Can leaves cause a roof to leak?

While a low-slope roof tends to leak more frequently, the steep roof slope can also have problems with leaks if dead leaves build up. These leaks occur because the leaves act like a sponge or a dam, preventing water from draining as it normally does. Clogged gutters are a common cause of roof leaks, especially if you have trees near your house. Branches, twigs, leaves and other debris can fall into gutters all year round and fill them up.

Clogged gutters are more than a hassle to clean, as they can cause damage to the house and cause roof leaks when it rains a lot. Capless gutters are designed to channel water through the gutter, to downspouts and away from your home. The purpose of gutters is to remove water from the roof and send it as far away from the house as possible. But gutters clogged with leaves or needles will eventually overflow with rainwater and send it to the side of the house, where it could seep into the foundation or rot the coating.

We know it's not anyone's idea of fun, but while you're there cleaning the roof, you can also clean the gutters. Branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris can fall into gutters year-round and fill them up. Storms and wind conditions can also throw debris into gutters, creating an obstruction. While the gutter keeps water away from your home, a clogged gutter will fill with liquid and overflow onto nearby structures, including the roof.

To prevent leaves from accumulating in gutters and causing obstructions (which can cause damage to gutters, as well as leaks and water damage), consider installing a leaf rack. The best thing to do with flat roofs is to install a gutter protector that is made specifically for the type of roof gutter and have it maintained regularly to remove leaves that may build up and are not blown away by the wind. Gutter protectors are designed, in part, to facilitate cleaning, as they can reduce the workload of homeowners who are faced with gutters filled with leaves and other debris. If water enters your home from the roof after heavy rain, you may have a clogged gutter and need to hire a gutter repair service.

Fallen gutters alone aren't particularly harmful to your overall property, but as they begin to move away from the roof, the gutter could come off and take part of the outside of the house with it.