Cleaning Guides

Clogged Gutters Causes, Solutions and Prevention

ESB Professional /

Clogged gutters don’t just fail to redirect water away from your home; they also become a bottleneck, causing water to overflow and spray down your walls – a significant issue, as you can imagine. The consequences can be severe – from water damage to the foundation, siding, and even interior walls, to the erosion of the landscape. This is especially valid in Australia, where heavy rain is common, making it vital to keep gutters clean to preserve the structural integrity of homes.

Now you shall delve into the causes of clogged gutters, how to know if your gutters are blocked, discover effective solutions for addressing the issue and gain valuable insights to ensure your gutters remain in optimal shape, regardless of the atmospheric conditions in our beloved Australia.

Most common problems with clogged gutters

Making sure you do some preventative maintenance and keep a watchful eye on your gutters can really help stop any issues from cropping up. You know how leaves, twigs, and all sorts of bits and bobs end up in there over time? Well, they stop the water from flowing properly and mess up how it drains off your roof. Let’s dig into this a bit more. This is what happens when if your gutters are blocked.

Water damage to roofing

When water sits on the roof for a long time it can start seeping into the underlines layers including shingles and tiles. This moisture may periodically get stuck in the roofing materials over time which makes it difficult to prevent leaks in your home. Further, the continuous dampness can lead to the proliferation of mould and mildew, which makes the problem soar and the structure damaged. So, if you’ve ever heard of roof damage due to water leakage, this is what you can expect, a rather complicated problem to deal with down the road.

Foundation issues

Believe it or not, clogged gutters can actually result in some very serious soil erosion and damage to your property’s foundation. As you have already learned by know proper drainage is needed to prevent water from seeping into the foundation of the home, but when that’s not happening and excess water keeps flowing in, the soil will likely erode. This in turn will weaken the foundation over time, potentially resulting in cracks or shifting.

Pest infestations

Now let’s understand why the water that has not drained properly as it should have can result in pests in gutters. When gutters get stuffed with debris and water remains, mosquitoes and rodents find a cool spot to set up a residence. Mosquitoes love standing water like nothing else – it’s as if it’s a five-star hotel for them, with plenty of space to lay eggs and increase their numbers quickly. In fact, it’s not only mosquitoes that the damp conditions attract. Rodents might also find it appealing – as a shelter and even a source of food.

Landscape erosion

Erosion of soil will lead to landscape erosion sooner or later. All that extra water can cause the soil to be washed away, it can also harm plants, and create unattractive valleys in your yard. Apart from the muddy pounds the eroded soil will definitely damage your landscaping.

You may also like:
Cleaning Guides
Mould in a Rental Property – Everything You Need to Know as a Tenant

Gutters overflowing but not clogged

Let’s zoom in on why gutters might overflow even when they’re not blocked, and let’s brainstorm some practical solutions. It’s not just about clearing out debris, you see,there could be other reasons why your gutters are overflowing even after you just cleaned them. So, let’s check out some of the reasons.

Inadequate gutter size or improper slope

If you happen to have gutters that are too small or not angled correctly you can bet your socks that they won’t handle the amount of water they need to, especially during heavy rainfall. Instead of flowing smoothly, the water ends up pooling and spilling over, causing all sorts of issues, some of which you are already very familiar with.

You tackle this problem by making sure the gutters are the right size for your roof size and the amount of rain you get in the area. If you get lots of rain, well then, you will need larger gutters. It’s also important to keep the gutter slope just right so the water flows smoothly and doesn’t hang around and overflow. By checking and adjusting the gutter slope regularly, you can nip this issue in the bud.

Insufficient downspouts or poor placement

Now let’s talk how not having enough downspouts or having some but in the wrong places can still result in a gutter overflow. The reason is very simple, the gutter system, even if it’s completely clean at this exact time, simply can’t handle the amounts of water it receives when it’s raining cats and dogs. The result is it ends up piling up and spilling over.

To fix this problem, you need to make a detailed consideration of about how many downspouts you need and where they should go, based on the size of the roof, how steep it is, and how much water needs to drain away. Getting the placement and spacing just right means the water can drain efficiently, and we’re less likely to see any overflow. Adding more downspouts or moving them to better spots can make a big difference in how well the water drains away.

