The 5 Most Common Problems Caused By Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters with water overflowing near foundation

Cleaning your gutters is a task nobody wants to do. It’s dirty, smelly, and downright unpleasant.

But unfortunately, ignoring your gutters can have serious consequences. From water in your basement to severe structural damage, clogged gutters are a disaster waiting to happen.

So grab your gloves and get ready to face the mess because, in this post, we’re exploring the common ways clogged gutters harm your foundation.

Why do gutters exist?

Gutters protect your home’s structural integrity by redirecting rainwater away from your house and preventing water from pooling around the foundation.

They are narrow channels attached to the edge of your roof that collects rainwater and directs it away to a designated area at least 10 feet away through your downspouts.

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Without them, rainwater would run off the roof, collect around the house, and cause damage to your foundation, basement, or crawl space. Over time, this will cause mold growth and flooding and compromise the structural integrity of your home.

Why do gutters need to be cleaned?

Gutters must be cleaned because they easily become clogged with debris, twigs, leaves, and dirt. Especially if you live near a lot of trees. These clogs obstruct the water flow and cause the gutters to overflow. And unfortunately, overflowing gutters allow water to pour into the soil surrounding your home.

Soil is highly absorbent, so it will soak up excess water but won’t absorb all of it if it's heavy rain. That’s when you’ll start to see water pooling.

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Water pooling around your house can cause severe damage. We all know gravity is the force that keeps us from flying off the earth. Well, it’s also the force that keeps water always moving downward. Because of that, the water pooling around your foundation will move down and seep into your basement through the cracks and joints in your foundation. 

Five common problems caused by clogged gutters

As you can tell, gutters are essential to your home’s drainage system. If clogs are ignored, here’s what can happen.

1. Water damage

When water seeps into your foundation, it causes cracks, rotting, and mold growth. And if left untreated, that water damage can weaken the foundation and compromise the integrity of your home.

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2. Erosion

Soil erosion occurs when water repeatedly flows over the same area, causing the soil to wash away. This will cause your foundation to sink and settle unevenly. This can happen if you have clogged gutters, as the water repeatedly overflows and pools around your foundation.

3. Foundation cracks

As mentioned above, water can seep into your foundation and cause it to expand and contract. This expansion and contraction can create pressure on your foundation, leading to cracks. Over time these cracks can grow, and your foundation can become weaker. Foundation repairs can be costly, so keeping your gutters clean is important to avoid this issue.

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4. Pests

Clogged gutters are the perfect environment for pests like mosquitos, rodents, and termites to breed. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, which accumulates in clogged gutters. And other pests, like rodents, use the debris in your gutters as a food source and nesting material. This can cause significant damage to your gutters, roof, and foundation.

Sitting water in gutters

5. Ice dams

During winter, sitting water in your clogged gutters can freeze and form ice dams. Ice dams prevent water from flowing through your gutters and can cause water to back onto your roof and eventually into your home. The weight of the ice dams can also damage your gutters, roof, and foundation.

Don’t ignore your gutters

Overall, cleaning gutters is essential to home maintenance and helps protect your home from water damage, foundation damage, and other problems.

Clean your gutters

So grab your gloves and your ladder, and clean out those gutters. And if you need help and are in our service area, contact us! We offer gutter guard installation, seamless gutters, and seasonal professional gutter cleaning.