Should Gutters Drain to the Roof? An Expert's Perspective

Gutters are an essential part of any roofing system, as they help to collect and divert rainwater away from the house. Installing gutters along the edge of each roof line, with a downspout to drain accumulated water, is a must. However, it is important to ensure that the downspout from an upper roof does not flow directly onto the roof, as this can cause premature deterioration of the shingles and roof deck. Instead, gutters should be connected securely to the roof eaves and drain water at least 4-6 feet, but preferably 10 feet away from the house.

In addition, each downspout should not exceed 35 feet of gutter. To ensure that dirt does not clog the drain system, routine maintenance should be performed. If a downspout ends above the roof surface instead of leading to the gutters located below or at ground level, it can reduce the lifespan of the roof surface materials below due to large amounts of water flowing over it. To prevent this, qualified contractors should install extensions so that downspouts do not end up above roof surfaces.

In some cases, a hole in the bottom of the gutter or an open end of the gutter may be necessary to shed water in case of heavy rain. If gutters are heavily obstructed, installing a commercially available gutter protector type may be worth considering. Homeowners can clean their gutters on their own or hire a professional gutter company in their region. The best way to ensure that gutters drain properly is to inspect them with a ladder after heavy rain. When installing gutters on upper levels, it is important to connect them to those on lower levels using downspout extensions.

This will help prevent water from overflowing onto the roof surface and causing damage. It is also important to avoid cutting gutters at the same slope as the roof in order to allow them to empty onto the roof surface. This can add stress to the gutter system by overwhelming it. Finally, if a gutter is two floors up and difficult to access for cleaning, it may be acceptable to have an open end so that water and leaves can come out naturally rather than putting a downspout that clogs and requires cleaning. To prevent clogging, regular maintenance should be performed.