How Can I Tell If My Gutters Are Clogged?

how to tell if you have a gutter clog

Thinking you might have clogged gutters? We have tried to answer this very common question that homeowners all over the country ask.

Gutter cleaning is a part of your normal home maintenance checklist – something you as a homeowner know you need to get done at least twice a year in most parts of the country. Gutters can get clogged any time of year though – branches and twigs, roof grit, and even toys can all cause clogged gutters. It doesn’t take much either! Just a handful of tree pollen in the wrong place can cause a major clog and overflowing gutters.

If your gutters are clogged and it does rain – even a reasonably small amount, they will overflow which can potentially cause serious damage to your home. The list of things that can be damaged by overflowing gutters is long but at the top of the list are paint, wood surfaces, roofing, windows, landscaping, and your foundation and basement. Any of these will run you hundreds if not thousands of dollars to repair.

The best way to avoid these problems and more is to know when your gutters may be clogged and to check them often. Here are some signs that you have clogged gutters.

Water is spilling over the sides of the gutters

This is a sure sign that your gutters are clogged and full of water. With nowhere else to go, water will overflow the already clogged gutter or downspout and come sheeting down onto your wood, walls, landscaping – and worse, into your foundation and basement. These waterfalls may look pretty but they are causing significant damage. In addition to the possible damage to your foundation and basement – these sheets of water can destroy lawns and expensive plants. And if the waterfall is over a doorway or sidewalk it is even worse – causing a serious safety hazard not to mention the discomfort that comes along with water shooting down on your head.

You can see things growing in the gutters

Plant growth in your gutters is also a sure sign that they are clogged. Plants and small trees will grow where there is soil or dirt and water. We often see small forests of trees growing in gutters especially in areas with large amounts of tree coverage. Moss and grasses can also grow in just the smallest amount of soil or water.

Water that has become trapped in the gutter will also get drawn into the wood surfaces around it like a wick. This trapped moisture makes these surfaces very likely to form algae and mold, even to the point where the entire edge of the roof is covered with it.

Black streaks appear on the side of the gutters or on walls

These black streaks are caused by roof asphalt that gets dissolved and enters the gutters when it rains. You can;t really see the tiny particles when it rains but you can see it when it dries on the side of the gutters as a black streak or “tiger-stripes” as we call them.

There are a lot of birds and pests near your gutters

Birds and insects are attracted to the water and the convenient nesting spots created by clogged gutters. Rodents like squirrels and mice are also attracted and can make nests in your gutters or use it as a point of entry into your attic.

Not only do these pests cause problems inside your house they can really make enjoying your outdoor spaces uncomfortable any time of year – especially with wasps and mosquitoes.

Parts of your gutters are sagging down

Sagging gutters indicate there is a lot of weight being trapped inside the gutter in the form of water, dirt, and gunk. If left unchecked – gravity will do its thing and eventually it can pull the entire section of gutters down. If they do come down, a falling gutter can weigh up to 400 pounds or more which will definitely cause damage or injury.

Downspouts are also prone to sagging if they are clogged which normally happens near the top of the downspout, nearest to the point where it connects to the gutter. A large, heavy clog in this area, backed up with gallons and gallons of water can easily break free of the straps and hangers that attach it to the house. When this happens it will come crashing down onto sidewalks, garden beds, the neighbor’s car, and other places you really don’t want it to fall on.

What’s the best way to avoid clogged gutters?

The best and easiest way to avoid clogged gutters is with regularly scheduled, professional gutter cleaning. If your gutters are getting cleaned every six months on a maintenance plan, you will never have to worry about things accumulating so much in your gutters that they become clogged.

Otherwise, our professional gutter cleaning process is the next best thing. Our team of experts will safely and quickly clean and inspect your entire gutter system so you will never have to worry or wonder if your gutters are clogged again. Get a quote or call today. We Get Gutters Clean – It’s What We DO!

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