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Leaves Get Stuck in Your Gutters

How Leaves Get Stuck in Your Gutter

When leaves fall, they go down the roof and into the gutter system. When this happens, rain falling into the gutters will flow underneath the leaves. When leaves fall freshly off a tree, they retain their rigid shape making it easy for water to pass through. As long as the leaves stay crisp and keep their original shape, you will not have much of a problem.

Over time however, if leaves are stuck in your gutter for too long, they will begin to get soft. They get wet and then they get dry over and over again. As this process repeats, the leaves begin to break down. Now they are soft, pliable, heavy, and they begin to turn to a soft mulch sediment. Once this happens it is much harder for water to flow through.

What Happens if Leaves are Stuck in Gutters for Too Long?

In a light rain, it is easy for build up to occur because the flow isn’t strong enough to push out the leaves. The best thing that can happen right after leaves fall in your gutter is a heavy rain for a long period of time. This will clear your gutters and keep them flowing properly. 

Keep in mind that just because a heavy rain comes through doesn’t mean you do not need to check on your gutters or clean them. A small twig that falls at the wrong place can block an entire system from flowing clear, even with a heavy rain. Even a small twig at the outlet that allows the water to flow into the downspout can block hundreds of leaves in a matter of seconds. All you have to do to keep this from happening is keep your gutters cleaned often.The easiest time to clean them is when the leaves first fall into them because they aren’t wet and soggy.

Leaves Stuck in Gutters for Too Long

Gutters Can Fall When They Get Too Heavy

If you allow your gutters to clog up with leaf sediment and debris, you are going to have some bigger problems. The clogged system is going to cause your gutters to overflow, hold too much water, and possibly fall down. If your gutters aren’t adhered properly falling is a strong possibility since they get heavy from all the debris. This will lead to rotting fascia, foundation damage, and other structural problems.

What is the Best Way to Get the Leaves Out?

The best way to keep the leaves out is with a leaf blower. This is one of the fastest, simplest ways to clean out a gutter system. However, some roofs are steeper than others. If you can’t walk on your roof, you will need to do it by ladder. Doing it by ladder usually requires you to clean it out by hand. You will need to clean your gutters out about five foot at a time.This won’t be easy because every five foot you will need to climb the ladder and clean it out by hand.

How Do I Keep the Leaves Out For Good?

The only way to prevent leaves from getting in your gutters is to install some type of gutter protection. There are many products on the market for this, and all types of promises. Most gutter guard systems do keep the leaves out for good. However, they don’t all protect your home from damage as there are some products that are inferior to others. A low maintenance gutter system or gutter protection system is what you’re looking for, not one that promises it’ll work forever because there is no such thing.

Make sure whatever system you go with is something that you can maintain. When it does have issues, it’s easy to clean and get back to working condition. Most gutter protection systems are on the exterior of the gutter, so typically it will be easier to clean. Some systems have really fine screens or slots that you can’t get your hands in and they must be taken apart to repair.


Leaves are going to get stuck in your gutters at some point. The key is cleaning it out as quickly as you can. You don’t want to leave them in there too long because the leaves will deteriorate and begin to build up causing the sludge that is a nightmare to clean.If you want to get them out, get a leaf blower and blow them out.

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