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What happens when gutters are clogged?

 Over time, gutters will get clogged. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any trees near your roof or even have screens over your gutters. Regardless, they can still get clogged with enough time.

So, what happens when gutters become clogged? Nothing good, that’s for sure.

The whole reason to have gutters is so that the rain doesn’t wash away the soil by your foundation. You want that dirt to stay compacted by the foundation so it doesn’t erode.

So, when your gutter is clogged, the first thing that happens is the gutter fills up and water spills out over the front of your gutter onto the ground. Already, that can cause the soil by your foundation to wash away.

When the gutter is full of water, the metal fasteners that support the gutters will become fatigued and sag. The fasteners are not designed to hold that much stress and weight, especially for any period of time.

So then even if it does empty out and you unclog the gutters after the first storm, it may no longer be draining properly. In the next rainstorm, or two or three rainstorms later, your water is no longer draining properly, and can continue to cause issues.

During that initial storm, after the gutter fills up, it can also back up onto the roof. Shingles are designed to help water flow down them. They’re not designed to be waterproof and keep out water that’s sitting on them.

As a result, the water wicks down into the decking on the roof. Over time that causes damage to the decking, including structural damage and even mold in your attic. Obviously, that’s not a good thing!

Clean your gutters on a regular basis. After any storm, wait for the roof to dry, then check them. Scoop out any debris, then rinse the gutter with a hose to keep it clean. Doing so will reduce your risk of having long-term damage.

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