Importance of gutters
Gutters are an important part of your roof for several reasons.
If your roof doesn't have gutters, there is a serious risk it will start leaking sooner or later, and there are several issues that come with a leaking roof:
- A leaking roof (water) can pose a serious fire risk. Although this might sound contradictory, water is a serious risk for fire in the house. This is because of all the electrical installations that can catch fire if they get in contact with water (short circuit). If you are not sure how to handle the leaking problem, you should consult professionals. They will be able to tell you how you can solve this problem and prevent it in the future.
- Water leaks from the roof present a health risk for you and your family because water can easily get into the wood and create the perfect background for mold development. Breathing in mold can be very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
- Sliding and falling – many times has this health hazard has been underestimated. Many people slip and fall on wet floor/ground because they didn't see it. Older people and children are under particular risk and can experience serious health problems due to a fall.
- Other problems – as already mentioned, mold is just one of the problems that can weaken wooden roof construction. Leaks that have been neglected over a longer period of time can demolish many parts of a home such as ceilings and other constructive elements.
Position of gutters
Depending on the location and type of building, gutters hang under the lower part of the roof or are attached on the bottom of sloop roofing. A hanging gutter is held by hooks attached to eaves or roof rafters. Round profiles are seen on traditional constructions, while square or patterned gutters are more common on newer constructions.
A leveled gutter directly leans on the roof basis (truss). Positioned in the same line with the roof rafters, it is hardly visible. This gutter is often used with a slate roof or even roofing tiles.
The so-called English gutter is positioned on a cornice. It is made of zinc, with a semi-circular cut and one opened wing that is posted under the last line of roof tiles.
The entire gutter system needs to be proportional to the roof surface and has dimensions depending on the local climate. The gutter size depends on the projected roof size (a 300 square foot roof with 50% incline takes less water than a 30% incline). The diameter of drains declines if there are more of them – they are also more discreet in this case. To choose the appropriate gutter construction, it is recommended to consult a professional who will know the best position of the gutter in regard to aesthetics and efficient drainage.
Types of gutters
There are four basic materials used for gutters:
Each has its good and bad qualities.
PVC gutters are lightweight and easy to handle. PVC is easily cut and different elements are connected with special glue or rivets. Zinc has excellent physical and chemical characteristics. It actually protects itself by forming a patina layer on the surface thanks to a chemical reaction with water and carbon dioxide. This natural patina provides resistance to corrosion and gives an unchangeable appearance. It is easy to form, bend and tinker with. Copper looks perfect with different construction materials, both old and modern. It is very long lasting and doesn't require any maintenance or replacement because it also develops a patina.