Wind damage is a common issue with gutter systems on homes located in wooded areas. Most of the time, the trees are nowhere near the house and everything appears to be fine. If a bad windstorm hits, tree limbs, branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris nature will begin to swirl unbeknownst to the homeowner. Tree limbs can swing several feet either way if the wind is strong. They can scratch, tear or dent a gutter system easily. Strong enough tree limbs may even be able to pull a gutter system completely off of a house.
Something less destructive to your gutters but still significant to your home is roof damage. Other wind damage scenarios include strong winds blowing yard furniture against your downspouts. This can cause dents that reduce water flow or cause the downspout to come completely loose from the gutter.
The best thing to do is ensure that all of your trees, brush, and yard bushes are at least two feet from any surface of your home. This goes for walls, windows, doors, roofs, and gutter systems. The reason this is important is because the wind and water can blow around during a windstorm causing limbs and twigs to rub, paint away or damage finishes. This can cause a lot of damage to the surface of home products. Make sure your shrubs and plants are planted far enough away so they don’t grow against the walls or any part of your home.
Any trees that hang over your home need to be a minimum of two feet away from your home in every direction. This is key to preventing the wind from harming your gutters or roof.
A good estimate for the percent of gutter damage that comes from wind is about 30%. Tree limbs blowing down or trees being allowed to grow too closely to the home are pretty common issues. Just cut the tree back and don’t allow plants to grow too close and you won’t have a problem. Any brush, plants, or shrubs that are within two feet of a home should be transplanted, trimmed or removed altogether.
Do an inspection annually around your home to make sure that your trees, brush and shrubs have not found their way over to a gutter system somewhere. The last thing you want is to need a new gutter system because of a problem you could have prevented.