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Look To Your Gutters For Subtle Signs Of Roof Damage

by Sara Cook

When a roof is doing its job, it's easy to ignore it. Like walls or floors, it's simply part of the background. But when a roof fails and needs to be repaired or replaced, it's suddenly very hard to ignore. There are some things that can make a roof fail quickly, like a tree limb crashing down during a storm.

But many "sudden" roofing failures are really just the end result of a long process of wear. A roof in poor condition may spring a big leak during heavy rain, soaking and damaging the interior of your home, for instance. That's why it's important to keep an eye on your gutters – where you may spot some of the subtler signs of roofing problems. If you see these gutter problems, call a roofer for an inspection.

Increased Gutter Use

Perhaps the subtlest sign of roof problems is an increase in the amount of water and debris going through your gutters. You may notice this if your gutters are becoming clogged more frequently, require cleaning more frequently, or some of your downspouts have begun to waterlog the ground beneath them.

Unless there's an obvious cause – such as prolonged periods of heavy rain – these are all signs that water is running off your roof differently than it used to. And that means that the slope of your roof has shifted. This is most often caused by structural shifts that signal damage to the roof or even the frame or foundation of your home.

Separating Gutters

Hopefully, if you see your gutters begin to pull away from the edge of your roof, it's a simple case of the hangars or fasteners coming loose. However, in winter, sagging and separating gutters can be a sign of ice dams. As snow melts on the roof, it slides down towards the gutters, where it then refreezes. The weight of this ice can do more than just cause sagging gutters – it can cause structural damage to the roof. And it can also lead to water backing up under the roof, causing interior leaks and water damage.

Roofing Materials In Gutters

If you see shingles coming off your roof and ending up in the gutter, it's obvious you have a problem. But what you need to keep an eye out for is smaller bits of roofing material. The granules that coat asphalt shingles are a key part of protecting them against sun, wind, and rain.

These granules can be affected by extreme weather – the impact of hailstones, for instance, can knock them loose. When these granules are dislodged, they often make their way down the roof and into the gutters. There, they show up as grainy, sandy material the same color as your shingles; your shingles themselves, on the other hand, will begin to wear at an accelerated rate as they lose their protective layer.

For more information, contact a roofing company in your area like Acoma Roofing.