More than leaves in the gutter?

More than leaves in the gutter?


The main cause of rain gutter clogging is your home’s proximity to trees. All year, and then more intensely in autumn, trees shed leaves. Some leaves find their way onto roofs and from there, into the gutters and downspouts. The clogging is quicker and more troublesome for houses that have flat or near-flat roofs. Clogging also rapidly arises in gutters that are not sufficiently angled toward the downspouts.

Gutters that become clogged by leaves and twigs remain wet for longer and are difficult to blow out. This type of backup creates the perfect environment for molds, pests and birds to make their home. Clogging also leads to gutter sagging and gutter overflows, which may seep into and damage the roofing structure or the building’s foundation.


Snow is another big roof or gutter-clogging agent. Again, the slope of the roof and the setting of the gutter play a major role in prevention. But it’s the condition of the attic that tips the scales. In the typical case, the accumulation of snow on the roof is not, by itself a problem. The trouble is that a poorly ventilated attic retains more warmth than a properly ventilated attic would, leading to the thawing of the snow on the roof. The snow then slides onto the cold gutter, and the sudden temperature difference freezes some of the snow into ice. Soon enough, the gutter is clogged.

Clogs produced from ice damming may force additional snow to overflow the gutter, causing damage to the eaves, walls and the foundation. The weight of snow may also warp the gutter away from the roof, allowing seepage of snow or drips of water onto the fascia boards, the interior walls and ceilings. Should these rot as a result, the repair could cost a bundle.


Sometimes nature has nothing to do with it. A poorly designed or improperly installed gutter downspout may trap debris, particularly at the entry or exit points, blocking the natural flow of water and causing water to dam in the gutter – and trap more debris. The result is the clogging of the gutter that is often blamed on leaves and twigs.

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