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The Dark Side of Fall: How Fall Leaves Can Hurt Your Home

Like spring, fall is a favorite season of many, with the beautiful warm colors of the leaves crowning the trees and adorning the streets. The weather is also crisp; not as chilly as winter, but just perfect for overcoats and knee-high boots, making for Instagram-worthy shots.

But for property owners, especially homeowners, fall isn’t exactly a time they look forward to. The fall leaves may not be the prettiest sight for them as well, because once those settle on the roofs, a series of damages are at risk of happening.

The dark side of fall is that it’s notorious for clogging gutters and causing costly damages. While gutters can get clogged in any season, they are particularly more vulnerable during fall. Below are the issues fall leaves can cause, and how to protect your roof from them.

Ways Fall Leaves Damage Your Home

1. Clog Gutters

If you failed to clean your gutters last spring and summer, your gutters may already be starting to clog, and the fall leaves will only accelerate the progress.

When gutters are clogged, water flow will be disrupted, limiting the amount that runs through the downspout. This can cause damage to your roof, walls, and even to the foundation, which can lead to mold and floods occurring in the basement.

2. Foundation Damage

Clogged gutters damage the foundation because of the water pouring over the sides of the home. The function of gutters is to channel water away from the roof and foundation, so once leaves and other debris get stuck in it, the water’s channel is blocked, forcing them to pour over the sides and pool around the foundation. If neglected for a long period, the foundation may collapse.

3. Roof Decay

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The moisture from the leaves can cause wood shingles to decay. On the other hand, asphalt, clay, and shale shingles trap moisture, which can seep into the interiors and cause molds. Metal shingles aren’t invulnerable as well, as the moisture may corrode them.

Also, the fascia boards that support the gutters are typically made of wood, so they may rot from moisture as well.

4. Ruin Your Landscape

Fall leaves on the grass may impede the sunlight, causing the grass to turn yellow or die. Your driveway may also suffer, because if the fall leaves get wet, they may leave unsightly stains on the surface.

5. Ice Dams

When a storm comes and the gutters are still clogged, ice dams can form on the lower edges of the roof, and their moisture can seep through your home.

Preparing Your Roof For Fall

Before the season arrives, clean your gutters thoroughly, preferably with the help of a pro for your safety. Afterwards, install a gutter guard, which offers superior leaf protection for your roof and gutters. This effectively blocks any debris, preventing clogs and all the damage that follows.

Check your roof for signs of damage as well. There might be holes or loose shingles that need immediate mending.

Climb up your attic to properly insulate it. Spray foam or mineral wool insulation are good materials, and they’re both easy to install. Regularly inspect for leaks afterwards.

The key to a successful roof preparation is making inspections in advance, so repairs can be done early on. Once your roof is restored in its optimum condition, no season can badly hurt it, be it persistent fall leaves or heavy snowfall.

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