Can Clogged Gutters Affect Your Roofing System?

The leaves, dirt, and twigs residing in your gutter system, courtesy of nearby wildlife and Mother Nature, are sure to cause drainage problems. After all, too much gunk can block the gutters, preventing water from draining through the system properly. 

But can those clogged gutters cause roof leaks? Unfortunately, they can. The detrimental effects of buildup go far beyond the gutters, potentially affecting everything from your home’s roof to its foundation. 

Gutters and Roofing: A Close-Knit Relationship

Your roof and gutter systems go hand-in-hand. If the gutter system isn’t working correctly, it can wreak havoc on your roof. In some cases, clogged gutters can cause leaks and other roofing issues. 

Improper Drainage

Gutters are designed to escort water away from your home. When they’re packed with debris, the water can’t drain properly. This can allow moisture to hang out around the bottom of your roof, not to mention the pooling around your foundation. 

The water around the roof can seep down the fascia board, which runs along the roof’s edge and typically houses the gutter braces. The fascia is a significant part of your roof, as it connects to the trusses and rafters making up your roof. 

When exposed to moisture, this area can work its way into places it shouldn’t, causing water damage, mold, and mildew inside your attic and home. 

Ice Dams

Those clogged gutters can continue adversely affecting your roof when temperatures dip below freezing. The heat inside your home rises into the attic, melting ice and snow on the roof. As the melted precipitation slides down your roof to the gutter, it cools. 

When it reaches the gutters, it should be able to drain down the system and away from your home. But when the gutters are clogged, it can’t do that. The water has nowhere to go, eventually freezing in its place and causing large ice dams. 

The problem continually worsens as the temperatures fluctuate throughout the day and night, resulting in a larger and larger ice dam. This ever-growing ice dam can push moisture up underneath your roofing system, causing shingles to wiggle loose and opening the door to leaks. It can even damage your roof decking, resulting in more severe issues. 

Can Clogged Gutters Cause Ceiling Leaks?

Clogged gutters are bad news for your home’s roof. While ceiling leaks don’t usually occur immediately, they can happen over time when the problem persists. 

For example, if your gutters are teeming with gunk and debris before winter, but you forget to clean them out, you might notice issues when spring rolls around. Over the winter, ice dams might work moisture into your roof, causing problems that go unnoticed for a while. But when the temperatures warm and spring thaws everything, the moisture might work its way from your home’s attic and into the ceilings. 

You might notice water stains, sagging, mold, or mildew around the ceiling and tops of the walls. These are often telltale signs of moisture damage associated with roof problems, and if you notice them, addressing them immediately is crucial. 

How Do You Fix Roof Leaks?

Repairing a roof leak resulting from clogged gutters depends on the type of damage. While some homeowners with advanced DIY skills might be able to remedy the problem independently, roof issues are usually out of most homeowners’ skillset. On top of that, navigating a roof slope to isolate and identify the issue is dangerous without the proper protective equipment. 

So, unless you’re a well-versed DIYer with roofing experience, it’s best to seek professional assistance. Our team at Glick’s Exterior is ready to help you troubleshoot roofing issues and remedy the situation. Call us at (610) 810-1290 or complete our online contact form

  Filed under: Blog