Roof Configurations and Your Gutters

When a house is built, gutters are installed as part of the roofing system to guide rainwater and melting snow off the roof and into the ground away from the foundation. The shape and material of the roof determine how the runoff is directed. When you want to replace the gutters, take a tip from building contractors and select a gutter system that complements the roof’s design while boosting your curb appeal and providing maximum protection for your home’s exterior.

How runoff enters the gutter system.

Roof configurations – the pitch or slope of the roof – determine how runoff enters the gutter system. A low slope or low pitch roof means the roof has a slope of 30° or less, while a steep pitch or slope roof is greater than 30°. Roofs with medium to high pitch drain water more quickly.

Houses with a steep pitch roof will typically need a gutter system that can handle large amounts of runoff. For example, since the steeply sloped roof of a large house will cause water to land in the gutters with speed, the homeowner might require 6-inch gutters installation rather than the standard 5-inch gutter system to help the roof drain water more efficiently.

Guttering for gable and double gable roofs.

Gable roofs have a roof with two sides that meet at the top in a ridge and one flat end or gable. A double gable roof has two sides on either side of the ridge and two flat ends or gables. This type of roof design requires fewer gutters and downspouts than other types of roof configurations.

However, gable and double gable roofs often incorporate dormer windows for added curb appeal. Gutter installations on homes with a gable roofing system will include gutters for dormer windows to prevent runoff from falling directly onto the shingles and causing roof erosion.

Gutters for hip roofs.

A hip roof gently slopes downward from the ridge on all four sides – hip roofs do not have gables. Since there are roof overhangs one each side of the house, gutters are needed all the way around. The number of downspouts and their positioning would depend on the size of the house and the roof configuration.

Guttering for a metal roofs.

Metal roofs are a popular choice of homeowners because they are strong and very durable. However, they are possibly the most challenging roofing material to match with a gutter system. Metal roofs have a tendency to overflow any type of gutters since they allow rainwater to exit the roof and enter the gutters at a high rate and velocity. This can be a problem in regions with a high annual rainfall.

If you live in an area with lots of rain and are interested in investing in a metal roof, gutter installations experts suggest selecting a gutter system that attaches to the fascia with hidden hangers; avoid straps that can add weight to the gutters, causing damage to the eaves and the roof’s sheathing. It would also be helpful to choose a gutter profile that handles larger volumes of water such as K-style gutters, half-round gutters, and wide bottom fascia gutters or a larger-sized gutter system.