Seams and joints leaking

Leaking seams and joints in sectional gutters can contribute to apparent overflow symptoms, even when the gutters aren’t clogged. Over time, these leaks allow water to escape, reducing the gutters’ capacity and causing overflow during rainfall.

To address this issue, you can do two things, one of which costs more, but is well worth it. Either you conduct a thorough inspection of your gutter seams and joints, find all the leaks and close them off with a sealant. This is a very temporary solution, by the way. Or upgrade the gutters with entirely new seamless ones. Yes, that is the pricier option, but seamless gutters have better water management capabilities and won’t allow the water to overflow.

You may also like:
All Articles
5 Effective Methods to Clean Your Gutters from the Ground

How do clogged gutters cause roof leaks

Let’s take an informative journey of how a clog slowly develops into a leak. It all starts when debris builds up inside the gutter to the point that they can’t leave it and instead get stuck there. The problem is that now the water that goes in can’t leave either, so it logically starts to accumulate. Since the gutter system can only take so much it will inevitably spring up leaks

So, from a simple clog, you end up with a messy leak – not something anyone wants to deal with! And water leaks lead to other problems of their own such as…

Water overflow

The water will build up in the gutters until it overflows the edges, simple as that. And when that overflow happens, it won’t just disappear, oh no, it can and likely seep into the fascia boards and soffits, causing even more damage over time.

Now, these fascia boards are situated along the lower edge of the roof, and they’re especially prone to rotting when they’re exposed to moisture for long periods. As the water keeps spilling over those clogged gutters, it soaks into the fascia boards, causing them to decay and rot. This decay weakens the roof’s structure, making it more vulnerable to leaks.

Ice-damming (in cold climates)

As if water pouring out of the gutters isn’t bad enough, you also need to keep an eye out for ice dams when it’s a very cold winter outside. The problem is this – melted snow can’t find its way off the roof when the gutter is tightly packed with old leaves and twigs. What happens instead is the snow gets stuck behind these ice dams, where it freezes again because of the low temperatures. And as more and more ice builds up, it inevitably forms a barrier which stops the water from draining away. This trapped water in turn will sneak under the shingles, causing all sorts of damage to the roof’s structure and can even lead to leaks inside your home.

Underlayment deterioration

Have you ever observed the impact of debris in gutters on the underlying roof? The layer of protection beneath the shingles serves a crucial purpose of keeping moisture out. But when gutters are clogged and too much water accumulates on the roof, then the area below becomes saturated. Prolonged moisture weakens the foundation, diminishing its effectiveness and leading to deterioration. Consequently, the roof becomes vulnerable to leaks and other moisture-related problems. This is certainly not desirable for anyone.

Prevent debris from entering and clogging your gutters

It’s much easier to prevent your gutters from getting clogged than to clean them over and over again at certain periods. If you too have reached this conclusion, you might want to check out some great inventions like gutter guards, covers, and filters. Of course, you can’t put them on your gutter all at once, but the point is that they stop leaves, twigs, and debris from entering your gutter system. 

Still, you should know that some types of debris blockers may still allow small debris to accumulate, but honestly, they are too insignificant to make a blockage. The installation costs are also different for the different contraptions and not all debris blockers fit on all gutters, in other words, there needs to be compatibility.

So another way to prevent blocked gutter is to make sure you schedule regular cleanings before seasonal changes, like in autumn or spring. It’s also a good idea to check your gutters for any clogs or damage and clear away debris promptly. Landscaping adjustments can also make a big difference. For that reason, trim back all the branches hanging over your roof so no leaves and twigs would fall into your gutters as soon as heavy rain or wind.

When to call the professionals

It’s wise to consider hiring a professional company to clean your gutters rather than attempting it yourself, especially if you’ve already noticed leaks or overflowing. Professional gutter cleaners have years of expertise, the proper equipment, not to mention the knowledge of how to use it. They can identify and even rectify problems that are not apparent to the regular Joe. The other huge benefit is the time and potential injuries they save you.

Are your gutters full to the brim with impurities?

Book professional gutter cleaners today

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000


  • The most common problems resulting from clogged gutters include water damage to the roof, pest infestations and damage to your property foundation;
  • Gutters can overflow not only because of clogs but also if they’re too small or lack of enough downspouts;
  • The best way is to prevent gutters from leaking instead of fixing the problem later on.

Are your gutters full of impurities so much so that they overflow? How do you deal with that? Leave a comment below!

0 0 Votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x