Proper Gutters Complete a Quality Roofing System
by Hoffman Weber Construction, on August 05, 2020
If you have a love-hate relationship with your home’s gutters, you’re not alone. When improperly installed or poorly maintained, gutters may clog and damage your home. They also can dump water on paving and cause slip hazards in winter.
At Hoffman Weber, we think of gutters part of a proper roof system that will keep your home and basement dry and extend the life of the structure. Attic insulation, air sealing and ventilation should keep your roof deck cool and dry. Underlayment, ice and water membrane, flashing and shingles should divert water to the eaves. Then gutters, downspouts and extenders should carry the water away from the foundation.
The best time to replace your home’s gutters is when Hoffman Weber replaces your roof. That way, you know the entire roofing system will work together to protect your investment. Without gutters, roof runoff can cause ground erosion and enable water to seep into your basement.
Great Gutters by Design
Install drip edge flashing at eaves and kickout flashing wherever gutters abut siding
Secure gutter brackets through the fascia and into the rafter tails with long screws that allow the gutters themselves to stretch and shrink freely in extreme temperatures.
Choose big enough gutters and downspouts to handle your roof’s area and slope and your climate
Position downspouts in all the right places
Slope the gutters properly so they drain effectively (not too fast or too slow)
Direct the bottom of downspouts away from the foundation
Consider leaf guards if debris from trees is a problem
Hoffman Weber installs continuous, seamless aluminum gutters that are custom sized and formed on site to fit your home. Seamless gutters are preferred for their fewer joints and a cleaner look. Trust Hoffman Weber’s roofing system experts to specify the right gutter solution for your home and budget.
Sizing Gutters & Downspouts
A gutter must be able to handle all of the water and snow melt from the roof above. The bigger the roof area, the more water the gutter will collect. Roof slope also is a factor. Steep roofs can collect nearly one-third more wind-driven rain than shallow roofs.
A standard 5-in. K-style gutter should handle nearly 5,600 square feet of roof, while a 6-in. gutter will drain nearly 8,000 sf. A standard 2x3-in downspout should service about 600 sf of roof, while a 3x4 in. downspout will handle twice that.
Don’t be tempted to exaggerate the slope of your gutters slope to compensate for inadequate capacity. Bigger is better than steeper. As little as ¼ in. drop per 10 feet of length should be sufficient. Anything more on a long run could make your house look lopsided. The outside edge of the gutter should not project above the angle of the roof line so ice can slide off without catching.
Getting roof runoff to ground is just half the task. You also must divert the outflow away from your home’s foundation. That shouldn’t be a problem with proper landscaping that slopes down and away. Otherwise, consider downspout extensions or underground drain tile to low spots or drywells (buried, rock-filled pits). Larger downspouts offer extra capacity during torrential rains. They also are less prone to clogging. Terminate downspouts at catch basins rather than plumbing them directly to drain tile so snow melt is diverted above ground if the buried drain tile freezes.
Kickout is Code
Kickout flashing is installed on an angle where roof shingles abut a sidewall to divert rainwater away from the wall and toward the downspout. Without it, water can soak and rot the siding. Kickout flashing usually is installed with the roof shingles. However, it can be added later when gutters are installed.
Metal gutters stretch and shrink in extreme temperatures. If they are pinned, the expansion and contraction can cause fasteners to loosen. Choose hidden brackets secured with long screws.
Read: Exterior Replacements Lead Remodeling ROI in 2020
A variety of leaf guard products are available. Let us know your preference or we will choose one for you. The best system can be lifted for occasional cleaning.
Request an Inspection
If you are considering getting gutters, let Hoffman Weber inspect your entire roof system for signs of wear or storm damage. While topside, we will document everything with photos so have a complete picture of what you need. Contact Hoffman Weber for a zero-pressure consult.