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The Importance of Proper Gutter Sizing

By September 11, 2017October 18th, 2023No Comments

Gutters are a key piece of your roofing system. If they’re not the right size, they can’t do their job efficiently and you might as well not have gutters at all! Three elements go into helping you and your gutter company choose the right gutter size.

Gutter Sizing

Area of Your Roof

Bigger roofs collect more rain, therefore requiring larger gutters. You’ll also need to look at the style of your roof. Roofs with dormers or upper levels falling onto lower levels means more rain falls onto the roof area that runs into the gutters. The greater the area, the larger the gutters need to be.

Roof Pitch

The pitch of your roof is how steep it is. The steeper a roof, the faster rain can run off and into the gutter. Steeper roofs also allow for more wind-blown rain to hit the roof and run into the gutters. Roof pitch on most homes ranges from 4:12 (low pitch) to 9:12. A 9:12 roof will require larger gutters than a 4:12 roof. To determine your roof’s pitch, you’ll need a level that is at least one foot long and a measuring tape. Put one edge of your level against the roof and hold it steady until it’s level. You’ll need to measure from the level to the roof one foot from the point the level is touching the roof. This will give you the roof’s pitch. For example, if it’s five inches from the level to the roof’s surface, then your roof has a 5:12 pitch.

Rainfall Rate

Different areas of the country experience rainfall at different rates. For example, areas around Seattle have frequent rain, but it’s rarely heavy. By contrast, Orlando experiences rainfall at the rate of several inches per hour for most of the summer. The heavier and faster the rain falls, the larger the gutters your home requires, even if you have a low slope or small roof. A professional gutter installer will take all these measurements into consideration and determine the proper size gutters for your home. For most homes, 5-inch or 6-inch gutters are sufficient, although the number of diverters and downspouts will vary.

Why Size Matters

Improperly sized gutters will not hold the rainfall coming off your roof, and it will be as if you don’t have gutters at all. When rain overflows your gutters, it creates a waterfall effect. When you don’t have gutters, or your gutters are too small or are clogged, you run the risk of foundation damage and flooded crawl spaces or basements. You may also find that your landscaping is destroyed or that your mulch washes away.

Sometimes it’s not the size of the gutter that causes the problem, but simply that it’s clogged. If that is the case, ask about leaf shield gutter protection from Gutter Helmet®. Only the best gutter guards for leaves will prevent your gutters from becoming clogged and keep your gutters functioning as they should. Gutter Helmet’s local representatives can advise you as to the state of your current gutters and if they are the right size for your home. Call (800) 824-3772 today to find out about the benefits of Gutter Helmet and schedule a free estimate with your local dealer.

the importance of proper gutter sizing