Clogged Gutters Causing an Attic Roof Leak – How to Fix
Roof guttering on our homes is often neglected because the gutter is largely out of sight and out of mind. It’s not until clogs start causing problems that we pay the gutter any attention. Gutter cleaning is a task that is easily avoided because it’s a dirty job that’s often done at heights.
Unfortunately, neglected gutters get clogged with twigs and leaves from the surrounding trees. The gutter will suffer damage that could spread to the interior of your home and your attic.
Eventually, ignoring your gutters could lead to a damaged roof, wet insulation, and a mold outbreak.
Protecting your home and gutters can be as simple as regularly cleaning them out. Regular attic inspections will ensure you don’t miss any trouble brewing inside your attic because of an attic roof leak. The insulation experts at Attic Pros have this advice on preventing an attic roof leak.
How Gutters Get Clogged
Gutters are a flawed design because you have a large drain flowing into a smaller drain. Any significant downpour will cause a large volume of water to eventually back up. Any debris caught in the flow at the time will get deposited somewhere along the gutter.
Gutters can also have sloping problems. The slope of a gutter is supposed to be around one-half inch of drop for every 10 linear feet of gutter. This allows water to run downhill to the downspout openings.
Unfortunately, the drop of a gutter is not sufficient to generate a swift enough flow to carry all the debris to the downspout. An ideal drop would be around a quarter-inch for every linear foot, which isn’t a realistic solution. As a result, the water flow down your gutter isn’t nearly enough to remove all twigs, leaves, and debris. Some of it will always get left behind.
Leaves and twigs that fall into the gutter when it’s not raining can lead to a pileup of debris. These pileups will need a good deal of force to move them, which doesn’t happen during the rain. Birds and other critters will also take advantage of the debris to exacerbate the problem even more.
Ice damming is another gutter issue for colder climates, and it has a lot to do with how well-insulated and ventilated your attic is. When snow lands on the roof, a poorly ventilated attic will retain more warmth. The snow thaws on top, creating ice that leads to ice damming.
Poorly designed gutters misaligned with the downspouts will lead to excessive clogging and an eventual attic roof leak.
How do Clogged Gutters Cause an Attic Roof Leak?
Clogged gutters cannot pass water into the spout, forcing rainwater to back up in the gutter until it becomes too heavy for it to hold. When left untreated for too long, the cycle of water will develop into an attic roof leak. Clogs and misaligned gutters can also prevent adequate drainage, which leads to water backfilling into the fascia.
Fascias exposed to excessive moisture can harbor mold and mildew, which will appear as spots or stains on your ceiling. When moisture enters your attic cavity, the insulation is at risk, and your property will also be prone to wood rot and be an attractive hideout for pests.
An attic roof leak that goes unnoticed will lead to expensive structural repairs, make your insulation less efficient, and cause an outbreak of mold that can diminish the air quality inside the home.
Why You Should Get Your Attic Roof Leak Fixed As Soon As Possible
Keeping your gutter clear of debris is your first line of defense against moisture in your attic because they are designed to move moisture away from your property and prevent it from leaking into the attic.
When gutters get clogged, trapped water can seep through crevices into your attic where it can damage insulation, cause wood rot, and create the perfect conditions for a mold outbreak. Attic roof leaks may also lead to poor ventilation, inadequate insulation, poor air quality, air leaks, and increasing energy bills.
In short, getting your gutter fixed will save you money in the long run.
Other Ways Moisture can Get Into Your Attic
A clogged, or poorly maintained gutter is not the only way moisture can infiltrate your attic. Unlike attic roof leaks, which are often easily recognized and quickly fixed, condensation can slip into your attic unnoticed where it can quickly compromise its condition.
Over time, small volumes of condensation will reduce your insulation’s efficiency, damage roofing supports, and cause ice buildup along the edges of your roof.
How to Avoid Condensation in Your Attic
Keep an eye out for conditions that can increase the level of condensation in the attic, including:
Firewood: It might look dry, but even the driest firewood carries some moisture that can evaporate inside your home and condense inside your attic.
Clothes Dryers: Ensure your dryer’s exhaust fan vents air outside the home.
Unvented Heaters: If you use a kerosene or gas space heater, make sure it is vented to the outside. Always open a window during operation if the heater is not vented as this will allow the moisture to escape outside.
Humidifiers: These are not necessary for a well-insulated, properly vented home because they introduce excess moisture into the air.
Clogged ductwork: Clogged ducts block airflow, which can lead to excessive condensation in the attic. Make sure your ducts are always free and clear of obstructions.
Bathrooms: A bathroom without a window must have a fan with an outside exhaust. However, even if your bathroom does have a window, we recommend you install an exhaust fan anyway. Not many people keep the window open when showering in cold weather. Keep the fans on during showering and for at least 15 minutes afterward.
Call the Professionals
Attic roof leaks because of clogged gutters and condensation can lead to expensive repairs. Keep your home in good condition by regularly cleaning out your gutters and having your attic checked for problems at least twice a year. Attic Pros are professionals when it comes to keeping your attic in top condition, so call today to find out more.