Do Metal Roofs Need Gutters?

August 5, 2021

Do Metal Roofs Need Gutters?

Many think that, due to their hardy construction, metal roofs don’t need gutters. However, while they are great at shedding water, metal roofs are still roofs. So the more proper question would be, “Does my home still need gutters if I have a metal roof?” The answer is: Well, it depends.

What Are Gutters For?

Gutters are important to maintaining your home’s structural integrity. They direct rainwater away from your home, protecting your plants, landscaping, walkways, and foundation from water-related problems.

Protecting Against Erosion.

Gutters serve to direct rainwater from your roof’s edge and to a downspout where it is directed away from your foundation.

Rainwater that is allowed to sheet straight down from your roof’s edge will eat away at the soil along your foundation. As the soil is taken away, you lose your carefully designed slope meant to keep water from building up next to your home.

If the erosion goes on for too long, you’ll end up with a negative grade around your roofline which will need to be regraded to protect your home.

Protecting Plants Near Your Home.

The redirection of rainwater provided by gutters protects your plants from damage or drowning.

Rainwater sheeting over your roof can become standing water alongside your home and drown your flowers, shrubs, and bushes. Even the physical blow from sheets of water can damage some plants.

Protecting Your Foundation.

Gutters prevent erosion from occurring, securing a long and healthy life for your foundation.

When the soil erodes enough to cause standing water against your home, the water slowly seeps into the ground, increasing the weight and pressure against your foundation. This increased weight can cause your foundation to bow and eventually crack. Once that happens, it will quickly get worse as water travels the crack, weakening your foundation further.

Protecting Your Siding.

Gutters protect the lifespan and look of your siding.

Rainwater allowed to flow directly onto your siding will carry debris, such as dirt, twigs, and granules from the shingles. This debris will slowly stain your siding and make it look worn and shabby. There is also a raised potential for water getting behind your siding, causing rot.

When Are Gutters Unnecessary?

An arid climate would make gutters unnecessary since rainfall is rare and of limited volume when it does come along.

A home that sits at a high point and has at least a 10” overhang that would drop rainwater directly onto a downward slope can get by without gutters on its roof.

As to the type of roof, there really isn’t a material that makes gutters unnecessary on its own. Metal roofs can make gutters more efficient or support an overhang sufficient to make gutters unnecessary, but metal alone doesn’t make gutters irrelevant.

About Metal Roofs And Gutters.

There are some things you should know when it comes to putting gutters on a metal roof, such as:

  • Putting gutters on metal roofs takes exacting care
  • The gutters need to ride as high as possible to function properly
  • Drip edges are not required but are recommended to prevent water from backing up under the metal covering

Because metal roofs have different properties than other roof systems, it is best to use a professional to install your gutters. It is very easy to get the installation wrong and cause problems with your roof. Metal roofs are not forgiving of small errors.

Best Gutters For Metal Roofs.

The best gutter system to use with a metal roof is a seamless gutter. The unbroken lines of seamless gutters compliment the standing seams of most metal roofs, and the single piece of gutter is much easier to match up to the edges of a metal roof without errors in positioning. Small errors can create big problems, so the fewer pieces you need to hang perfectly, the better.

If you have a metal roof in the Houston area that needs gutters, contact us at Houston Roofing for a free estimate.

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