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Are Gutter Guards Causing Your Shingles to Lift?

Posted on May 24, 2024

gutter guards lifting shingles

Are your gutter guards lifting shingles up on your roof? If so, the chances are that this is either due to the gutter guards being poor quality or poorly installed. When installed properly, gutter guards shouldn’t cause any damage to your roofing shingles and the roofing structure. In fact, their purpose is to collect debris and protect your roof, not cause more damage.  

Typically, gutter guards go under the first row of shingles during installation, so if you notice gutter guards lifting the shingles up on your roof, you’ll need to correct the gutter guard placement as well as replace the shingles that were damaged. 

Understanding Gutter Guards

Gutter Guards
Gutter Guards

The main reason to install gutters guards is to keep the debris away from the gutters. Gutter guards are designed to keep debris out while allowing water to flow into the gutter system. They come in various styles, including mesh screens, foam inserts, and reverse curve systems. Each type has its own benefits and potential drawbacks, but the common goal is to prevent blockages that can lead to water damage. Without the gutter guards installed, the debris collected in gutters may block the flow of water causing gutters to overflow and sag. 

The Concern of Lifted Shingles 

Shingle lifting can be a serious problem for homeowners. When shingles lift up, they allow water to seep underneath, causing leaks and potential damage to the roofing structure. The main concern with gutter guards is that their installation might interfere with the shingles’ placement or the natural flow of water, leading to them lifting up.

Why Do Gutter Guards Cause Shingles To Lift?

The following are the potential reasons why gutter guards may cause your shingles to lift up.

1. Improper Installation 

One of the primary reasons gutter guards cause shingles to lift is improper installation. If the gutter guards are not put in place correctly, they can interfere with the natural position of the shingles. For example, if the guards are installed too far under the shingles, they may push them up, breaking the seal and causing them to lift. 

Another installation mistake is over-tightening the fasteners that secure the gutter guards. This can create undue pressure on the shingles and the roof’s edges, leading to lifting and potential damage.

2. Poor Quality Gutter Guards

Another reason for shingle damage is using poor-quality gutter guards. Gutter guards made from inflexible materials can exert excessive pressure on the shingles. As the roof expands and contracts with temperature changes, rigid gutter guards can push against the shingles, causing them to lift.

Not all gutter guards are designed the same, and some might not be compatible with certain roofing styles or shingle types. Using a generic gutter guard that does not align with the type of roof, or your needs, can result in gaps and lifting shingles.

3. Roof Edge Interference

In some cases, we have found that certain types of gutter guards extend too far beneath the shingles, causing them to overlap incorrectly. This improper overlap can break the adhesive seal that keeps shingles flat and secure, leading to lifting and potential leaks. 

Gutter guards may also apply pressure to the roof’s edges and create a lifting effect. This is especially problematic with guards that attach directly to the roof’s edge or require modifications in order to be installed with specific roofing material.

4. Lack of Proper Maintenance 

Even with gutter guards, debris can sometimes accumulate on top of the guards or around the roof’s edges. This buildup can create pressure points that cause the shingles to lift up. Therefore, regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to prevent this issue.

The Consequences of Lifted Shingles 

Here are some of the problems that can occur when your gutter guards lift up your shingles: 

1. Increased Risk of Leaks 

When shingles lift around edges, they create gaps that allow water to seep underneath the roofing material. This can lead to water leaks inside the home, causing damage to interior ceilings, walls, and insulation. Even small leaks can lead to significant problems over time, including mold growth and wood rot.

2. Accelerated Roof Deterioration

The biggest concern with lifted shingles is how they accelerate roof deterioration by letting water in at various entry points. Leaks due to lifted shingles accelerate the deterioration of roofing materials. Moisture can damage the roof deck, leading to soft spots and structural weakness. Over time, this can compromise the entire roof, necessitating expensive repairs or even a complete roof replacement.

3. Pest Infestations

Apart from the leaks and mold and mildew growth, lifted shingles provide entry points for pests such as insects, rodents, and birds. Once inside, these pests can cause further damage by chewing through wood, insulation, and wiring, and creating nests within the roofing structure. Therefore, it is necessary to keep these entry points sealed. 

Ways To Prevent Shingles From Lifting 

Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to prevent shingle lifting, particularly around the edges where it is most common. 

1. Replace Old Gutter Guards With The Right One

If you notice that gutter guards are lifting the shingles on your roof, consider replacing the gutter guards. It may seem like a hassle but it will prevent paying for more expensive damage later on.  Make sure you choose suitable gutter guards for the type of roofing system and material you have. You can consult with a roofing professional to choose guards that will not interfere with the shingles’ placement or function.

2. Professional Installation 

While it can be tempting to install gutter guards yourself, hiring a professional for gutter guard installation is essential. Experienced installers know how to fit the guards in place without disrupting the shingles or damaging the roof’s structure. They can also ensure that the guards are properly secured to prevent shifting or loosening over time.

3. Regular Maintenance

To keep your gutter guards in top condition throughout the years, it is essential to regularly maintain them. Be mindful of the weather conditions in your area and take a preventive approach. 

How To Choose the Right Gutter Guards For Your Roof 

Gutter Guards

Keep in mind the following factors when choosing gutter guards for your roof. 

1. Assess Your Roof Type and Gutter System

Different roof types (asphalt shingles, metal roofs, tile roofs, etc.) may require specific types of gutter guards. Some guards are better suited for certain roof pitches and materials, and you’ll also want to consider your gutter type. Consider the shape and size of your gutters (K-style, half-round, etc.) as well as their width. You’ll want gutter guards that fit securely and properly on your existing gutters. 

2. Consider the Local Climate and Types of Debris You Encounter

When considering gutter guards for your roof, it is important to consider the local climate and the type of debris you’ll most likely be dealing with. 

Identify the types of debris that commonly fall into your gutters. For example, if your home is surrounded by pine trees, opt for guards that can block small needles. If large leaves are more common, a different design may be more effective.

Contact Professional Roofers In Hattiesburg For Your Gutter Services

Now that you know the importance of professional gutters and gutter guard installation, you can make the right choice for your home. Contact B&A Roofing In Hattiesburg for your home’s gutter services. The professionals at our company are experts at any roofing and gutter projects, be it gutter installation or repair. Call us today at (601) 520-3183 to speak with one of our skilled professionals.

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