How to Tell if Your Guttering May Be Causing Roof Damage

Posted on: 8 September 2018


The main purpose of guttering is to direct water away from your walls and foundations, which prevents it soaking in and causing structural damage during rainfall. That's not the only job your gutters do, however — they also help keep the rain off your roof, which prevents problems like leaks and sagging.

This can be a problem, however, in that it's not always obvious that there's damage developing in your roof unless there's a leak, and even then it's difficult to know what's causing it. Follow these steps to make sure your gutters aren't damaging your roof or causing leaks.

Look for blockages

The most common guttering problem is a blockage, which is usually caused by leaves, moss and other plant debris. A blocked gutter will cause rain to run back onto the roof, where it can leak through or put too much pressure on the surface. If your guttering is badly blocked, you may be able to see leaves and dirt from the ground. When you can't see anything, get on a ladder and have a proper look.

Blocked guttering can be kept at bay with regular cleaning, but if you find it difficult to keep up with your maintenance, consider getting gutters fitted with guards or replaced with new gutters that have built-in guard systems.

Inspect the guttering for damage

Sometimes gutters are damaged by weather, or they simply begin to fall apart with age. Damage might cause the water to channel in the wrong direction, but it can also stop it from draining properly and tip it back onto the roof.

Look for any cracks, chips, missing sections or gaps where the guttering is joined. If you notice any of these, it's best to get a gutter replacement.

Watch when it rains

Next time there's some rain, take the opportunity to go outside and walk around your house. By looking carefully at your gutters, you'll see if there are any problems that mean you should have them replaced.

Check that the water is draining properly through the pipes, with a good rate of flow rather than a slow trickle. Also look for water running down where it shouldn't. If it's running over the edge of the guttering, it means it's not flowing and draining as it's supposed to, which puts your roof at risk.

Check your attic for signs of leaks

If your roof is leaking, you might actually see water running down the inside of your attic. Other signs are water stains and mould. While there are many possible causes of a leaking roof, pay particular attention to anything that suggests a leak near the edges. If this is happening, it could well be because of your guttering.