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It’s time to give gutters and downspouts the respect they deserve. In a nutshell, a roofing system is only as good as the performance of the complementing gutters and downspouts. That’s why the Roofing Annex always stresses the inclusion of a gutter and downspout inspection whenever homeowners contact us about roofing issues, whether it’s a new roof or roof repairs.

The Role of Gutters and Downspouts

First, some basic definitions to get to know your gutters and downspouts a little bit better.

A gutter is a long, thin drain positioned beneath the edge of the roof or below a roof slope to collect and divert water from rain or melting snow away from the roof.

A downspout is a vertical cylinder that carries water from the gutter to the ground. A downspout typically includes an elbow-like pipe at the bottom to direct the water away from the home to protect its foundation from water seepage or damage.

The main purpose of gutters and downspouts is to preserve the integrity of any structure, whether it’s a home, commercial building, or an outbuilding. In order to do their job properly, gutters and downspouts need to be installed correctly, which is why the job should be left to a professional roofer rather than considered a do-it-yourself project.

A professional is trained to know:

  • The correct spots to install gutters and downspouts so they can do their job free of any obstructions;
  • Whether a gutter and downspout can sufficiently handle the volume of water being channeled to them;
  • Whether the gutters and downspouts are properly placed and pitched;
  • How many downspouts you should have;
  • If the gutters and downspouts are functioning properly;
  • When gutters and downspouts are worn and need to be replaced.

Gutters and Downspouts Show Their Style

Many homeowners consider gutters and downspouts unattractive necessities. And we admit, many decades ago they used to be ugly pieces of metal. But gutters and downspouts have come a long way over the years in terms of their design and appealing materials. At the Roofing Annex, we look at gutters and downspouts as a decorative and functional part of your roofing system. Today, you’ll find a wide selection of gutter and downspout styles designed to complement a home’s building style and exterior color.

Some of the more popular types are:

  • Seamless Gutters, which do away with unattractive seams and potential leakage spots. They come in attractive materials like copper and galvanized steel in a variety of colors and styles. The Ogee gutter style is particularly appealing because its detailing resembles crown molding.
  • Half Round Gutters that provide a nice profile and finishing edge.
  • Embossed Gutters that have visually appealing scroll, artistic patterns, or other embossed designs and are accented with decorative gutter brackets or gutter hangers.

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to gutters and downspouts. A good starting point is to ask for a gutter and downspout inspection the next time you’re having your roof inspected. The Roofing Annex provides a free evaluation of your gutters and downspouts to check that they are functioning properly. When you stop and consider everything they do to protect your home from water damage, gutters and downspouts deserve some much needed attention, too.