Signs your clogged gutters need cleaning

Gutters are a key part of your property’s drainage system, although they’re often overlooked. With the Pacific Northwest’s frequent rain, gutters need to capture all the water flowing onto your roof and direct it away from your home to prevent costly water damage.

That’s why gutter cleaning should be a part of your exterior home maintenance routine, done four to six times a year. If it’s been a while since your last gutter cleaning, you should check for these signs of clogged and damaged gutters.

clogged gutter

How Do Gutters Work?

Most homeowners in Thurston County know that gutters are designed to direct rainwater away from your home and prevent water damage. But you may not be familiar with all the elements of a gutter system or signs that one of those components is not functioning properly.

As water flows down your roof, it enters the gutters, exits through downspouts, and flows through your drainage system. If there are clogs in any of these areas, water will back up and overflow, leaving your property vulnerable to a variety of water damage issues. If the water is sitting in your gutters near your roof, this area can rust, rot, and develop mold, among other issues. If water is not properly flowing through your downspouts and into your drainage system, it can pool near your foundation, ruining landscaping and eventually causing serious structural damage.

To keep your gutters in top condition and serving their purpose of protecting your home from water, they should be cleaned several times a year, especially during fall before it starts snowing.

When Is It Time for Professional Gutter Services?

If you notice any signs of clogged gutters, it’s highly recommended to get a professional gutter cleaning. But if clogs are left too long, they can cause issues that require gutter repair or replacement.

The signs of damaged gutters are similar to the signs of clogged gutters, but are generally more serious:

  • Cracks
  • Sagging and pulling
  • Broken seams
  • Peeling paint & rust spots
  • Signs of water damage, like rotting wood

Common Signs of Clogged Gutters

  • Sagging gutters: When your gutters are clogged, the weight of collecting water, dirt, and debris can cause your gutters to sag and possibly rupture.
  • Stains on siding: If you see stains from running water on your siding, this is a sign that your gutters are clogged and overflowing during heavy rain.
  • Plant growth: When seeds mix with organic debris in your gutters, plants can begin to grow. If you see plants in your gutters, you’re overdue for a gutter cleaning.
  • Overflowing water: Clogs can push water over the sides of your gutters and down your home. This can lead to interior, exterior, and structural damage.
  • Mildew or rust: If you notice rust or mildew around the sides or top of your home, you likely have a clog. These issues will only lead to more damage to your gutter system, so it’s important to address them promptly.
  • Small animals near your roof: Animals like birds and possums nest in the vegetation and debris inside clogged gutters.


    Problems Caused by Clogged Gutters

    Foundation Issues

    Gutters should carry water through a downspout and away from your home. When gutters are clogged, water spills over the sides and pours down your walls. Pooling water around your foundation causes erosion, which weakens the walls and leads to foundation cracks and settling. Foundation issues can create major structural problems for your home.

    Broken Gutters

    When clogged gutters fill with water, the extra weight can bend them or tear them away from the roof. Keeping your gutters clean can help prevent the need for a gutter replacement.

    Wall & Ceiling Damage

    When gutters are full of clogs, water can overflow on the back side of your gutters. This water can rot the wooden fascia boards your gutters are mounted to or flow behind your home’s siding. Moisture inside your home can require you to replace sections of wood, insulation, and drywall.

    Ice Dams

    If clogged gutters aren’t cleared before winter hits, the water in them can turn to ice, which is called an ice dam. Because of this, melting snow will have nowhere to go but under your shingles, causing roof damage, gutter damage, and leaks in your home.

    Wet Basement

    If your basement isn’t waterproofed, water pooling near your foundation from clogged, overflowing gutters can seep into your basement’s walls and floors. Aside from damage to your belongings, moisture in your basement can lead to harmful mold and mildew.

    Insect Infestations

    Pooling water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and a buildup of damp mud and leaves can be an appealing place for bees and wasps to build their nests. Keeping your gutters clear can help avoid pest infestations.

    Basically, you should remove moss from your roof when you can see growth from the ground level. In addition, if moss is blocking your gutters, have Rainier remove it immediately. Moss overgrows. The last thing you want is to wait before a small job becomes much bigger (and more expensive).

    Ideally, it’s best to remove moss on roofs when it’s actively growing. Moss grows very little during the summer but thrives and spreads during damp spring and fall seasons. Therefore, the best time to remove moss on your roof is right before peak rains, when the moss is damp but no rain is forecast for a few days. 

    Choose Rainier Window & Gutter Cleaning for Gutter Maintenance

    Professional, regularly scheduled gutter cleaning is the best way to keep your gutters free of clogs and prevent a host of related issues. At Rainier Window, Roof Cleaning, Moss Removal and Gutter Cleaning, we provide quarterly gutter maintenance plans to protect and preserve your property.

    Our gutter experts clear debris and clean your gutters without pressure washing to prevent roof damage. If needed, we can also remove moss from your gutters and roof, which grows rapidly in damp Washington weather conditions.

    Our services are designed to maintain the longevity of your roof and gutter system, preventing water damage and secondary issues like mold, rot, pest infestations, and structural damage.

    Contact us today for a free estimate on gutter cleaning.


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