In our restoration work, one unexpectedly contentious topic is the matter of gutters and downspouts. Often, customers want to minimize the size and visibility of gutters, which is understandable on the surface. However, this approach often risks their buildings and other projects by putting inadequate drainage around their roofs.
Larger gutters are often called for, particularly on roofs with complicated topography, which can create unusual water flows. Further, when properly installed and painted, larger gutters and downspouts are rarely more noticeable than smaller implementations.
Every building with a roof needs gutters and downspouts to deal with rain, snow, and other runoff. It only makes sense to install systems that will do the job properly, even if the gutters are larger than "standard" 5-inch systems.
Large Gutters Reduce Water Damage
The primary purpose of gutters is to ensure that all water on a roof flows off it smoothly but also in a controlled fashion so it can be routed properly through downspouts and away from the building.
When the gutters are too small, they can easily become overloaded, causing water to spill out all over the place - potentially onto vulnerable walls and other surfaces you want to keep water away from. Small gutters are also more easily clogged, which can lead to standing water on the roof. This will quickly eat away at roofs and potentially lead to leaks.
Larger Gutters Can Handle Complicated Roof Topography
Your typical arched home roof provides very predictable water flow since most of it simply slides right down the sides - but what about buildings with multiple towers, steeples, arches, and other complicated elements? This can cause uneven water runoff or small "rivers" is formed as the water flows together.
Larger gutters can be implemented to specifically catch these unusual water flows before they cause other issues for the building.
Success Is in The Implementation
The more valuable the building, the more critical it is that gutters be properly installed. Hiring experts to understand the water flow and implement appropriate gutters and downspouts will bring the best results because they know the following:
Heather & Little are experts in architectural restoration and preservation. Our combination of artistic vision and engineering expertise has allowed us to protect historical buildings worldwide. Please take a look at our work, and contact us for a consultation on your project.
Join our mailing list and keep up to date on what’s going on with Heather & Little, sheet metal and roofing, including access to industry insights, interesting project case studies and incentives.