Most of the Midwest is caught in a heatwave with little relief in site. You wouldn’t necessarily think gutter problems could develop when temperatures are high and there’s little rain.

This type of weather causes gutter problems to begin long before the fall because the heat and lack of rain puts a lot of stress on your trees. Through a process called transpiration, trees “exhale” moisture through their leaves. Trees exhale more when temperatures are high, which can start to stress them. This doesn’t pose problems when temperatures are within normal ranges and there’s regular rain.

Trees look for moisture in the soil to offset moisture lost through its leaves. During a drought, they won’t find moisture to offset the water they’re losing. This stress can weaken a tree.

Signs of a tree being under stress are when they begin to drop leaves or needles at time of year when they normally wouldn’t.

Gutter Problems Start from Stressed Trees Losing Leaves and Needles

Your gutters can quickly fill with the leaves or needles from stressed trees, which can lead to gutter problems. If you should get a quick thunder burst of rain, your gutters may have enough organic material built up in them that the debris will collect over the downspout, which can cause the gutter to fill with water and overflow. Since the ground near your home is parched and baked dry, it’s not going to absorb the rain the way it normally would. Your landscaping may be impacted; some may easily get washed away.

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Ice Dams

The latest winter storm to grip the region has residents once again shoveling out their cars, driveways and sidewalks. They may also want to take a look upward to inspect the roof.

This year’s wintry mix of snow, sleet, rain and ice is not only troublesome for driving conditions but can also cause serious damage to roofs.

Ice dams are a common roof problem during the winter.

Ice dams happen as snow melts then refreezes, causing ice to build up in gutters, said Dave Enriquez, estimator at Ram Siding Co. in Douglassville.

With an ice dam, additional snow and ice on the roof will melt but the water coming down has nowhere to go, Enriquez said.

After the water freezes in the gutter, the ice expands, causing a blockage, which can sometimes break the seal between the drain pipe and the gutter.

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