From our many years of experience in working with thousands of homeowners across the country, and installing millions of feet of LeafFilter gutter protection, we have identified what we call “The 3 Unintended Consequences” of installing a gutter protection system that disturbs the shingle seal of your roof. And they are: 1) leaks, 2) moisture in the attic, and 3) voided shingle warranty. We call these unintended consequences because a homeowner never intendsor wants to have their roof leak, or allow moisture into their attic, or worse yet, void their shingle warranty.
But unfortunately, that is typically what happens when installing a gutter protection product that slides under the shingles versus gutter guards like LeafFilter that use a patented method. No question that one of the most important pieces of your home is the roof. Its primary responsibility is to protect your home and all of is inhabitants from the elements. Keep in mind that these elements become significantly harsher in the winter. What would have only been a small, simple crack during the summer, can turn into a serious problem when exposed to snow and freezing temperatures. Please avoid purchasing any sort of gutter protection product where part of the installation process involves nailing through, or altering or adjusting, your shingles in any way.
Unintended Consequence #1 – Roof Leaks
It doesn’t take too much for a leak to begin. In fact, leaks usually start with just a little bit of water underneath your shingles. Around mid-November, that little bit of water will start freezing overnight and melting when the sun hits the roof in the morning. The freezing water expands, slowly prying the shingles away from the roof. The less securely a shingle is fastened, the greater risk for water damage. That risk increases when the weather gets colder because the repeated freezing and melting can start to take a toll on the roof.
Once you start having small amounts of damage to the shingles, it is only a matter of time until the water gets inside your home. Water seeks its own level so it will definitely find a way to attack the weakest part of your roof. This is especially problematic in the winter when snow buildup prevents water, whether from rain or snow melting, from running into your gutters and away from your house as intended.
Unintended Consequence #2 – Moisture in Your Attic
The leaks that run through the roof are definitely the most visible sign but they are only part of the problem. Moisture in your attic can lead to issues as well. Normally, we don’t spend a ton of time in the attic, so problems can take months to discover. Condensation on the boards of the roof can very easily turn into mold and wood rot.
Both of these start only as small problems but have the ability to spread very aggressively until they turn into a serious issue. Also, most homes have some sort of fiberglass, commonly known as pink panther insulation. When that insulation is exposed to moisture, it can begin to shrivel and deteriorate. This deterioration will not only make your home less energy efficient during the colder months, but also leave your attic more susceptible to significant water damage.
Unintended Consequence #3 – Voided Roof Warranty
Perhaps the most obvious consequence (at least from a financial perspective) for you to avoid is installing any type of gutter guards that disturb your shingles during the installation process. Disturbing your shingles can void your roofing warranty. After discussing all of the problems that defective shingles can lead to, it is no wonder roofers distance themselves and try to remove any liability after a homeowner installs a product that essentially damages the roof. A shingle warranty typically lasts between 10 to 30 years. The higher the quality of the shingle — the longer the warranty. And a new roof is a significant investment.
If a homeowner pays a healthy sum of money for a quality roof, why install a product that voids the roof warranty? That is why we classify this as an unintended consequence. If you only take one thing away from reading this post, please use caution when selecting the products you install in your home. Installing a product that damages one part of your home in order to function is likely not the best long-term solution for you and your family. For gutter guards that keep your gutters free of clogs without voiding your roof warranty, LeafFilter is the optimal choice.