Roof Guttering: Everything You Need to Know
If you’ve ever had issues with your gutters, you know what a pain it can be when they stop working properly. Whether you’re looking to get new gutters installed or just need repair and cleaning services, it’s important that you understand your gutters and know how to keep them in good shape!
In this post, we’ll give you an overview of basic guttering components. We’ll also discuss how commercial and residential gutters differ, as well as how gutters protect your roof. Finally, we’ll close with some common guttering issues and how to fix them.
Components of Guttering
You may think your gutters are just made up of the metal that lines the bottom of your roof, but that’s not the case! There are multiple parts of a guttering system that work together to protect your roof and building from water. Here are some of the most common gutter system components.
Downspouts are vertical metal “pipes” that direct the water in your gutters to an ideal drainage spot like a flowerbed or drainage area. They keep the water in your gutters from overflowing or pooling somewhere it shouldn’t. Without downspouts, water would spill out of your gutters and all around the perimeter of your building or home. Instead, downspouts focus the water into other areas so it can drain away properly or water your landscaping.
Located at the bottom of downspouts, elbows allow you to change the direction of flowing water and divert it into ideal places. This gives you flexibility in where you can place your downspouts and diverts water away from the foundation of your building.
As the name suggests, endcaps create a stopping point at the ends of your gutters. They prevent water from spilling out of your gutters and ensure water makes it to your downspouts. Without them, water would spill out of your gutters away from your designated drainage areas around your building or home.
Miters are the pieces that join two pieces of guttering together at a corner. They reinforce the seam at these junctions and are designed to prevent water from leaking or spilling out of your gutters.
Hangers are the components that keep your gutters affixed to your building. They are like the backbone of your gutter system, ensuring that your gutters can hold up to weather and stay in place no matter the conditions. Some buildings use gutter spikes instead of hangers for this purpose as well.
The Differences Between Residential and Commercial Guttering
Depending on the size and shape of your building, type of roofing system, and needs, your guttering needs can vary quite a bit! For this reason, residential and commercial guttering differ more than you might think. Here’s how:
- Size and Shape: Commercial guttering systems tend to use larger, more heavy-duty components that vary depending on the building's size and durability needs. Homes usually do not need guttering at this caliber, as larger roofs typically entail a greater volume of water to manage.
- Material Choices: Residential guttering typically allows for more aesthetic choices than commercial, as gutters are an extremely visible part of a home roofing system. Both can be made from metals like aluminum or steel as well.
- Building Codes and Regulations: Rules around the look of gutters and their installation also make for major differences between residential and commercial gutters.
How Gutters Protect Your Building/Home
There’s more to guttering than just managing water runoff. They play a crucial role in protecting your roof and building as a whole! Your gutters act as the first line of defense against a few potential issues:
- Structural Safety: Diverting water away from your home or building prevents wood rot and metal rust by keeping those elements dry. Without gutters, some of your building's foundational materials would break down faster from constant moisture exposure.
- Pest Prevention: Stagnant water can be a magnet for certain pests like mosquitoes. Keeping your building dry reduces the chance of pests infesting your property.
- Erosion Control: Without gutters, constant water flow over different areas of your property would erode the soil and ground around your property. This can harm your landscaping and potentially damage the foundation of your building.
- Basement Protection: For buildings or homes that have basements or floors below ground level, gutters are essential for keeping water from entering these areas. This prevents issues like mold and flooding.
Common Gutter Problems and Solutions
Even with expert installation and proper care, your gutters can still have issues from time to time! Here are some common gutter problems and how to fix them.
Debris like fallen leaves are all too often responsible for stopping up your gutters. The solution? Remove them! You can use a ladder to get up to your gutters, remove debris, and assess the issue. If you struggle to remove the debris or aren’t able to reach your gutters easily, call a professional to help you.
Sagging gutters indicate that your gutters have detached from the perimeter of your roof. Water will collect in these areas and spill out of them. In some cases, you may be able to make a temporary fix by reattaching the gutter, but you should always call a professional for damage like this! They can ensure that your gutters are not only reattached, but also level and fitted to encourage water runoff to flow in the right direction.
Downspout obstructions, pooling water, and erosion are common downspout issues. A professional roofer can help you solve these problems by fixing your downspouts. For terrain and landscaping issues, you may need the help of a landscaping company or other contractor.
Water in your gutters should always flow towards your downspouts. Damages can alter the slope of your gutters and cause water to pool, spill over, and damage other parts of your property. Call a professional to help you level your gutters correctly.
Guttering is a key piece of any roofing system. Without it, all that water your roof protects you from would end up in places it shouldn’t be! By working with a trusted roofing company and properly repairing issues with your gutters, you can ensure your home or building stays dry and in good shape.
We hope this post helped you learn more about guttering! If you’re looking for the best roofing and guttering services in Oklahoma, call Statewide Roofing! We operate all over the state of Oklahoma and specialize in both commercial and residential roofing services. Reach out on our contact page for a free estimate, view our financing information, and learn more about roofing on our blog.
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