Friday, June 28, 2013

Rain Gutters, Why, When and How

The decision on whether or not to go to the expense of installing a rain gutter/drainage system to your home or building is relevant to several contributing factors.
  • Your geographic location.
  • Whether or not you have a basement.
  • Pitch or slope of your roof.
  • type of exterior wall surface of your home or building.
  • type of ground cover surrounding your home or property.
Where you live in the US for example is relevant to the need, size and type of gutter you will install. If you live in the southwestern US desert climates where annual rainfall is very low you probably don't need rain gutter at all. However, if you have a basement with minimal overhang on your roof around the perimeter of your home or building it would be wise to catch even a small amount of water runoff from your roof to direct away from the perimeter base of you structure. Over time, without proper drainage this water can begin to penetrate the below grade walls of a basement leading to a continuous damp condition that can result in the formation of molds and mildews.

If the pitch or slope of your roof is quite steep, during heavy rains the water runoff can damage any landscaping or plants that may surround your home or building. In this case installation of a rain gutter system would be highly advised and several considerations come into play here.

Rain gutters come in many styles, materials, and colors but most importantly sizes. There are 4", 5", 6" and 7" wide gutters to choose from. In the case of the very steeply pitched roof, because of the increased speed and volume of water falling down the roof during heavy rains, you will want the widest gutter available in your area, at least the 6". For very shallow pitched roofs the minimal width with will be quite sufficient for proper capture of the water.

The type of exterior finish of your home or building is also a very important consideration. If you have a natural wood siding or cedar shake exterior for example, keeping this surface  dry as opposed to continuous water saturation during rains will greatly extend the life and finish of your exterior product. If your exterior is vinyl siding, brick or stone this is not as crucial but will still pose an aesthetic problem with dirt and debris that will constantly splash up the exterior walls making for an unsightly appeal to you home or building.

Rain Gutters will additionally protect your landscaping materials, flowers and plants from damage as well as prevent ground soil erosion. In the end an expense that is well worth its investment in maintenance savings over time.

1 comment:

  1. They help to prevent soil erosion, damage to siding and basement leaks. It is essential that rain gutters and downspouts are measured, pitched and installed correctly in order to function properly.