You surely know that the rain gutters are main components of the roofing system. As their name implies, they should channel rainwater off the roof so that there won’t be any damage. And so, even small gutter problems are serious ones.
Now, what we consider a problem is when water is blocked and cannot be channeled through the gutters and the downspout off and away from the building. Also, when gutter damage – broken seals and cracks, channel water into different directions and not their supposed route all the way to the downspout and away on the land.
When such gutter-related problems happen, the roof is affected. The fascia becomes damaged. And chances are high – especially if there’s no gutter repair in time – that there’ll be indoor leaks – hence, water damage.
All these things are bad, of course. And there’s an urgency to find a gutter service contractor as soon as you notice the problem. But why do gutter damage and failures happen, in the first place?
Why should you care about the reasons for gutter failures and damage? Because if you know what may affect the performance of your residential gutters, you may do something about it to prevent damage and all problems that come with it.
4 common external factors that cause gutter damage
1. Gutter debris and flying items
You probably have heard that occasional gutter cleaning is a good thing. It really is. It’s all about removing debris accumulated in the gutters since it blocks the flow of rainwater. With components exposed to the elements at all times, it’s kind of impossible to avoid debris. Even if it’s not windy, there’s dust, tree leaves, and flying items – let alone when there’s a storm. Many things may land on your roof and end up in the gutters, or go straight into the gutters. And when this happens, the gutters will be eventually clogged and so no rainwater flow.
Plus, the extra weight will put additional strain on the gutter and, as a consequence, they will gradually become damaged (cracked, for example).
No scenario is a good thing. What can you do to avoid such nightmarish situations? For starters, you should occasionally call a gutter company to book a cleaning service. To have the debris removed and the gutters checked. This is smart to do once a year but also after big storms. What more can you do? Install gutter guards. Today, there are plenty of choices on the market and so filth gathered in the gutters will be dramatically reduced. This combined with gutter cleaning can actually solve the problem before it affects the building.
2. Pest nest infestation
Since one problem often brings along several more, there’s a chance that debris will create infestations. And not only due to the debris but also because different creatures – from wasps and birds to rodents, may build nests in the gutters. This will only make things worse since mold may build up.
Once more, the solution to this problem is to be proactive. With gutter guards installation and cleaning, you won’t worry about such things and anything bad following such situations.
3. Ice and snow accumulation
Ice and snow are your roof’s enemies. But since the roof and all its components, the gutter system included, stand in the first line of defense against the weather, snow and ice will land on your roof and gutters. The extra weight will likely cause gutter damage. Ice dams often formed on the roof will also be a headache. And when all that frozen water starts melting, the flow will be continuous, putting extra strain on the gutters. Now, if the gutters are dirty – which they will probably be due to the season, all the worse since the water flow will be blocked.
To minimize the bad effects of this problem, you should fight the enemy – in this case, the formation of ice dams. To do that, you need to take action mainly inside the house with attic insulation and ventilation.
4. Storms and winds
With storms and winds comes flying debris and some of that traveling filth lands on your gutters, bringing all the bad things we discussed above. What’s more, strong winds and storms may wreak havoc on gutters. Flying items also include tree branches, which if landed on gutters will likely cause damage.
And while you cannot fight nature and weather, you can still have a pro check the gutters after the storm goes away and fix damage before its effects become apparent.