Your eavestrough is a structure built to protect your home from water damage. The eavestrough is meant to catch all falling water and redirect it far away from the house into a drainage basin of some kind. Gravel is effective and so is a trench to a sewer entrance. Either way getting the water away from your house is of the utmost importance. One common misconception is that an eavestrough is simply used to stop you from getting wet when walking out the door or so you do not see water pouring off your roof when you look out the window. This is also true and a nice aspect of the system but it is not the reason gutters were installed. They were attached to your roof to protect both your roof, your attic and your foundation from exceptional levels of water damage. While houses are built to manage water in a reasonable way rain can be a severe destructive force in that it can damage parts of your roof that were not made to be waterproof. Your ridge vents and your roof vents are waterproof by design. The facia on the side of your roof edge are not waterproof at all and are a direct entryway for water into your attic. Moisture in an attic, especially in the form of pooling water can cause severe damage from ruining your insulation to causing your ceiling to leak or even fall. Your foundation can be pummeled by the water falling off your roof and like water hitting stone it will wear down quickly and reveal openings that can flood your basement. Having no eaves or clogged eves or broken damaged or badly installed eves, if your eves end too close to the house or if they are uneven and spill water at points, all these things will cause flooding and leaks in your home. Keeping the eves maintained and in good order will keep your home safe from water damage.
While water is a terror ice is the end of the road. If your even are clogged and you leave it to the inter ice will start forming throughout your attic. The insulation may freeze and whatever water got in will crystalize and distort your insulation’s ability to aerate. This will result in a total loss of heat in the house. It will be freezing in every room and your insulation will have to be remediated if not your whole attic and roof. So clear out blockages and inspect your eaves every couple of months. If the eaves need repair or replacement. Getting ice out of an eavestrough is quite impossible once it is in. You can not chip it away without breaking your eaves and the weight alone will bend and break them. By the next spring, you will have roof leaks so take care of your eaves through the summer, fixing them up in the spring and checking them for clogs in the fall. Preparing for winter is how to keep your home a home.