roof gutter filled with leaves and debris

Typical Causes of Gutter Damage

Many people don’t pay enough attention to their gutters even though gutters play a huge role in roof protection. Ineffective gutters may allow water to back up under your roof and cause serious damage. Know why your gutters may lose their effectiveness so that you can prevent the damage. Below are some of the typical causes of gutter damage.


Even the best gutters will experience damage when they age. After many years of use, the gutters may rust or corrode, begin to sag or fall apart at the seams. For example, roofers typically anchor gutters to the fascia boards along the roof. With time, the wood may rot and allow the gutters to sag and even pour water over their sides.

Poor Installation

Your gutters won’t handle their drainage task effectively they aren’t installed properly. Here are some of the installation issues that may cause problems:

Poor Placement

You need to position the gutters in such a way that water that flows off the roof falls accurately into the gutter. With wrong placement, water off the roof may fall either between the gutter and the roof or beyond the gutters.

Improper Slope

With an improper slope, water from the roof will flow into the gutters but fail to flow along the gutter into the downspouts. The water will just pool within the gutter and eventually overflow over the sides of the gutters or cause the gutters to sag.

Loose Gutters

You may also end up with loose gutters if they aren’t installed properly. For example, your gutters may loosen and sag if they don’t have the correct fasteners.

Small Gutters

Gutters come in various sizes, and you need to select the right size for your house. The surface area of the roof, the pitch of the roof, and the local weather are some of the factors that determine the correct gutter size. If you use the wrong gutters, then water will overwhelm them and eventually overflow over the sides.

Most installation problems arise out of DIY projects. For example, a typical homeowner may not even know how to determine the correct gutter pitch or even size the gutter correctly. Instead, rely on professionals for correct gutter installation.

Debris Accumulation

Keep your gutters free of debris if you don’t want premature gutter damage. Debris from trees, such as leaves and seeds, can easily accumulate in your gutters if trees grow close to your house. Windblown debris may also accumulate in your gutters if you don’t clean them for a long time.

Debris accumulation can affect your gutters in two main ways. First, the debris will block the flow of water along the gutters, and water may flow over the sides of the gutters instead. Secondly, the debris may weigh too much for the gutters and cause the gutters to sag or fall apart at the seams.

Ice Dams

Ice dams may form on your roof if the edges of the roof are colder than the upper slopes. Such a situation may arise if your roof insulation is inadequate and heat from inside the house melts ice on the roof. In such a case, water from the melted snow may flow down the roof and refreeze along the still-cold eaves of the roof.

In some cases, pieces of ice may break away and crash into the gutters. Such a crash may disconnect or loosens the gutters or interfere with their pitch; the extent of the damage depends on the weight of the ice and the sturdiness of your gutters.

SUNVEK can help you maintain your gutters so that they don’t lose their effectiveness and trigger roof damage. If your roof has already suffered damage, we can still help you fix the damage or replace the roof. Contact us for a quote on any roofing service you may need.

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