It doesn’t really matter what time of the year it is, different roof types have different problems – some may even cause irreversible damage. But the one thing that we’ve learned is that some problems common to all roof types are not really roofing problems. Rather, it’ll start with gutter problems that would otherwise never occur if good gutter guards were in place.
So what are the common roof gutter problems that end up damaging roofs and costing an arm and a leg in repairs? Here’s a checklist:
Roof gutter clogging
Roof gutter clogging is the number one roof gutter problem that causes most damage to roofs – and which is most easily avoided by having good gutter guards. The collection of leaves and twigs in the gutter traps water in the best of roof gutters, simultaneously making it heavier and creating room for more debris to gather. Clogged gutters also create a thriving mini-ecosystem in the gutter, attracting birds, vermin and other pests – also with the effect of making the gutter heavier still.
As the gutter gets heavier, it sags and raises two new problems. Water may begin spilling over the gutter or the gutter may pull away from the roof edge. Either way, there is seepage of water leading to rotting of fascia boards, damage on interior walls and a deterioration of the roofing. A good gutter guard properly installed stops this series of events before they begin.
Gap between the gutters and the roof
This is a stealth gutter problem. It is happens when a gutter is installed poorly – or is properly installed but poorly maintained over time – leaving a small, often unnoticeable, gap between the roof edge and the gutter. As a result, normal rain has enough force to clear the roof edge and land in the gutter but as the downpour eases, or during a drizzle, the water has less force and drips through the gap and onto the siding.
With time, the seepage eats away the painting and eventually causes the fascia boards to rot. In extreme cases, the water reaches interior walls and ceilings, precipitating huge repairs costs. A gutter guard will not necessarily prevent this occurrence but, in our experience, it is a problem that is easily detected and rectified by any good gutter guard installer or repairer.
Poor or loose gutter hangers
Anyone doing their own gutter installation should pay particular attention to this problem. Gutter hangers that secure the gutter to the board might deteriorate over time, or gutter fasteners may ease out of the wood due to increasing weight of clogged gutters. Or the fasteners may have been spaced too far apart.
As a result, the gutter will sag slightly, creating a gap between the gutter and the roof edge. From that point it is downhill to a damaged roof. Good gutter guards that are properly installed will pre-empt this problem. Certainly, gutter hangers are one of the things we first check before we install or service gutter guards.
Improperly pitched gutters
Again, do-it-yourself gutter fixers mark this one. Gutters have to be installed at a slight slope towards the downspouts. Everyone knows this but, somehow, many miss it. Good workmanship means the angling will not be noticeable to anyone passing by, but it must be good enough for water to flow smoothly away. A quarter inch of slope every 10 feet is good. Otherwise, water will move slowly, increasing the risk of clogging and sagging and the eventual damage to the roof. Gutter guards will not solve this one but any professional gutter guard installer will immediately notice and fix the problem.
The prevalence of poorly designed gutter downspouts leading to roof damage is second only to clogging. Curiously, it is often caused by poor attempts to avoid clogging, particularly the installation of leaf traps in downspouts. If not properly done, such traps will actually cause water to dam in the gutter.
Downspout guards are an excellent alternative to leaf traps for a few reasons. Providing greater debris protection than a leaf trap, a downspout guards shield the downspouts from receiving a deluge of leaves and other debris. Investing in downspout guards will also help homeowners keep contaminants out of collected rainwater.
LeafFilter™ gutter guards
LeafFilter™ gutter guards have completely revolutionized the gutter protection industry. Our state-of-the-art micro-filter gutter guards ensure no more dangerous trips up your ladder to clean your clogged gutters. LeafFilter™ gutter guards provide you and your home with a complete gutter protection system that is guaranteed to keep your gutters clog free. The LeafFilter™ gutter protection system has been voted the best gutter guard solution on the market today.