Your gutters are an essential part of your roof, as they move water off of your roof and away from your home. Gutters that aren't working properly can cause problems for your roof and your home, making leaks and other forms of water damage much more likely to occur.


Thankfully, there are a couple of different warning signs that you can keep your eye out for to help determine when you need to clean your gutters out so you can keep water draining off your roof properly.


Sagging or Separation

The easiest sign that it is past time to clean out the debris inside your gutters is if they are sagging or pulling away from the roof. These signs indicate that water or organic debris has been in your gutters for an extended period of time.


The added weight causes your gutters to shift away from your roof. While cleaning out your gutters can help alleviate this problem, you may have to nail your gutters back into place to ensure that they keep working as they are intended to.

Animal Presence

Another good indication that you need to clean out your gutters is if you notice a significant bird or pest presence on your roof and around your gutters. Large numbers of creatures on your roof usually indicates an excess amount of water and debris.


A large amount of materials in your gutters makes great nest-building material for birds, is a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of insects, and can simply be a drinking source for anything else that is passing by. Cleaning out your gutters can help discourage these pests from taking up residence in your roof or home.

Staining

If you notice stains that are spreading along the fascia board underneath the gutters or along the siding of your home, you should probably break out the ladder and take a peek inside your gutters. If your gutters are blocked, they will overflow during periods of heavy rainfall. This water coming out of your gutters can cause water to splash against the siding and leave stains.


Further, water that is allowed to sit in your gutters can eventually leak into the fascia or other nearby areas of your roof where it can cause rotting and discoloration.

Overflow

As mentioned in the above point, you'll want to keep an eye on your gutters during rainstorms to see if water is flowing over the sides. Water overflow happens because of an obstruction in your gutters, and the excess water can cause more problems than the stains on your house.


Water that overflows from your gutters is landing close to your home where it can seep into the foundation or cause water damage in your basement. You'll want to get your gutters cleaned as soon as possible to prevent more expensive repairs down the road.

Plants

If you haven't cleaned your gutters out in a significant period of time, you may start to notice plants and weeds beginning to grow in your gutters, especially during the warmer summer months. As seeds drift to your roof from wind or on the fur of animals, those seeds might get stuck in a gutter.


If the gutters aren't draining properly, these seeds can be exposed to enough soil, water and nutrients to be allowed to start blooming. If seeds take root in your gutters, the plants can spread to your roof where they can actually cause significant damage to your shingles and roof supports. If you see plants in your gutters or your roof, clean out your gutters and remove the plants as soon as possible. 


If you have any concerns about your gutter system, you can contact us at Total Home Exteriors.