What happens when the gutter is full?

When gutters become clogged, water will not be able to properly divert from your home. Instead, water will spill down the side of the gutters, causing a number of different problems, such as foundation damage, structural problems, mold, and basement flooding. Clogged gutters will cause water to accumulate and settle on the roof. That water will seep into your home and damage your shingles, roof, and more.

It can also cause the gutter system to deform and become heavy before it detaches from your home structure and takes part of the roof with it. Heavy gutters filled with water and debris can damage panels and fascia. If they break, water can enter your home and cause further damage. When gutters are clogged and temperatures drop below freezing, ice causes problems in a number of ways.

Clogged gutters become heavy and can leave your home. If water has flowed down the gutters to the terrace, driveway or sidewalks, it can freeze and cause a risk of slipping. Clogged gutters can cause excess water to overflow and build up around the foundation of your home. If left unchecked, this excess water can cause cracking of the base.

When the foundations of your home are damaged, they can cause structural damage to your home. If the gutters are made of lower quality materials or if they are allowed to sag long enough, the damage will be excessive and the gutters may need to be replaced or repaired. But if you live in an area where leaves fall in autumn, clean the gutters a minimum of twice a year. A professional gutter cleaner may seem expensive, but consider how expensive it would be if you left your clogged gutter problems unchecked.

These are just some of the gutter clogging problems you can avoid if the gutters are properly maintained. Adding gutter covers to your gutter system can extend the time needed between cleanings, but it won't save you from a basement flood. Leaving aside the impact of clogged gutters in your roof, other damage to your home could include the walls, as the gutters separate from the structure and, as we will see below, its foundations. If you live in a location that experiences heavy rain and a lot of leaves during the fall, it might be worth cleaning gutters quarterly.

If you live in a heavily wooded area, you may need to clean your gutters three or four times a year. That's because cleaning gutters can help prevent anything from honeycombs to a bad foundation. The most critical time of year to clean gutters is near the end of autumn, when most of the leaves have fallen. This doesn't mean you'll never climb a ladder again, although even gutters with the best protections need to be cleaned every two years.

Once you've cleaned up the mess, always flush the gutter and downspouts with a garden hose to remove any remaining dirt. If you have an entrance, you risk damage or destruction in the same way if you don't regularly clean the gutters to avoid blockages.

Wim van Kuijpers
Wim van Kuijpers

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