Gutter Clearance

Blocked Gutters?

A blocked gutter might seem like a trivial problem at first. But if left unchecked, blocked gutters can cause serious damage to your property.

Blocked gutter damage can quickly turn into a huge and costly problem, leading to structural damage, leaking roofs and insect infestations.

Blocked gutters can cause an untold number of problems; here’s our expert rundown of the most common and dangerous ones.

 

How Blocked Gutters Cause Damp

There are a few different ways that blocked or damaged gutters can allow water to penetrate a property and cause damp:

  • Overflowing gutters – When gutters become clogged with leaves, moss or debris, rainwater cannot drain away properly. It will start overflowing out of the channels and pooling around the outside of your home. Over time, this saturated ground can lead to damp seeping through walls or basements.
  • Dripping water – Blocked gutters may still hold water even when complete, causing it to drip down exterior walls gradually. It only takes small amounts of persistent moisture for damp to develop behind siding or inside walls.
  • Damaged gutters – Cracks, holes or loose joints in gutters provide pathways for water to seep in. This could be directly into roofing or cladding materials, or it may track down into wall cavities.
  • Sagging gutters – Gutters that drop below the level needed to funnel water away effectively may allow spillage onto walls below. Improperly sloped gutters can only partially drain rainfall.
  • Overflowing downpipes – Heavy rain that cannot enter or drain from blocked gutters may overwhelm the downpipe system, too. Water will back up, potentially saturating the ground or walls near pipes.

Over prolonged periods, these issues with excess water can all gradually contribute to rising dampness from below or penetrative damp, penetrating building materials. Indoor mould growth and structual damage may occur if the dampness sources are not addressed.

DAMAGE TO THE FOUNDATIONS

One of the biggest problems that can be caused by blocked gutter damage is structural damage to the foundations of your home. This is a serious issue and it will only arise in the worst scenario. But it’s the most important reason to regularly check your gutters and have them regularly cleaned out.

Damage to the foundations can occur when a blocked gutter overflows during heavy rainfall. The water can pool at the base of the building and seep into the foundations. This can weaken the structure of a house, and in really serious cases can cause collapses.

LEAKING ROOFS

Just as a blocked gutter can lead to foundation damage, it can also lead to roof damage. If your roof is leaking, then there’s a high chance you have a blocked gutter.

A leaking roof is a serious problem, and it’s going to cost you a lot more to fix than it would have cost to clean out your gutters. If a gutter is blocked, then water can pool on the roof if it has nowhere else to flow.

This can weaken the roof tiles and cause them to collapse as water seeps through.

INSECT INFESTATIONS

Another serious problem caused by blocked gutter damage is an insect infestation. This happens because debris can be an ideal breeding ground for insects if it’s not cleared out.

Insects are attracted by the damp conditions and can become a nuisance if left for too long. Blocked gutters can attract termites that could then get into your home, or wasps building large nests in summer.

BROKEN GUTTERS

Blocked gutters also cause damage to the gutters themselves, which, although annoying, is preferable to blocked gutter damage affecting your house’s structural integrity.

Debris building up in a gutter and blocking it adds to the weight of the gutter. When it rains, leaves and other similar debris will absorb that rainwater, adding immeasurably to pressure on the gutter.

Large build-ups of debris left over a long period of time can cause your gutter to break or even collapse. This costs you money in the short term but, if it happens, you also need to check there isn’t any other damage starting to show in the foundations or on the roof.

DAMAGE TO LANDSCAPING

Blocked gutters can be a problem when it comes to your garden, as they can lead to landscaping damage.

Blockages might cause severe overflows of water when it rains. This rainwater can pool below the gutter, causing damage to any plants or soil below it.

Over an extended period of time, the soil and nutrients in the soil can simply be washed away by excess rainwater

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU HAVE YOUR GUTTERS CLEANED TO PREVENT DAMAGE?

To prevent blocked gutter damage, your gutters need to be cleaned more often than you might realise. Too often, gutters are left blocked for too long and it’s only when structural problems or insect infestations start to be noticed that they get cleaned.

Your gutters need to be cleaned if you notice any of the problems we’ve mentioned in this article. But the reality is they really need to be cleaned before this to stop problems arising in the first place.

If you can’t remember the last time you had your gutter cleaned, it’s probably a good time to call in the professionals. If the seasons are starting to change, you should also consider cleaning out your gutters. That means you should be cleaning your gutters a couple of times a year to prevent any damage.

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