Gutter Guard Problems

gutter guard problems

We had a homeowner contact us recently. They were having gutter guard problems. Water was getting behind their MasterShield system and running through their soffit and down their siding. They had been getting a lot of rain recently and were getting upset that every time it rained, the gutter guard problems were occurring.

Concerned, we contacted the local dealer, who quickly went out to troubleshoot. The report we got back was worth sharing because the gutter guard problems weren’t issues with the MasterShield system at all. They had roof problems and, without a proper repair to the roof, there was no way that our gutter guard (or anyone else’s for that matter) could solve the water related issues they were having.

Gutter Guard Problems May Be Other, Bigger Problems

Let us explain. The home is located in a northern state bordering one of the Great Lakes with very cold winters and lots of snow. Incredibly, on roof installed about 10 years ago, there was no ice and vapor barrier installed over the roof sheathing at the lower end of the roof near the gutters. Ice barrier goes under the shingles to protect from water damage.

Gutter Guard ProblemsTo make issues worse, there was no starter course of shingles at the roof edge, nor was their drip edge installed. In places on the roof, the shingles were stacked one over the other, not staggered, essential to keeping water from wicking under the shingles and onto the wood. Shingle granules were dislodging from the roof at an alarming rate as well. Had any building inspector looked at the roof, they would have acknowledged it was not installed to local building codes. In fact, a warranty claim by the homeowner to the shingle manufacturer resulted in no claim; the roof wasn’t installed to the manufacturer’s specifications.

The roof issues were so bad, there was no way to install MasterShield under the shingles. Since the homeowner wanted a gutter guard, the system was fascia mounted so as not to touch the roof in any way. The homeowner chose not to address their roof issues at this time.

The homeowner may have solved the issue of their gutters ever clogging, but their first investment should have been in their roof. Rainwater will flow where it wants to and without a roof that properly sheds water, it will follow the path of least resistance. In the case of this homeowner, water was probably seeping under the shingles, getting to gaps in their wood subroof, which was causing water to get into their soffit. Gutter guard problems weren’t created, but because they had a leaking roof, it was easy to guess the issue was with the gutter guard.

What You Should Do

Before installing any gutter guard, have your installation team look at your roof and make you aware of any issues that exist. If they come back to you with something, do yourself the favor and address them before installing your gutter guards. You really want to be able to manage water the way it was designed to be managed. Gutter guards aren’t designed to fix existing problems, but solve the issue of gutter clogs and cleaning. You may wind up thinking you have gutter guard problems when you really have something else to address.