Clogged gutters are generally out of sight and out of mind until you start to notice that slow dripping after a rainstorm.
Roofs are a water shedding system and gutters are designed to take all of the runoff and direct it away from the house. For the system to work properly, the gutters need to be capable of collecting a large volume of water and directing it to the downspout.
The gutters in the pictures above have a bit of a problem. They are filled with tree leaves, pine needles and are a prime breeding ground for moss. Water draining from the roof is supposed to enter the gutters on the eaves and have a controlled path to the ground through the downspout.
With these gutters, water can enter but it can't flow toward the downspout. Water will pool and eventually overflow the edges both next to the roof and over the far edge. This moisture will wick up into the roof sheathing and under the edge shingles causing damage over time.
As you can see in the pictures below, prolonged pooling water has damaged the eaves of the roof and are causing rotting on the sheathing and fascia. This weakens the connection of the gutters and they have started to pull away from the house. Water from the roof will not get all the way in to the gutter and will instead run drip over the fascia and wick into the eaves. If this goes on long enough, damage will start to occur on the walls of the house.
The solution to this problem? These gutters need to be thoroughly cleaned and re-attached to the house. That will help mitigate the immediate problem but to help prevent future problems, the homeowner needs to start a regular, yearly cycle of gutter cleaning and maintenance.
Check out the video below from This Old House on repairing an aluminum gutter system.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.