In California when leaves are turning and drifting across yards, sidewalks, and streets, your focus is often on clearing that bright debris at your feet, rarely thinking about the drainage system on your roof.

While you are enjoying the beautiful weather your roof, gutters, and downspouts are building up to a crisis. The swirling leaves, and small twigs and branches to which they are attached drop on the roof surfaces and tumble into the gutters. A brief rain shower or two mats the leaves into a mass that plugs dams up the gutters. Leaves that do wash out of the gutters clog the downspouts, layer after layer.

The next time significant rain falls, the water that pours off the roof has nowhere to go. Instead of flowing as planned into the gutter waterways and cascading through the downspouts it instead backs up and overflows, finding other pathways off your roof that actually result in damage to your roof, exterior, and foundation.

If you neglect regular maintenance, the buildup of leaves causes serious harm to your home and even your health in the following ways. In Southern California, late fall is the perfect time to clean the gutters.

Clogged Gutters And Drains Damage Roofs

When the water does not flow freely off your roof into properly attached and clear gutters, the water can back up under the shakes or shingles on your roof. As the water collects the decking of the roof become saturated, and water moves into the rafters of your attic or upper levels of your house.

In areas where temperatures dip below 32 degrees, the water can do further damage when it freezes and splits or cracks the roof covering materials. Damaged shingles will let water in everywhere across the roof.

The soffits and fascia under the edge of the roof also soak up the extra water. These structural elements will disintegrate and fail to hold the hardware of the gutters and downspouts tightly, allowing even more water to flow into unprotected areas. Clogged downspouts make the problem even worse, pushing more water into the already overflowing gutters.

Algae And Mold Growth Threatens

Water that collects and has no outlet is an excellent environment for the growth of mold and algae. Both types of organisms can damage building materials, permitting even more water to work its way inside your home. Once the moisture saturates structures and fixtures in the interior of your home continued mold development is highly likely.

Mold growth inside links to health problems for susceptible individuals. If you or your family suffer from diseases or disorders such as asthma, allergies, or immunity problems the presence of microbial activity due to poor gutter and downspout maintenance can be anticipated.

Foundation Integrity Affected

The configuration of gutters and downspouts is intended to direct water away from the foundation of your home. When the water makes its way off your roof without the help of this structure, it can create soggy areas right next to your house. This is a huge problem because the ground eventually absorbs to capacity, and then the excess water seeps into your foundation or the lower areas of your home. Your foundation can develop cracks and shift, unable to manage the load of your house appropriately.

In addition, if your home has living or storage areas at or even a little underground, water floods into these spaces and causes tremendous damage to walls, floors, contents, and mechanical systems.

Torrents Of Roof Runoff Damage Landscape and Erodes Soil

When the water simply pours off the roof without the redirection anticipated by the gutters and downspouts, the area around your home takes a real hit. Pooling, rivlets, and the pounding of torrents of rain digs into the lawn or landscaping. Plantings, decorative rocks or pebbles, mulches, and the like all risk disruption when the water makes its own way off the roof and into the yard.

Avoid all of these headaches by practicing preventative gutter and downspout maintenance. Clearing out leaf litter as winter approaches, and seed and flower debris in the spring goes a long way to making all of these components work well. Consider hiring Alta Roofing to complete these tasks, and perhaps install a gutter protection system.

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