Metal roofs can last 100 years or more. They’re aesthetically pleasing, high-performing, and capable of providing superior protection. Best of all, if you choose a high-end option like copper roofing, you can even add intrinsic value to your Alpha, NJ home. As you refine your design vision and consider your options in roofing materials, it’s important to understand the drainage needs of metal roofs. Although you’ve probably seen metal roofs without gutters and downspouts before, these features are absolutely necessary. Read on to find out why and to learn what this means for your roof’s design.
Metal Roofs Are Highly Resistant to Damage
Metal roofs are highly resistant to the very same types of damage that gutters and downspouts are meant to prevent. These roofing systems shed water efficiently. With adequate slopes, beads of water simply roll right off of them. While gutters prevent building damage caused by rain, hail, snow, and sleet, most metal roofs can weather these elements without sustaining any significant wear. Thus, even lacking gutters, a metal roof can enjoy a lengthy and relatively problem-free lifespan.
Gutters and Downspouts Protect Your Home’s Foundation
Gutters route water away from the surface of roofs so that stagnant pools of moisture don’t cause serious problems. Although these efforts aren’t always needed for metal roofing systems, there are other important benefits that rooftop drainage systems provide to homes themselves.
Gutters funnel water into downspouts, and downspouts direct this water away from the home’s foundation. In areas with heavy precipitation, gutters often direct water into landscaping drainage or other nearby drains. Without gutters, you might have large standing pools of water just at the base of the building that saturate your foundation, cause cracking or shifting, and create a host of other structural or aesthetic issues. As such, even though your new metal roof might not need gutters, your home does.
The Challenges of Installing Gutters on Metal Roofs
Installing gutter systems on all-metal roofs isn’t easy. If you want a metal roof, it’s important to find the right roofer to handle your project. When gutters are installed incorrectly on metal roofs, strong winds, heavy precipitation, and other factors can result in these features being ripped right off. These events can damage gutters themselves, but they can also cause roofing and siding damage as well.
Securely attaching gutters to metal roofs prevents a host of potential problems. Incorrect gutter installation can lead to gutter collapse, repeatedly clogged gutters, ineffective gutters, and more. With ineffective gutters, the slope of the roof, the gutter size, and the area of installation causes water to overshoot. Rather than entering gutters and traveling through the downspouts, runoff simply bypasses gutters entirely and winds up pooling around the home’s foundation.
Other Benefits Provided by Gutters
In addition to protecting your home’s foundation, gutters protect your basement. Without them, this low-lying area could be perpetually damp, musty, and mold-riddled. In winter, gutters limit the likelihood of freezing by keeping frosty precipitation away from the lower portions of exterior walls. As such, they quietly play an important hand in keeping your home’s plumbing safe. They also prevent erosion at sidewalls and siding, protect the landscaping features that abut your home, and limit the likelihood of mold development overall.
Gutter systems give homeowners control over how water flows on their property. Although a metal roof can shed rain water and other moisture efficiently, this isn’t your only concern. You want to know that large accumulations of moisture aren’t causing damage in other areas and undermining the benefits of choosing a metal roof.
How Seasoned Roofers Mitigate the Challenges of Gutter Installation
To prevent overshooting when installing gutters on metal roofs, seasoned roofers take care to mount these features sufficiently high. When needed, they might additionally install rain guards for added assurance.
Careful calculations are made to determine the proper load-bearing limits of these features. These calculations ensure that gutters are never so weighed down that they detach. When paired with the right mounting techniques, they also prevent gutter collapse.
To prevent issues with clogging, some homeowners are advised to invest in oversized gutters and downspouts. For instance, this might be the best choice for you if you have a multi-level home and have roofing or overhangs at the second story. If your home sits beneath a towering tree that regularly sheds leaves, twigs, and other droppings, oversized gutters will prevent blockages in between gutter cleanings.
Why Some Homes With Metal Roofs Lack Gutters Entirely
The challenges of installing gutters on metal roofs are incredibly daunting for many consumers. They know that improper installation can damage both their roofs and their homes. Unfortunately, they also know that lacking rooftop drainage systems puts them at risk for foundation damage and other moisture-related problems in low-lying areas. For these individuals, choosing to forgo gutters is often seen as choosing “the lesser of two evils.” Sadly, some roofing companies that lack the skill and experience for expertly installing metal roofing systems believe the same.
The best choice is to have gutters put in by roofing professionals who have successfully completed projects like these before. They’ll know and leverage the correct installation and mitigation strategies for producing beautiful and long-lasting results.
Gutters May Impact Your Home Insurance Plan
Before you opt against having gutters installed, it’s important to consider the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy. Insurance companies might have very different ideas about the benefits and drawbacks of installing gutters on metal roofs than you. In general, these features are considered essential for keeping foundations protected and preventing water damage. If you exclude gutters from your roofing plan, you may be at risk of having your home insurance policy voided. Similar requirements might also exist in the terms and conditions of your home warranty.
Properly Installed Gutters Enhance the Benefits of Metal Roofs
For aesthetic purposes and intrinsic value, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for all-copper roofs. These roofs age beautifully and often develop gorgeous patinas along the way. They also cost a pretty penny. When paying for all-copper roofing designs, consumers are hoping to add value to their properties. Installing gutters with these systems makes good sense. After all, you don’t want to enhance the marketability and appeal of the topmost portion of your home while potentially compromising the integrity of its foundation.
When installing a roof that’s expected to last a full century, you want to make sure that your foundation can endure as well. Reputable and experienced roofers know that adding gutters to these systems is the only way to give homeowners the returns on investment that they deserve.
If you’ve chosen a metal roof but have been advised by your roofer to forgo gutters, beware. There are only a limited number of instances in which going gutter-free is actually advisable. For most residential properties, having gutters installed is key for preventing significant moisture damage, landscaping and grading issues, foundation problems, and conflicts with insurance companies. A good roofer will always explain the risks of excluding gutters from your roofing plan.
We’re proud to serve residents of Alpha, NJ and the surrounding communities. We offer outstanding roof replacement and repair services. We also provide Roof Maxx, gutters, and siding. To get help with your next roofing project, give Warren Thompson & Son Roofing & Siding a call today!