Gutters With Open EndsDecember 6, 2017 / byPuget Sound Life / Categories : Puget Sound General
In the Pacific Northwest there is a gutter design that has become extremely popular. Builders are installing, mainly on dormers, gutters that have no ends or downspouts – they have a slight back slopes and drain out the open end and the runoff water goes on down the roof. Sometimes the runoff water has to run several feet down the roof where it is worn by a gutter below.
In this region, when you see a house with gutters of this design, about half of the time they are blocked at the ends. There will be a big pile of leaves working as a dam. When that happens, the water might even spill out the top of the gutters and run onto the home and siding. From a home inspector's standpoint, these gutters are not our favorite design or a favorite thing to see.
For one thing, that heavy runoff or discharge of water down the roof, and usually going on down quite a distance, will sap the life from the shingles. With composition material, it will first loosen and eventually take the granite off and, once that happens, the shingles are on a downhill slide. The granules are essential in protecting the shingles from the sun – which will kill the asphalt material the shingleles are made of.
Also, since the dormer gutters tend to be high, people are even less likely to clean them than other gutters. Usually a person has to get up on the roof to clean the dormer gutters. Seldom can they be cleaned from a ladder at the eaves.
If you have gutters like these, keep them clean. If you want to avoid the pitfalls of such gutters – which happens a few years down the road as they take a toll on the roof – have a gutter professional cap the ends and put downspouts that run down the roof and deliver the discharge water to the nearest gutter below. Done correctly it is a neat look and much better for the roof.
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