Clogged gutters are a recipe for disaster for your home. When your gutters clog up, water doesn’t run through them and eject away from your home properly. As a result, you face damage to your roof and shingles, soffits, wood trim pieces, foundation, and landscaping. That’s a repair bill that you don’t want to face! You know you should clean the gutters, but maybe you’re stumped as to why they keep getting clogged to begin with. Let’s take a look at the culprits that cause clogged gutters.
Common Causes of Clogged Gutters
Trees are a fantastic addition to your landscape. They provide shade to keep your home cooler in the hot summer months and make a pretty sweet place to hang your hammock under. While they are pretty to look at, they create a mess in your gutters.
Regardless of where you live, trees pose a problem for gutter maintenance. So whether you live under large oak trees that drop leaves and acorns or crepe myrtles that drop those gorgeous flowering petals and twigs all season long, you have debris building up in your gutters.
Believe it or not, animals think your gutters are the perfect place to build a humble abode of their own. It’s not uncommon at all to find that birds have nested in the gutter. After all, it’s high up like they prefer, and the overhang of your roof line offers relative protection from predators, and the moisture trapped in the leaves gives them the water they need.
In addition to birds, wasps and bees find your gutters to be an optimal environment. They find gutters irresistible, it seems. If you find a wasp or bee nest in your gutters, proceed with extreme caution as they will find you a threat and start attacking you. It’s best to call in an exterminator if you’re uncertain if the nest is active.
The larger nest any animal builds in your gutter, the bigger the clog.
3-Snow and Ice Build-Up
Another culprit that causes clogged gutters is build-up of snow and ice dams. Here is what happens. When the snow flies, it settles on your roof and gutters. If the attic is improperly insulated and vented, the warmth from the attic can radiate though the roof and cause the snow to melt off and into your gutters. Because of the cold conditions, that melted snow re-freezes as ice. This forms a condition called “ice dams,” which are just what the name implies. They create dams that hold back the flow of water through your gutters.
This becomes a bigger problem as the process continues throughout the cold snap. This condition is quite serious. It can do untold damage to your shingles and cause roof leaks. In fact, it can even cause the need to prematurely replace your roof.
Tips to Help Prevent Clogged Gutters
- Give your gutters a thorough quarterly inspection and clean as needed.
- Ensure that your attic is properly insulated and vented.
- Call an exterminator to remove wasp nests when you find them.
- Add gutter guards to protect the gutters from leaves and tree debris and to block birds from nesting in your gutters.
Taking these steps will ensure that your gutters remain clog-free and diverting water away from your home correctly to prevent damage.
Author Bio: Randy Schreiber is a 20+ year home services veteran and owns GutterBrush. He loves writing blogs to help homeowners protect their most valuable asset—their home!