Roof Drainage

What do I need to know about roof drainage?

Roof drainage is one of the most important design of a roof and roof coverings. However, no roofing system is complete without controlled drainage.

This is where gutters and downspouts become such an important part of roof drainage and is important for protecting your basement and the health of your home.

Gutters have come a long way over the last couple hundred years, it’s still fair to say that most guttering systems are high-maintenance. Homeowners with uncovered gutters need to clean them out regularly; and after severe weather they need to be inspected as they may have been damaged.

Do all homes have gutters?

Not all homes have gutters, however, in Ottawa and the surrounding area I highly recommend controlling water from rain and thaw to keep it from your foundation.

Some homes are designed to be without gutters with eave overhangs of 1.2m to 1.5m (4 to 5 feet). Even though they maybe protecting the foundation in this manner, there are usually porches under these over hangs with a base that is affected by moisture.

Gutters and downspouts are generally found on buildings with slopped rooves. Flat rooves employ internal drainage systems that moves the water to the public or private waste system.

What kind of gutters should I have?

This is a good question. This depends on the architecture of your home, but for most homes built in the 21st century they are equipped with aluminum or PVC type gutters; in some cases, gutters are not installed at all.

From personal and professional experience, I do not recommend PVC type gutters, no matter how attractive the price may be. I recommend a good quality aluminum gutter system, preferably designed by a specialist. Aluminum maybe easier to damage, but it will stand the test of time if cared for.

How do they protect my foundation?

Gutters and downspouts protect your foundation by controlling the flow of water. Gutters should discharge at least 1.8m (6 feet) away from your foundation. This will mitigate basement leakage in certain situations.

Can I install them myself?

The work itself can be dangerous and I always suggest a professional do the work. Don’t be afraid to call and ask for references and example of work. This can help you find someone you can work with and trust.