Clogged gutters are a common cause of roof leaks, especially if you have trees near your home. Branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris can fall into gutters all year round and fill them. Storms and windy conditions can also blow debris into gutters, creating a blockage. Clogged gutters are more than just a hassle to clean, as they can actually cause damage to your home and cause roof leaks when it rains a lot.
Uncovered gutters are designed to channel water through the gutter, to the downspouts and away from your home. But when obstructions occur, the water remains stagnant in the gutter and settles against the roof. If water enters the gutter near your front, it will overflow from the front, causing the same stain on the roof. You simply need a competent person to relocate the gutter or drip edge to ensure that the water reaches the center of the gutter along its entire length.
The stain has nothing to do with ice dams. Clogged gutters will cause water to accumulate and settle on the roof. That water will seep into your home and damage your shingles, roof, and more. It can also cause the gutter system to deform and become heavy before it detaches from your home structure and takes part of the roof with it.
Gutters cause staining the same way a leaking roof does. Water enters the house from an external surface and has nowhere else to go except downwards. Sometimes, this comes directly from the gutters. Other times, it's a direct consequence of problems with gutters.
Gutter leaks usually begin at rusted spots or seams that have opened due to expansion and contraction. Easily repair a leak in a basically solid gutter by covering the damaged area with roof and gutter repair tape (available at home centers and hardware stores). Clogged gutters leave your home with no way to drain water after a heavy rain, allowing it to remain stagnant in the gutter channel. Fallen gutters on their own aren't particularly damaging to your property as a whole, but as they begin to move away from your roof, the gutters could come off and bring with them some of the outside of your home.
Plus, you'll never have to waste another weekend on a ladder struggling to keep your gutters clean. The fasteners that hold the gutters in place can loosen over time, especially if you have an older gutter system. Wait for a particularly dry and sunny day to arrive, carefully remove debris from the gutters, and then flush the gutter system with water. If you live in a location that experiences heavy rain and a lot of leaves during the fall, it might be worth cleaning gutters quarterly.
Learn more here about why gutter cleaning is essential to prevent roof leaks and other damage to your home. The gutter joints must be sealed properly so that water moves through the gutters rather than spilling out the sides or down the seams. Leaving aside the impact of clogged gutters in your roof, other damage to your home could include the walls, as the gutters separate from the structure and, as we will see below, its foundations. If you face frequent gutter blockages or notice water pouring down the sides, the gutters may have an incorrect passage.
If clogged gutters are a frequently encountered problem, it may be time for a new gutter system.