What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Gutters

Gutters are an important part of a building’s drain system. They help take water from the roof without spilling it on the walls or other parts of the building. The City of Calgary even has regulation on how water is shed from your property. 

However, gutters become clogged over time due to debris accumulation from bird drops and leaves, and Calgary homes are not left out of this due to Canada’s intense climate. Hence, it becomes essential to clean your gutter regularly, aiding the easy movement of water through the system. 

But what happens if you don’t clean your gutters? 

Playing negligence on gutter cleaning poses different risks to the structure, ultimately resulting in high-cost repairs. Not only this, dirty, clogged gutters are not ideal for your and your family’s health. 

This piece takes a look into the different risks associated with not cleaning your gutters, so you know if the home maintenance routine is worth the effort:

Top 5 Things That Can Happen When You Don’t Clean Your Gutters

1. Structural Damage

One common risk of not taking care of your gutters is structural damage. When you refuse to clean your gutters, and they don’t allow free water flow, water finds another path, usually the walls. This results in the water sipping into walls. Furthermore, water that stays on the roof for a long time can damage the roof parts, including the shingles, fascia boards, and soffit. 

Other parts of the structure susceptible to water damage due to clogged gutters include basement walls, the attic, and the crawlspace. The tell signs of these damages are typically wood rot, roof leaks, and foundation cracks. Often, these issues result in pricey repairs. Hence, you want to pay attention to your gutters and clean them frequently. 

2. Landscaping Issues

Landscaping contributes to a building’s curb appeal and can be pricey to repair when damaged. Unfortunately, this part is not left out on the list of areas susceptible to water damage due to clogged gutters. When water fails to pass through the gutters, it can result in water overflows and sagging, which are major causes of landscaping and topsoil damage. Your ground coverings, such as foliage and wood chips, also share the impact of this damage.

Landscaping services go over these issues in more detail.

3. Insect Infestation

Insects feed on debris, and when they find it in your gutters, they make them home. This results in insect buildup in your home, including carpenter ants, roaches, and termites. If this continues for long, more harmful insects and even vermin begin to gather around your home, which is the last thing you want for you and your family. 

You want to avoid insect buildups in your home at all costs, since it is difficult to eradicate them once the issue starts. It is easier and cheaper to prevent this problem than to treat them once it starts. 

While insects are a threat to your family’s health, they can also damage your roof and other parts of the home. Wooden home parts are more prone to insect damage since they can easily be eaten into, requiring expensive repairs or a complete replacement.

4. New Gutters

Clogged gutters don’t only cause damage to other parts of the structure, but also to themselves. Clogged gutters become damaged after some time of lack of care. Unfortunately, repairing damaged gutters is expensive and can lead to regrets since it is what you could have avoided from the start with less effort and money. 

Since you want to avoid falling victim to these issues, you want to take your gutter routine maintenance seriously and ensure nothing blocks the free flow of water from your roof down to the drainage system. 

5. Leaks Indoors

When water continues to build up, it penetrates the walls into the interior of your home. While this will affect the structural integrity of your wall, it can also extend to your property, resulting in some kind of damage.  Here is our detailed guide on the best way to clean your gutters.

When Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Cleaning your gutters might not be an easy feat, especially with the workarounds surrounding the task, but with the listed points above, you know it is important to clean them frequently for a safe and long-lasting building. The big question that follows is, how frequently should you clean your gutters?

Experts advise cleaning rain gutters at least twice a year, at the end of spring and at the end of fall. While trees drop seeds and flowers early in the year, they drop their fruits and leaves in the fall, leaving gutters filled with debris. 

Signs You Need a Professional Gutter Cleaning

Different signs tell you something is wrong with your gutters, and they need thorough cleaning by a professional gutter cleaning contractor. Here are a few signs it is time to call on your professional:

Birds on the Gutter

Once birds start to have some good time on your gutters, it only means one thing–your gutter is filled. Again, birds and pests feed on debris, and when they find it in your gutters, you find them around. 

Plants on Gutters

Nothing calls for plant growth on gutters than dirt. Plants growing on gutters is a surefire sign that your gutters require a professional clean-out. 

Leaking Roof

A leaking roof can be a result of different issues, which include clogged gutters. Hence, when your roof leaks, you want to trace the cause to your gutters. At this point, it is not possible to look away from your dirt, clogged gutters anymore. 


Gutters are a significant part of roofing and drain, as they ensure water from the roof finds a pathway to flow down. However, when you skip cleaning your gutters, they become blocked, and different kinds of structural damage emanate. 

Since cleaning your gutters is easier and cheaper than repairing damages, it is best to take your gutter and drain routine maintenance seriously. 

If you face any challenges with cleaning your gutters or need a professional gutter cleaning service in Calgary, Whalley’s Four Seasons Roofing has you covered.

Follow Us

Other Topics Covered