Why do hot dogs come in packs of ten and hot dog buns come in bags of eight? And why, O why is your roof leaking near your gutter?
Before we race through all the nasty reasons your Canton-area home’s roof may be leaking near the gutters, please heed these five cautionary notes:
Really, a residential roof is dangerous territory. Do all your diagnosing from the ground up, not from the roof down. Professional roofers, long experienced with steep-slope roofs, wear fall arrest equipment and practice safety procedures. They know how to handle ladders safely and where the danger spots are on your roof.
Most homeowners do not have experience, equipment, or procedures. So please, stay off your roof!
You can still discover a lot of reasons for roof leaks near your home’s gutters without clambering around the pitched roof. If, from the ground, you suspect a roof leak near your gutters, bring in a roofing and gutter expert to have a look. You will get to see professional safety equipment, proper ladder technique, and reassuring answers to your concerns.
One: Home for the Holidays
Where do many folks attach holiday lights when decorating their exteriors? The gutters, of course. And often decorations are attached to the lower edge of the roof. It seems like a convenient place to staple, screw, or nail light-up figures, icicle lights, and 3D sculptures.
Think of what the holidays bring, though: holes in your wallet and holes in your roof, along the edge. All those staples, clips, nails, and screws can cause your roof to start leaking near your gutter.
Two: Dam, Dam, Dam
Ice dams are a leading cause of lower-edge roof leaks. Unless your home has an ice and water shield, your home is prone to having water move upward, against gravity, under your shingles or metal panels.
This capillary action can saturate the natural felt or synthetic underlayment just beneath the top roof surface. The water from an ice dam can saturate sheathing, and then drip into your attic. Ice dams can also spill forward, clogging and freezing the gutters themselves.
Three, Four, Five: Gutter Grief
Gutters themselves can make your roof appear to leak. The gutter can leak from many causes:
- Clogs — leaves, twigs and other debris can choke your gutters, forcing water to back up and spill over
- Separated joints — even in seamless gutter corners have joints which can separate
- Failed joint sealants — Even with tight joints, degraded sealants can allow water to drip
Six: Attachment Issues
Gutters are supposed to be attached firmly to your home’s fascia boards at a particular pitch, or slope. This is really two problems in one:
- Improperly sloping gutters — your gutters should pitch downward toward downspouts, not be perfectly horizontal
- Loose fasteners — A gutter can pull away, bend, or fall completely off your home if fasteners (gutter screws, brackets, or nails) are not holding it tightly to the fascia
Gutter failure leads to several nasty consequences for your home and land:
- Ruined landscaping
- Invitations to insect invasion
- Soaked attic insulation
- Mold and mildew inside your home
- Weakened foundations
A very common plight with failing gutters and roof leaks is rotted fascia. When the gutter clogs, ice dams form, or the gutters are not pitched correctly, water can overflow behind the gutter. This saturates the fascia boards and eventually rots them, leaving holes for pests to enter into your attic.
The holes and weaknesses in rotted fascia can make your roof appear to be leaking at the gutter, though the “leak” is actually far worse than mere dripping water. Failed fascia is essentially an open door to your roof’s underside, so water can seep in, insects and rodents can enter, and your attic can become moldy.
Hard to Tell
Sometimes you may have difficulty diagnosing a roof leak near your gutters. Is it the roof? Is it the gutter? Your local roofer can help figure out exactly what is going on with your gutters and the lower edge of your Canton-area home’s roof. You need a professional’s eye to determine the exact cause of roof leaks near your gutter, and you need the same professionals to remedy the problem.
Oh, and hot dogs come in packs of 10 because they are sold by the pound, with 1.6 ounces being the typical hot dog’s weight. Buns come in eights because they are baked in pans designed to hold eight rolls at a time. Everything has a reason behind it, from hot dogs to leaky roofs.
For fast, accurate assessment of your home’s roof and gutter problems, contact us today at Victors Roofing. We have the experience, equipment, and highly trained installers ready to tackle your roof leak, failed gutter, or saturated attic insulation.