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The Dangers of Pine Needles in Your Gutters

Residential Roof with Pine Tree Branches Nearby - K-Guard Rocky Mountains

Colorado’s terrain is covered with all sorts of trees, including pines. From bristlecone to blue spruce and everything in between, pines are one of the most common trees across the centennial state. Although they’re beautiful and lush, pine trees become a nuisance when they shed their needles.

Pines that shed needles will do so throughout September and October, so you’re probably seeing your yard, roads, and walking paths covered in them. When pine needles mix with moisture they can become slick making roads and walkways dangerous, something we don’t need with our already dangerous mountain roads.

In addition to being slick, pine needles are a nuisance for homeowners. They will land on anything that’s nearby, and for many homeowners in Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and surrounding cities, that means your home’s roof and gutter system. Pine needles in your gutters can be dangerous – continue reading to learn about the dangers of pine needles in your gutters and some solutions.


Pine Needles Clog Gutters

Do you have pine trees on your property, specifically close to the roofline? If so, then you will inevitably have pine needles in your open-top gutters and even a gutter system with gutter screens and filters. Pine needles are one of the top types of debris found in gutters here in Colorado, and they almost always clog gutter systems. While they will eventually decompose, pine needles have a coating that takes a while to break down. When pine needles find their way into your gutter system then they will take up residence for quite some time.

Pine needles can find their way into the gutter system by shedding from a pine tree that’s close to the roofline or can be carried into the gutter via strong winds. However they end up in the gutter system, if left to collect then they will clog the gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to costly damage like leaks, damage to the home’s roof and siding, and more.


Pine Needles Can Cause Sagging Gutters

Pine needles are slim and light, however, when mixed with moisture they quickly become heavy. If your gutters have accumulated pine needles then they could cause the gutter system to sag.

Sagging gutters can create costly damage, especially if the gutters aren’t cleaned or repaired. Sagging gutters put weight on the home’s soffit and fascia boards which can cause damage to these important components of a home. Sagging gutters can cause the gutter system and soffit and fascia boards to tear away from the home, creating a major mess. Depending on how the gutter system was installed, sagging gutters can cause extreme damage to a roof, even voiding the roof’s warranty.


Pine Needles Can Cause a Gutter System to Overflow

Overflowing gutters may not seem like a danger since water will inevitably be flushed out, but they can cause extreme damage to the home’s exterior and the areas surrounding the home. When water can’t drain into the gutters due to a clog from pine needles, it’s forced to overflow and spill over the sides of the gutter. This water can settle around the home, causing structural damage to the home’s foundation, and landscaping damage. 


Pine Needles Can Worsen Ice Dams

Colorado ranks as one of the top five snowiest states in America. Denver gets on average 57 inches of snow per year, much higher compared to other states. Our winter temperatures can often fluctuate, with daytime highs creeping above freezing and overnight lows dipping into the 20s. These fluctuating temperatures can cause snow on roofs and inside of gutters to melt and refreeze, creating ice dams.

Ice dams are very dangerous, and unfortunately, pine needles can worsen ice dams. If left to accumulate inside of a gutter system, pine needles will create clogs, impeding water flow. When snow and ice melt on a roof, the meltwater will find its way into the gutter system and will hopefully be flushed out. Unfortunately, when pine needles are inside of a gutter system, it could cause the meltwater to be stagnant, leading to meltwater freezing, melting, and refreezing, a never-ending cycle throughout the winter months. 


How Can I Keep Pine Needles Out of My Gutters?

If you have pine trees on your property and half-round gutters installed on your home then you’ll need to clean them often to keep pine needles from accumulating and causing damage. Even if you clean your gutters a few times per year, pine needles will find their way into a half-round gutter system. Keep pines that are close to your home’s roof pruned to avoid them falling into your gutters, especially in the fall months.

Installing gutter screens and filters to keep pine needles out may sound like a good idea, but avoid installing them. They’re supposed to keep debris like leaves and pine needles out, however, they can cause quite a headache for homeowners. Gutter screens and filters have small openings that trap pine needles and act as a “shelf” for debris. Pine needles will either fall vertically and get trapped in the small openings or will fall on top of the screen or filter. Pine needles can get heavy when mixed with moisture and other debris, so the excess weight can cause gutters to sag. Trapped pine needles in screens and filters may impede water flow, forcing water to overflow.

The most effective way to keep pine needles out of your gutter system is to install the K-Guard System. Our gutter product offers complete protection, keeping all debris like pine needles out of gutters for good. All components of our seamless gutter system work together to keep debris out, allowing it to slide off the gutter. Debris like leaves and pine needles have nowhere to enter the gutter system, resulting in zero chance for them to clog.

Contact our team today to learn more about the K-Guard System or call (970) 432-8093. K-Guard is the premiere gutter company in Colorado, providing a leaf-free gutter solution for homeowners for many years. We proudly install the K-Guard Gutter System across the state of Colorado including, but not limited to, the following locations: Denver, Colorado Springs, Littleton, Centennial, Aurora, Boulder, Castle Rock, Broomfield, Fort Collins, and so much more!


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