March 8, 2021

How Your Gutters Affect Your Roof

Your roof and gutters are designed to work together. You can tell at a glance - your gutters are connected to your roof, after all. To understand how your gutters affect your roof, we first have to understand the positive relationship between them. From there, we can take a look at the circumstances in which your gutters can cause damage to your roof - and how your roof can damage your gutters.

Why you need gutters

Your roof does a lot of work, from insulating your home to keeping birds out. One of the biggest advantages of a roof, though, is that it stops precipitation from entering into your house. All roofs are slanted to a certain degree - even flat roofs are on a slight angle so that water doesn’t pool. All that water has to go somewhere, and if you didn’t have gutters, it would fall from the roof and start to pool at your home’s foundation.  You’d get water damage very quickly if you didn’t have gutters. Gutters are installed right below the roof so that water that falls from the roof hits the gutters instead of your foundation. From there, water travels down gutters to the downspouts, where it drains out onto your lawn. If everything was installed correctly, the water will be absorbed by your lawn before it reaches the foundation or the street. There are some cases in which you won’t need gutters - if your roof, for example, extends far beyond your home’s foundation, you might not need gutters. Homes surrounded by concrete typically don’t need gutters, as their foundations are well-protected. Finally, if you lived somewhere very dry, you might not need gutters.  But if you’re reading this, you probably live in or around Calgary, so you’re probably going to need gutters.  

How your gutters can harm your roof

Properly installed and maintained gutters shouldn’t cause any problems for your roof. It’s when your gutters are improperly installed or maintained that you run into problems.  

Improper installation

You might get gutters installed that are put too close to the roof. This can cause moisture to accumulate on and around the roof (especially if the gutters don’t drain properly). Nothing much you can do to fix this unless you’re handy - you’re going to need new gutters installed.  

Clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause a number of problems. Water won’t drain properly, which can cause moisture damage to your roof - and to your foundation, as water spills over the side. It can also create an attractive home for pests, who might decide to gnaw their way through your roof and into your attic.  

Ice dams

When your gutters aren’t properly maintained, the accumulated water inside of them can freeze. This can cause them to become very heavy, especially with the added snow. That extra weight might be too much for them to take, and they can crash down, ripping away from your roof and potentially damaging your soffit and fascia.  What you might not know is that poor insulation in your walls and roof can cause ice dams. Snow from your roof will heat up as warm air escapes from your home. It will then melt, and begin to freeze almost immediately because of the cold air. It usually ends up freezing right in or on your gutters. We hope your eavestroughs don’t get destroyed by ice dams - call us if you want to get a better insulated roof. For Calgary roofing choose Martens Contracting.  

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