Common Gutter Problems and How They Impact Your Home

When it comes to keeping your Arvada roofing materials in shape, you’ll need to pay attention to more than just the roof itself. In fact, the gutters running along the exterior of your home at the base of the roof are one of the most important factors in the condition of your roof and home exterior. For some homeowners, gutter problems can be a major source of costly roof repairs. Here are a few of the most common gutter issues and how they impact your house and your roof.


When gutters are cracked or split, they can start to leak. This reduces the amount of water runoff that makes it to the designated drainage area. Instead, the water runs out of the gutters and down the siding. When left unrepaired, these leaks can cause water to soak into the siding, allowing moisture to collect between the siding and the walls of your home. Over time, high moisture levels increase the risk of mold and mildew and can even result in soft spots in the supports of your house. Though not immediately harmful to your roof, the water damage in the walls can spread and increase relative humidity levels in the attic, eventually leading to wood rot, mold growth, and even warped shingles. As soon as you notice damage, schedule an inspection with your contractor. The sooner the damaged area is replaced, the better off your home will be.


Clogged gutters happen to most homeowners at some point in their lives. As the seasons change and leaves start to fall from trees around your home, they can collect inside the gutter system. When left unchecked, the plant matter and debris can become so great that it blocks runoff from flowing through the gutters. When this happens, the water overflows out of the gutter and down the side of your house, causing many of the same problems as cracks and leaks. Over time, the overflowing water soaks into the dirt around the foundation of the house, increasing the risk of cracks, deterioration, and leaks in the basement. The easiest way to prevent clogs is to make routine gutter cleanings a part of your home maintenance plan. If you’re comfortable climbing ladders, you can take care of the job yourself. However, if you’re concerned about heights or don’t want to sacrifice your Saturday morning, schedule a cleaning with a professional.

Gutters With the Wrong Pitch

Properly installed gutters allow the water to flow away from the house using gravity alone. However, if the gutters were installed incorrectly or have shifted over the years, the pitch could be off. An improper pitch means water won’t travel the length of the gutter system adequately, increasing the risk of premature damage to the materials. When water can’t move away from the roof, it makes it harder for your roof to shed snow in the winter. The longer snowdrifts and ice sit on the roof, the more moisture soaks into the roofing materials and underlayment. An experienced roofing contractor will be able to adjust your gutters to give them the proper pitch.

Ice Dams

Winter weather in Colorado can start as early as October and go as late as mid-May. This means homeowners are likely to see significant snowfall 8 months out of the year, making ice dams a huge risk. Ice dams occur when snow melts off the roof, but before the water can make it down the gutter, it freezes against the metal. As more meltwater flows into the gutters, the ice builds up, blocking the gutter entirely. Since ice is heavy, ice dams can easily cause your gutters to sag or pull away from the side of the house. This puts additional strain on the siding and the un-melted snow on the roof puts stress on your attic. Your roofing contractor will be able to help you prepare for winter weather and develop a strategy to prevent ice dams from forming.

Pests and Rodents

When leaves start to fall and collect in your gutters, they trap moisture while also creating a nice warm habitat for unwanted pests and rodents. These critters actively look for areas to nest with an abundance of leaves and a steady water supply. When left unaddressed, the pests often move towards the attic and roofline once the temperatures start to drop. When pests get inside your attic, they put your family’s safety at risk while also causing structural damage to the roof itself. The easiest way to prevent a pest infestation in the attic is to schedule a gutter cleaning every few months. If you’ve noticed an increase in pest activity around your home, schedule an appointment with an exterminator to further reduce the risk of infestations.

Improper Gutter Sizing

Every home needs to be fitted with the proper size gutter system for the house. If the system is too small, it won’t be able to handle the runoff from the roof and can lead to overflow. When this happens during every storm, you’ll likely see an immediate problem with the landscaping around your home. When the soil gets oversaturated, your plants can experience root rot, causing them to die long before their time. The only way to fix improperly sized gutters is to hire an experienced contractor to replace them completely.

Poor Downspout Placement

The downspout on your gutter system is what directs the water to the designated drainage area. When the downspout is not placed properly, it can cause water to pool around your home. As with leaky gutters and clogs, this water buildup puts your foundation and landscaping at risk, even if the rest of your gutter system works properly.

Keeping your gutters in good condition is easier when you have a high-quality gutter system in place. If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s gutters, contact Arvada Roofing & Construction to schedule a free estimate for a seamless gutter installation. Our dedicated contractors will find the best system for your home so you’ll be able to weather any storm with confidence.

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