Did You Know? Clogged Gutters Cause Water Damage

The fact that clogged gutters cause water damage inside the house may not be immediately obvious, but it's true: drainage off your roof can bring about water infiltration into your house in several ways. Your gutters move a lot of water. An inch of rainfall on a typical 1,000 square foot roof sends over 600 gallons of water into the gutters and downspouts. Anything that obstructs that considerable flow can be the trigger for water damage indoors.

Clogs typically form due to leaves or other debris obstructing flow through the gutter and downspouts. Here are three ways that clogged gutters cause water damage inside the house.

  • Clogged, overflowing gutters spill water down the exterior wall. Exterior siding is designed to resist rainfall and splashing. Siding is not, however, totally waterproof and cannot resist a continuous cascade of water. Seepage behind siding penetrates exterior wood sheathing and makes its way into the inside of wall spaces in the house. It may deteriorate sheathing and wooden framing, saturate interior wallboard and spawn mold growth inside the walls.
  • An overflowing gutter saturates the ground directly below with water. This inundation around the perimeter of the foundation forms pools of water and makes it more likely that water will penetrate cracks and pores in the concrete and deteriorate the foundation, particularly if freezing temperatures occur. The hammering effect of water pounding the ground beneath an overflowing gutter also drives water deep into the soil where it may infiltrate cracks in the basement wall and cause water damage in the basement.
  • Clogged gutters are very heavy due to the weight of contained water. Frequently, this weight will pull the roof fascia where gutters are attached loose from the roof structure. This can allow water flowing off the roof to enter the attic and drip down into living spaces. It can also saturate attic insulation, destroying its insulating effectiveness as well as triggering toxic mold growth in the attic.

If clogged gutters cause water damage to your home, contact the experts at Rytech, Inc. for a complete evaluation.