Because in North America, it rains either occasionally or all the time. Water management is a consideration for all property owners. For every inch of rain that falls on a square foot of a flat roof, there’s .625 of a gallon of water to be managed. That translates to 1,250 gallons of water for every inch of rain that falls on a 2,000 square foot flat roof. The relationship changes with the pitch of the roof, but the basic idea remains the same: there’s a lot of water to be managed when it rains.
Gonzalez All Gutters Inc has seen the problems caused by poor water management: decayed siding and paint failure with accompanying mold and insect intrusion, as well as water in the basement or crawlspace. None of this is healthy for the occupants or the building. Home inspectors who fail to recognize and report water management issues are sure to find themselves with unhappy clients.
Copper, vinyl, aluminum and galvanized steel also are used for gutters. There are pros and cons for each material (see illustration). Regardless of the material, a correctly installed and sized gutter sys-tem should collect all of the water and discharge it at least 6 feet away from the building, assuming that the grading is correctly sloped.
Downspouts are as important as any other part of the gutter system. When a gutter system is working efficiently, it collects water and carries it away from the house. The preferred number of downspouts differs from region to region, but one downspout for at least every 35 feet of gutter is the rule of thumb.
Where it rains hard and frequently, we often find it necessary to suggest to buyers that increasing the number of downspouts on a house would be beneficial and potentially reduce the maintenance costs for the structure. The gutters still need to be cleaned on a regular basis.