How to Protect Gutters and Downspouts

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

A few inches of rain falling on the roof of a house can produce several thousand gallons of water runoff. This runoff must be channeled away from the home's foundation. Otherwise, the excess water can quickly saturate the soil surrounding the building and wick through the foundation to the interior. Once inside, this moisture can lead to a variety of problems, including mold and wood rot. Excess moisture can also cause indoor air quality problems.

Clogged Gutter System Cleaning Service.jpg
Clogged Gutter System

How Often Should Gutters Be Inspected

Most professionals recommend you to have your gutters inspected at least 1-2 times a year in the spring and fall. As a homeowner, gutter maintenance becomes easy to overlook—especially since it's not the most fun activity for an afternoon.

People tend to procrastinate or forget about cleaning their gutters until it becomes too late. But, keeping your gutter clean is essential for a safe and long-lasting home. Not doing so can end up leading to significant and costly headaches. While it may be an inconvenience for a couple of hours, the effort is well worth it in the long run.

Some important factors a home inspector should consider include:

  • that the guttering system is adequately sized to prevent runoff;

  • that the gutters are free of rust, cracks and holes in order to prevent leaking; and

  • that the downspouts divert water 4 to 6 feet away from the home's foundation.

What Happens If You Don't Clean Your Gutters?

When it comes to gutters, everything can seem fine—until it's not. When you dismiss caring for your gutter, suddenly, the years add up, and you realize you have a big problem on your hands. Depending on the damage, it may be too late, and you'll have to replace the gutter altogether.

But, all hope is not lost! You can prevent getting to that point by knowing what kind of consequences you might face if you leave this chore unchecked.


When you don't clean your gutters, the downspout can get clogged from leaves, debris, or any matter that can wind up there. This blockage then leaves standing water to collect and eventually overflow.


Left unattended to, the leaves that clog up your gutter can begin to decompose and eventually rot. In a wet climate, like in the Pacific Northwest, mold will start to grow and thrive, leaving the exterior of your gutter blackened and looking filthy. Even worse, this mold can lead to a slew of health problems if it enters your house, and getting rid of it is expensive and inconvenient.

Roof Damage

You might not realize that neglecting your gutters can even lead to replacing your entire roof—which is no small or cheap feat. When you have a clogged gutter, rainwater has nowhere left to go but overflow or soak through your shingles and leak into your home. Your shingles then become softened and significantly damaged, allowing for more leakage from rainfall.

The weight of the rainwater can also cause the gutter to rip and damage your roof. Not only would you have to replace your roof and gutter, but you may have to deal with water damage within your home.

Bugs, Insects, and Pests

When leaves decompose, it starts to attract unwanted tenants like bugs, pests, and other critters. The rotting leaves are a rich and accessible food source that draws in all sorts of pests to your gutter—making them one step closer to entering your home.

Driveway Destruction

Another consequence you might not even realize is that a clogged gutter can lead to destruction to your driveway and yard. When there's poor drainage, the excess water can pool up and cause mold growth on your driveway. In the winter months, that water could freeze and turn into ice that causes dangerous slips and falls.

While all of these outcomes might terrify you, know that you're still ahead of the problem. Now that you know what could happen when you neglect gutter maintenance, here you can learn how to spot potential damage.

Professional Gutter System Specialist Inspecting Gutter and Downspout.jpg
Inspecting Home Gutter System

How To Spot Damage From Unclean Gutters?

The best first line of defense is cleaning your gutters routinely, there are a few warning signs you can look out for to make sure that the problem doesn't progress to something more serious.

  • Age: How old are your gutters? Typically gutters only last 15-20 years until you need to replace them. Depending on how old it is, it might be more susceptive to damage if you don't do routine checks.

  • Pooling: If you notice pools of water around your lawn or driveway, you may be experiencing some drainage issues from your gutter.

  • Water inside: A key indicator that you might have some water drainage or leakage issue is finding it inside the home.

  • Dripping gutters: When gutters drip or water doesn't flow through properly, it's almost a surefire sign of a clogged pipe.

When Should You Clean Your Gutters

So really, how often should you clean your gutters? Where you live also plays a factor. For gutter cleaning in Atlanta, where it rains the majority of the year, you might have to have it done more frequently, especially if your home is beside trees that shed often.

Or, if you live in a city that gets below freezing temperatures in the wintertime, your primary concern would be checking your gutters right before winter to prevent any water blockages from freezing up and cause damage to your roof.

Another instance for when you should clean your gutters is after a severe weather storm. Leaves, branches, and debris might find their way to your roof and gutter, causing sudden blockages.

How to Find Gutter Cleaners in Atlanta

If the DIY-way is not for you, you might want to consider hiring professionals to care for your gutters. You can save yourself a headache by having experts do the work.

For gutter cleaning in Atlanta, we at Blas Roofing are home experts that provide quality, affordable care for your home. From interior to exterior gutter cleaning, we help prevent any costly water damages to your home with our state-of-the-art equipment.

Let us do the work for you—contact us today for an estimate!

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