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Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Roofing Professionals

As a Residential and Commercial roofing company, we provide information about roof system design and installation best practices. We inform our customers about products and services including Roofing, Gutters, Insulation, Masonry, and Sheet Metal.

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Cincinnati Aluminum Gutters and Downspouts

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Aluminum Gutters

Most residential roofing systems contain aluminum hanging gutters that are attached to the roof trusses or rafters tails through the fascia boards. Failures with these types of systems can cause damage to landscaping, soffits, and even allow water to enter the house. Many factors contribute to problems including the size and number of the downspouts, size of drain pipes, and size and pitch of gutters.

Residential drainage systems should contain water diverters to direct water into the gutters. Types of water diverters include crickets. Crickets direct water away from roof penetrations and can often be found behind chimneys and other roof accessories. Metal water diverters are often found at rake edges, near valleys, and at areas where gutter installation is not feasible.

Gutter and downspouts are designed to withstand rainfall intensity based on historical rainfall data. In the greater Cincinnati area, rainfall up to 2.8 inches in an hour is expected to occur once every 100 years. Rainfall intensity in a 5 minute span can average as high as 6.8 inches in an hour. Since, residential roof systems typically have a steep slope and drainage occurs rapidly, Deer Park Roofing, Inc. designs drainage systems to meet this higher standard on projects where gutter overflows could be problematic.

The width of the gutter is an important consideration when specifying an appropriate drainage system. As the pitch of the roof increases, the width of the gutter should increase as well. On most houses, a 6 inch gutter will suffice but it is also dependent on the square footage of the roof. Drainage capacity of a gutter increase as the pitch of the gutter increases. Gutter pitches range from level to ½ inch per foot. It’s important to note that steep pitches on gutters are often aesthetically unpleasing. Furthermore, on longer runs of gutter, the fascia boards may not be large enough to add extra slope to the gutters.

Designing the proper downspout size is very important. Round downspouts have greater drainage abilities than rectangular downspouts. The following chart demonstrates the drainage capacity for commonly used residential downspouts:

3” Round Downspout drains 1260 square feet of steep slope roofing

4” Round Downspout drains 2630 square feet of steep slope roofing

2”x3” Rectangular Downspout drains approximately 725 square feet of steep slope roofing

3”x4” Rectangular Downspout drains approximately 1775 square feet of steep slope roofing

Underground pipes are an important part of the drainage process and require special design considerations. Either 3 inch or 4 inch pipes are commonly used to carry water from the downspouts to the storm water retention system or other location. 4 inch pipes can remove up to 3500 square feet of roofing area while 3 inch drainage will remove up to 1500 square feet. Depending on the size of the roof, multiple storm water drainage pipes may be required.

For more information, about your gutters and downspouts, contact a Deer Park Roofing, Inc. staff member.

Properly installed aluminum gutters and downspouts will direct water away from your house, preventing basement leaks and damage to your landscaping. Aluminum gutters are the most popular drainage system used by homeowners because they are lightweight, pre-finished in a variety of colors, and easy to maintain. Deer Park Roofing, Inc. customers can request a free Gutter and Downspout estimate online.

Installing Aluminum Gutters and Downspouts

Deer Park Roofing, Inc. custom fabricates each aluminum gutter to fit the dimensions of your roof. Gutters are fabricated at your jobsite to ensure that it will be seamless. Seamless gutters are durable during thermal expansion and contraction, making them less likely to leak over time. The gutter style that is typically fabricated and installed is called K-Style or Ogee gutters. Other gutter types installed by Deer Park Roofing, Inc. are half-round gutters, yankee gutters, and box gutters.

After gutters are extruded to their appropriate lengths, end caps are installed. Gutter sealant is applied to aluminum end caps and then they are pop riveted to the gutter. Deer Park Roofing, Inc. does not recommend using zip screws to secure end caps (or other gutter accessories) because they are likely to rust over time.

Outlet tubes are installed in aluminum gutters to allow water to drain into the downspouts. A hole is cut in the gutter in order to install the outlet tubes. Gutter sealant is then applied and the outlet tube is riveted to the gutter.

Gutters are secured to your house or building using hidden gutter hangers and screws. Fasteners should be applied through the fascia board and into the rafter tails. This type of fastening pattern will ensure that the gutter will remain on your house or building during times of heavy rain or snow. Gutters that are only secured to the fascia board can fall off if they become too heavy, sometimes taking the fascia board with it.

Photo of leafs falling off of a roof

Miters, splash guards, water diverters and aluminum gutter apron are also important parts of a gutter system. Miters are installed with aluminum pop rivets at outside and inside gutter corners. Aluminum splash guards are installed at the intersection of roof valleys and gutters to prevent water from overshooting the gutter. Aluminum gutter apron is 2 inches x 3 inches and protects the area between the roof sheathing and the fascia board. Gutter apron is important in preventing water , insects, and animals from entering through the eaves. It is typically fastened to the roof deck beneath the roof underlayment.

Aluminum gutter sizes are measures by width at the top of the gutter. Deer Park Roofing, Inc. recommends 6" gutters (made from heavy duty .032 aluminum) for most residential structures in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Gutters are also available in the 5" width.

Most residential downspouts are rectangular and are 2" x 3" or 3" x 4". A 2" x 3" downspout can drain 600 Sq Ft of roof area (using historical rainfall data) while a 3" x 4" downspout will drain 1200 sq feet of roof area. Deer Park Roofing, Inc. usually recommends that gutters greater than 40 ft in length have 2 downspouts attached, one at each end.

Leaf Relief Gutter Protection System

Leaf Relief mounts securely to the (existing or new) gutter system eliminating trips up the ladder to clean gutters. Leaf Relief is 100% effective of blocking leaves, 99 % effective at blocking twigs, and 97% effective at blocking pine needles. It is independent of the roof system and does not come in direct contact with shingles or other roofing materials.

Leaf Relief Gutter Protection System logo

When leaves and debris are not obstructing your Leaf Relief gutter protection system, 29.7 inches of water per hour (20 foot roof section) drains through. That's 2.5 times greater than the official rainfall world record (Kilauea, Hawaii- 12 inches in one hour). When leaves and debris do obstruct water flow, 19 inches of water per hour still passes through the Leaf Relief system. (1.5 times greater than the world record).

Maintenance to this system is rarely required because a most dry debris is cleared from the surface with a 6 mph breeze. When leaves or debris is wet, it is removed with 23 mph wind.

Gutter Drainage and Damage to Aluminum Gutters from Copper

Corrosion can occur when different metals come in contact with each other, especially copper and aluminum. This effect is known as "galvanic corrosion of dissimilar metals." Copper can cause deterioration to your aluminum gutters if copper roofing materials are present. Copper roofing materials could include flashings and even shingle granules (for algae resistance). In certain situations, the Deer Park Roofing, Inc. staff may recommend installing copper gutters and downspouts to avoid corrosion. Damage to aluminum gutters from copper is more likely to occur when an aluminum gutter system has poor drainage or standing water.