Leaves Left in Gutter Can Eventually Harm Your Roof

Fall gutter Maintenance

Fall Leaves in gutter troughThe leaves are already starting to fall. One of the most important fall chores and many times overlooked is cleaning your gutters in preparation of temperatures below freezing.

Clogged gutter lanes or clogged downspouts can cause some major damage to either your gutter, or to your roof.  Wet leaves turn into frozen leaves and since water expands as it freezes, this will cause your gutters to warp.

Frozen wet leaves also act as a dam causing new rain water to back up. As the water backs up, this is when the real damage starts to take place. That backed up water is going to push up underneath your shingles and will end up causing damage to your roof deck over time. If this happens you will need to have your roof professionally inspected and repaired by an experienced roofing contractor.

One way to save a little work each fall is to install screen guards designed to cover your gutter troughs, keeping leaves out. While these are handy and generally do the trick, it is still a good idea to blow leaves off of the top of the leaf guards and check to make certain smaller debris and leaves have not fallen through the screen holes into your gutter troughs.

Sometimes after a heavy snow you may still have problems with backed up gutters despite all your efforts to keep the gutters clean. Most likely the problem is not debris, but is in fact a problem caused by heat escaping your roof causing the snow to melt. This can happen even though the temperatures outside are below freezing. This scenario creates icicles to form in the gutters and again causes the water to back up as opposed to properly draining. The solution for icicle blockage is finding where and why you have heat loss from your roof and fixing that.  Often it is just a matter of needing more insulation. It is always a good idea to call a contractor to inspect your attic to check for heat loss before winter and snow sets in.  Maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in repair.