Your gutter system does a lot for your home, but it’s not exempt from the occasional problem. As a homeowner, you’ve probably dealt with your share of clogged gutters over the years. It may seem like a minor issue, but gutter congestion can leave your home and roof vulnerable to damage. And the first and vital step to mitigating the issue is to identify what’s causing the blockage in the first place. Here, we discuss the common reasons for gutter congestion, plus what you can do about them.
1. Leaves and Other Loose Debris
Fall is officially here – the season for pumpkin spice, lit fireplaces and thicker, cozier layers. There’s also that old childhood favorite: raking up leaves into a pile and jumping on them. But unfortunately, not every leaf or pine needle shed by nearby trees during fall ends up on the ground. Some of them find their way into your open gutters instead. Leaves, pine needles and other loose debris can gradually build up inside the system, creating blockages that hamper its draining performance. This, in turn, results in standing water, which can seep through the fascia board and cause rot or flow over the sides and splash against your home exterior.
What You Can Do
Your home’s proximity to trees can be incredibly useful. For one thing, it keeps some areas of your home cool and shaded while also providing some much-needed privacy. But it’s a double-edged sword – the trees are close enough to your home to drop leaves straight into your gutters or onto your roof, making cleanups more frequent and troublesome. That’s why it’s important to cut back any encroaching tree branches from your gutters and roof fairly regularly. If you feel like this is too much of a hassle, you should consider removing any too-close trees altogether.
2. Bird’s Nests
The trilling and chirping of birds sound lovely and charming. Plus, their very presence can add life and activity to your property. But for creatures with hollow bones, birds can be a nuisance. They’re usually attracted to gutters because they provide a high, safe vantage point and a fresh supply of water. The “walls” of the gutter system create a good barrier against the wind, and they may find the space cozy enough to build their nests. You already know where this is going – the material used for bird’s nests ends up compromising the way your gutters drain rainwater away from your home.
What You Can Do
Have a professional inspect and perform cleanouts of your seamless gutters regularly. You should also take measures that discourage birds from nesting inside them. These include getting decoy owls and snakes that you can position along your gutters. The sight of their natural predators can scare birds away from the system – until they wise up at least. Birds may also be repelled using foil tape, scent sprays and loud noises. But keep in mind that these don’t always work, and if they do, they will only be for a short time.
Some organisms can grow just about anywhere. If algae can form on asphalt shingles and literal plants can take root on roof tiles, then weeds thriving in your gutters won’t be much of a leap. Weeds are so hardy they can grow in the toughest conditions. They can sprout overnight with just a little bit of moisture. Gutters are constantly exposed to water and are prone to debris buildup so they create an ideal environment for weeds, which are just like any other blockage except they’re alive.
What You Can Do
You just need to keep your gutters clear of leaves and other debris. It’s also a good idea to turn to a trusted gutter installation and maintenance contractor who can check if your gutters are sloped properly. Gutters get wet, sure, but incorrectly pitched ones stay wet all the time because of standing water. As a result, weeds become more likely to form inside the gutters, especially if the system has accumulated debris.
4. Ice Dams
The row of icicles hanging on your eaves during winter looks oddly beautiful, but it’s also destructive to your roof and gutters. That’s called an ice dam, which occurs when the snow and ice accumulating on a hot roof surface melt and refreeze along the eaves and gutters. Ice dams can clog your gutters, and any additional snowfall can overflow the system and damage your home’s exterior and foundation. What’s worse, the additional weight created by the ice dam can even cause the gutter system to pull away from the roofline.
What You Can Do
You’ll have to make sure your roof can maintain a low temperature, which can be done with proper attic insulation and ventilation. By keeping the roof cool, the snow and ice on its surface won’t melt and end up forming ice dams on the gutters.
The Simplest Way to Prevent Gutter Clogging
You can keep your gutters clean and clog-free just by investing in a high-quality gutter protection system. This comes in several different types, from bottle brush and screen to mesh and foam. But if you want something that’s low-maintenance and highly effective, you should check out the Gutter Helmet® gutter covers offered by Barry Best Seamless Gutters. They check all the boxes on what good gutter protection should be. With our Gutter Helmet covers installed, you no longer have to worry about leaves, weeds and bird’s nests clogging your seamless gutters. That’s because they come with the following:
- Patented Nose-Forward Design
- You won’t need to climb ladders or hire a contractor to clean your gutters anymore. Our Gutter Helmet covers come with a patented nose-forward design that allows rainwater to flow smoothly into your gutters while keeping everything else out. Instead, leaves, pine needles and other loose debris are shed to fall harmlessly to the ground, helping prevent congestion and poor draining performance.
- Textured and Ribbed Surface. Gutter Helmet covers are made of durable but lightweight aluminum. Their sturdy construction allows for increased tensile strength while their textured and ribbed surface promotes surface tension, ensuring that rainwater will cling to the covers while it’s being directed into the gutter system. These features make for a gutter protection system that can withstand heavy rainfall, snow loads and high winds.
- PermaLife™ Finish
Just because our Gutter Helmet covers keep your gutters clog-free doesn’t mean they don’t contribute to your home’s overall look. Thanks to patented PermaLife™ Finish, Gutter Helmet covers are applied with a high-performance paint that stays impervious to chalking, fading and corrosion caused by acid rain or salt water. PermaLife Finish is also available in a wide selection of classic colors, allowing it to blend seamlessly with your home.
- Heavy-Duty Mounting Brackets
How do Gutter Helmet covers stay firmly attached to your roof and gutters? Simple – they are installed using reinforced aluminum alloy brackets, ensuring the covers remain in place even through inclement weather.
But what about gutter congestion caused by ice dams? Aside from our exceptional Gutter Helmet covers, we also offer Helmet Heat® Ice Reduction System – the top-tier and proven solution to ice damming. It makes this possible through an exclusive self-regulating heating cable that’s designed to prevent ice and snow from accumulating around the edges of your roof. Helmet Heat is fully compatible with Gutter Helmet gutter protection, ensuring safe and worry-free performance when installed and maintained by a trusted expert like Barry Best Seamless Gutters.