a ‘dam‘ that stops more water from getting away, and so it comes in through the roof.
This issue is made worse if you have poor insulation in your roof, as the heat from your home will start the snow melting quicker. Unblocking your gutters and insulating your roof will stop this from happening.
5. Weight Damage
If your gutters are full of debris, then they’re going to be much heavier than they normally are.
Usually, they only hold water for a moment, and so they aren’t designed to hold much weight. If they get full, then they’re going to cause damage.
As the gutters get heavier, they’ll start to pull away from your home, which of course means that there won’t be any gutters for rainwater to flow into.
As well as this, the weight of the gutter pulling away will cause damage to the fascia and sometimes even the siding of your home. This will be costly to fix if its left to go on long enough.
How to Avoid Blocked Gutters
This all sounds scary for the safety of your home, but never fear. You can avoid blocked gutters, and it’s easier than you’d think.
If you keep a regular inspection check on your roof, you’ll spend some of that inspection time checking out the gutters. If you see anything in them, it’s very simple to clear it.
Fetch a pair of gloves, and just pull the detritus out. Make sure you check the downspout too, to ensure there’s nothing blocking that either.
If you want to stop it happening again, you can install a gutter guard. These look like a mesh on top of the gutter, or a brush that sits in them.
They allow water to flow into and through the gutters, but they stop anything else, such as leaves and twigs, from getting in there. These aren’t too expensive and easy to install, so they’re well worth considering.
These are just five problems that blocked gutters will cause for your home. It’s vital that you check them regularly to ensure they can do their job properly.
Luckily, it’s easy for you to unblock a gutter, so make sure you take care of them to stop these things happening.
If you are in need of roof inspections, our team can help; if your roof, gutters or downspouts have already seen damage, contact us today for a free at-home consultation.