Debris (other than leaves) that Frequently get Caught in Gutters

Weeds in the GutterThe different types of debris that can clog up your gutter and its downspout will depend on the local plant life in the area of the country in which you reside. That being said, there are common types of trees that many communities will plant on its property that will cause this situation to occur.

It is inevitable that gutters that are unprotected will get clogged with all sorts of outdoor elements. In addition to leaves, there are many other types of plant and animal life that will contribute to this problem.


Sticks of all sizes are always being rattled off of trees. Sticks or twigs can clog up a gutter very quickly. Once they are washed into the downspout they will become lodged and build a framework for many other items to become lodged as well. Once you have these twigs lodged in a gutter, they will be very difficult to get out. Trapping other sticks, leaves, and any other item that gets washed down your roof will soon make the gutter useless, and water will begin to flow off of your roof instead. Using a hose or even a pressure washer may be necessary to clean it out.

Pine Needles

Pine needles are a very common problem for gutters. They will build up very quickly and completely block any water flow. If you have pine trees near your home, investing in a cage to protect your gutters will help the situation tremendously. Pine needles are very light and can blow in the wind, piling up on your roof in large amounts.

Once they land on the roof, you can bet that your next rainstorm will wash them right into the gutter of your home and create problems for you everywhere. Luckily they can be easily removed by just getting up to your roof and pulling them out. You will have to do this very often however and again getting a covering cage would be a better solution.

Pine Cones

Our next culprit is even worse than twigs and pine needles. Pine cones have a perfect shape and size to clog the downspout of your gutters. They have sharp bark that will easily become lodged in your gutter and proceed to stop anything that attempts to pass. Their unique shape creates a perfect barrier for leaves, sticks, and eventually water.

Bee Hives

A less intuitive gutter blocker could be bee hives. The size of these can vary, but their material not only makes it easy for them to flow into a gutter, but also to absorb water. Bees love making their hives underneath the overhang on a roof, and in the surrounding trees. It is not very hard for them to be blown onto a roof or to be washed into your gutters. Keeping your rooftop clean, as well as the underneath portion of the overhang are good preventative measures for keeping your gutters flowing smoothly.


This plant loves to thrive on trees, and will grow extensively long from their branches. Moss accumulates quickly and comes in large amounts. Its soft, spongy shape makes it easy to grab other debris and create a huge pile up in the gutter and the downspout. Add some dirt and twigs to the mix, and you can bet that your gutter will be completely clogged in a matter of days.

Most of the time, there is no way around outdoor debris that gets washed or blown onto your rooftop.  Gutter cages are a great investment for your home, unless you enjoy doing the extra yard work on your weekends and need the alone time. Roofs that have shingles will eventually start losing their grit, and this will wash into your gutters as well.

There’s not much you can do about this, and will need to use some high-pressure water to wash them out every so often. As an alternative, you can turn to the pros such as Aerotech to help keep your gutters free of debris!

The writer, Nick Quinlan, is a general handyman around the house and strives to make sure that his home is in fantastic condition. He writes about the things he has discovered on the side to help readers learn what they can and keep their own homes in good condition. If you wish to learn more about Nick you can visit on Google+.