You probably know how important it is to keep your gutters clean so water flows through them and away from your roof and foundation. You know that clogged gutters in need of repair could result in water damage to your roof and home, but what you may not know is that clogged gutters can damage your roof in another way.
Decaying leaves and dampness in clogged gutters attract a variety of pests, and some of them pose a danger to your roof. Here's a look at some of these harmful pests that may be attracted to your clogged gutters and the damage they can do.
Honey Bees Build Heavy Hives
Bees and other stinging insects are drawn to clogged and dirty gutters because of the moisture and because the gutters are high off the ground and provide protection. Once they are attracted to the gutters, the bees may build a hive against the fascia or beside the downspout and cause harm to your roof.
One thing that causes damage is the size of the hive, which can grow quite large. A heavy hive makes your gutters shift and no longer drain properly. The honey from the hive can also even damage the shingles and wood on the roof. If the colony abandons the hive or is killed off, then the wax and honey can melt down the roof and cause the shingles to rot.
Also, if bees get inside the roof through a small hole, the problems are compounded by wax moths that follow them inside. The moth larvae are dangerous because they chew on the wood and weaken it. If you suspect bees are in your gutters or your roof, call a bee removal professional to get rid of them and then have your roof repaired.
Termites and Carpenter Ants Do Structural Damage
Termites and carpenter ants are a real threat when your gutters are full of damp and decaying leaves because dampness creates the ideal living conditions for these harmful pests. If the clogged gutters push water against the fascia or roof, the wood in those areas may stay damp and begin to rot, which invites the wood-damaging insects to move into the roof and further into your home.
The best way to ward off these pests is to keep your gutters free of decaying leaves, nests, and other natural debris that make a good habitat for moisture-loving destructive bugs. You'll also want to ensure your gutters drain properly so water doesn't spill onto the roof or fascia.
Small Mammals Chew Holes in Your Roof
Animal pests such as rats, mice, squirrels, possums, and raccoons are drawn to standing water in your gutters. If groundwater is not easily available, these small animals will climb up your house or jump from a tree and get a drink out of your gutters.
If this becomes a habit, the animals can cause damage in a few ways. For example, squirrels might store things in the gutters or make nests. Possums and raccoons can also damage the gutters because of their heavy weight that pulls a trough loose or causes it to sag.
The real danger from these pests is that they love to chew on things, and when they're close to your roof, they may try to get inside your attic. A raccoon uses its hands to lift shingles, and it can chew right through your roof to get inside a warm attic. Rats and mice can chew through your roof to get inside your home, too, so you want to keep them as far away from your house as possible.
These three types of pests are a danger to your gutters and your roof. Additional pests, such as roaches and mosquitoes, are attracted to clogged gutters, too. They may not damage your roof, but they can be a nuisance. If you need new gutters or if you need repairs for roof damage left behind by a raccoon or large beehive, call Top Dog Roofing and we'll get your roof back in good condition.