I ran across the following article written by Shawn Drew for Angie’s List when researching the importance of keeping your gutters cleared. Ice damming isn’t a big concern for our area, but it can happen if water in your clogged gutters freezes and frozen precipitation collects on top of it. We’ve made it half way through winter this year without seeing the weather and cold temperatures we saw last year, but the following article has good information as we head into spring…

Cleaning out gutters in the spring and fall might seem like a menial task, but failure to do so can cause major problems for a home. From foundation damage to roof leaks, clogged gutters can lead to expensive repairs when left untreated.

1. Foundation Damage

The main role of a gutter is to channel water off the roof and away from the home’s foundation. A blockage can cause water to pour over the sides of the gutter and pool around the foundation. Over time, the water can cause cracks to form in the foundation, potentially resulting in collapse. But even if the foundation doesn’t fail, the water can still cause mold growth.

2. Wood Damage

The fascia boards that hold the gutter system are often made of wood. When gutters clog and fill with water, the boards start to deteriorate and rot. If a home has wood siding, clogged gutters can also cause water to overflow out of the gutter system and down the sides of the home.

3. Landscape Damage

When gutters clog and water spills over the side, it often lands on flower beds, small trees or shrubs that surround the base of a home.

4. Ice Dams

In colder climates, ice dams can form on the gutters or the lower edge of the roof, causing water to pool and eventually seep into the home. While ice dams can form on homes with clean gutters, clogged gutters prevent water from draining, which increases the chance for ice dams.

Article published Jan. 28, 2013. Written by: Shawn Drew, Angie’s List contributor. For more information, please visit the Angie’s List Guide to Gutter Systems.