Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and Downspouts

 Serving the St Louis, Mo and southern IL areas since 2010Gutters and downspouts are designed to carry water from the roof and direct it away from the foundation. A standard for down spout discharge is four to six feet away from the foundation. Standard gutters for our area are five-inch type K and down spouts are three inches. Materials used are usually from aluminum but occasionally steel or vinyl are used.  Larger six-inch gutters or four-inch down spouts may be used for larger roof systems.  

Keep Your Basement Dry

downspouts should discharge 4 to 6 feet from the foundation
Down Spouts should be four to six feet away from foundation

Subsequently 95% of having a dry basement or crawl space is proper gutter and downspout installation and maintenance.  Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year and more often if you have trees close to the house. Gutter guards can be added and special gutters are available  with built in leaf deflection designs.  

Keep your Gutters Clean

Clogged gutters should be cleaned on a regular basis

Clogged Gutters Should be Cleaned

Likewise gutter installation is not rocket science.  Because water flows downhill a slight slope towards the downspout is all that is needed to maintain proper drainage. However, one of the more common faults we see with guttering is a negative slope away from the downspout.  Depending on the severity of the problem this may or may not need to be corrected. 

Don’t Dump you Gutter on the Roof Deck

Gutters should not dump on the roof
Do Not Dump Gutters on the Roof

In addition a common defect on second floor roof systems is dumping water on the roof below. Instead of directing to a lower gutter with a downspout. There are two reasons this is done. One is simply economics, to add an extra down spout adds cost. The second reason is the builder did not consider the damage this water flow will cause to shingles over time.
How much water will be discharged and the length of time it is allowed to continue will determine how much damage occurs. Damage caused by water erosion will not automatically void your shingle warranty.  If the shingle manufacturer decides the missing granules were caused by gutter erosion you can bet they will deny any warranty claims for that area.