Get your mind into the Gutter

Yes, the small water collection trough at the edge of the roof.  Unheralded, the gutter guides water from the surface of the roof to a vertical pipe called a downspout or leader and onto the ground or into a subgrade detention system or sewer.

There are several styles of gutter profiles, with half-round and ogee (see photo) being the most common.  These shapes are simple, allowing the water to pass easily: less friction means it is also easy to clean.

Soo0o, you think that’s about it to the gutter. What about the actual size? The gutter is measured in cross-section and sized according to the size of roof that it serves and the amount of rainfall.  Due to the varying amounts of rainfall in different regions, meaning that you will find that the same size house in Maine and Louisiana have different size gutters.

This brings up the issue of global warming.  The air holds more moisture when it is warm, therefore as the earth continues to warm, the actual intensity of rainfall has gotten more severe.  (this is documented by climatologists) Which means you should actually check to see if you gutters still appear to be doing an adequate job or should be replaced by the next size up.  An inadequate gutter often leads to leaks, which costs a lot in repairs.

Lastly, on the maintenance frontier- clean ’em!  At least annually….The debris that accumulates and restricts the flow of water is also a major source of leaks at many ceilings.  Also make sure that the gutters have a minimal slope toward the downspout to guide the water.

Now you can get your mind out of the gutter!