8 Things That Happen When You Don't Clean Your Gutters
Many homeowners don't realize the long list of damages that can occur when they have clogged rain gutters. Cleaning out your gutters is important to allow water to properly be directed away from your home. When you don't, water spills over the side of the gutters and you can end up with issues of basement flooding, water damage, mold, or even structural problems in your home.
Here, we will go over what kind of damage clogged gutters can cause and the signs that your gutters are clogged to help prevent damage to your home.
Clogged Gutter Problems
The water that overflows from clogged gutters will flow directly to the ground below, along the foundation of your home. This will cause a higher level of groundwater, which can cause your foundation to shift when soil, dirt, or clay becomes to wet. This shifting can cause cracks and buckling, damaging the structural integrity of the home over time.
When your gutter system doesn't navigate water away from your home, it makes it much more likely that it will find its way into your basement. Higher levels of groundwater directly outside of your foundation from clogged gutters overflowing will put more hydrostatic pressure on the walls on your basement. Over time or with heavy rains you'll be dealing with water in your basement from your dirty gutters.
The water continually overflowing from gutters can cause mulch to wash away, destroy flower beds, shrubs, or even small trees. The water may cause a rut to form along your foundation.
Blocked gutters are a hotbed for mosquitoes and other pests because of the standing water and debris in it. Termites and carpenter ants may also be attracted to the rotting leaves in the gutters. These insects can find their way into your home and cause an insect infestation, especially when cooler weather drives them inside.
The standing water in your gutters can damage many different components of your roof. The shingles that are constantly in contact with water will deteriorate at a faster rate than they should, weakening your roof. Over time, water will seep past these saturated roof shingles and penetrate the roof deck, making its way through insulation and into your attic. Standing water in your gutters will also make it more likely for ice dams to form and further damage the shingles of your roof. Eventually, clogged gutters will cause leaks in your roof.
Soffit & Fascia Issues
The weight of your clogged gutters will cause them to sag and damage the soffit and fascia of your home. These are both important to properly ventilate your attic, prevent water leaks, and stop pests from entering your home. When the gutters shift and these crack, you will be susceptible to these issues.
Many of the previous clogged gutter problems include some form of water damage. But, it's important to note just how much water damage your home can sustain from not cleaning your gutters. Water constantly running where it should not will allow it to get behind your siding or window frames and find its way into your living space. You may find water stains on ceilings or walls from roof leaks and seepage.
Clogged gutters can absolutely cause mold problems in your home. Wherever there are unaddressed moisture problems, mold will grow and quickly spread into an infestation. Mold can actually begin to grow in as little as 48 hours after a material sustains water damage. When you don't realize that your gutters are clogged, you can end up dealing with a rather large mold problem.
Signs of Clogged Gutters
Some signs of clogged gutters are rather obvious while others may not be. When you notice any of these signs, its definitely time to break out your ladder or call a professional to perform a gutter cleaning.
1 - Noticing Pests or Growth on The Roof.
If you see small trees or weeds growing in your gutter, there's definitely a lot of debris and standing water in them. The debris and standing water will allow for insect growth, which will then attract birds or squirrels who eat them.
2 - Gutters Are Sagging.
The only other reason your gutters would sag would likely be because strong winds detached them from the roof. When you notice them sagging, but it wasn't immediately following a windstorm, they're likely being weighed down by standing water.
3 - Gutter Waterfall.
If you see water running over the sides of your gutters - they're 100% clogged. If they weren't, the water would drain down through the gutter.
4 - No Water Coming Out of Gutter Spout.
If you go outside while it's raining and notice no water coming out of the downspout of the gutter, there is something blocking a clear flow.