People often shrug off clogged gutters as being a minor annoyance. You might see water pouring over the edge of the gutters or running down your siding instead of down the downspouts and think there's nothing to worry about because its just water. This relaxed attitude likely serves you well in some facets of your life, but it's not a good fit if you want your roof to stay strong and in good repair. Clogged gutters can damage your roof. Here's how – and what you should do about it.
Water Damage Along the Edge
Gutters exist to ensure water drains from your roof in a timely manner instead of staying up there. If the edge of your roof stays wet for too long, this can lead to shingle deterioration and rot. If your gutters are clogged, then not only will water not drain from your roof properly, but it may actually get the edge of your roof extra wet as it flows over the edges of the clogged gutters.
Over time, this can cause the shingles along the edge of your roof to lift, peel, and lose granules. This damage is often obvious from the ground. If you spot an issue like this, then clean your gutters immediately. Then, call a roofer. They will likely replace the shingles along the edge of the roof. This will help prevent leaks and prevent the damage from spreading.
Ice Forming Along the Edge
Another issue that develops with clogged gutters is ice dams. These are big sheets of ice that form on the edge of the roof when it snows. The snow melts and trickles down the roof, but if it cannot then drain into the gutters, it refreezes on the edge of the roof instead.
Ice dams can also have to do with a lack of insulation in your attic, but clogged gutters certainly make them worse. Ice dams can lead to peeling shingles, bulging and stretched gutters, and missing shingle granules. If you see ice dams on your home in the winter, call your roofer to inspect the roof and repair any resulting damage in the spring. Then, going forward, make sure your gutters are clear going into winter.
Gutters exist for a reason: to protect your roof. However, they can only do this if they are clear. If your gutters have been clogged, clear them out and also check for the issues discussed above.
Contact a roofer to learn more about how gutters can affect your roof.