Which Gutter Should You Choose for a Flat Roof?

Home Repairs

Flat roofs and rooftops are becoming more and more common, even in detached houses. The possibilities opened up by new roofing materials such as steel troughs and the ease of insulation of flat roofs are tending to generalize the latter in contemporary architecture. However, flat roofs and rooftops require a well-designed rainwater drainage system to prevent water stagnation and infiltration. So which gutter should you choose for a flat roof?

Two types of gutters are possible

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Flat roof architecture requires two main types of gutters and downspouts depending on the stage of construction at which one is involved, from the study to the installation of the rain gutters.

1. Eavestrough must be integrated into the masonry during construction, which will be totally invisible on the facade, except for the external downspout which will be located a little lower than the edge of the roof.

2. Hanging rain gutters will be installed on the periphery of the roof. These can be integrated at any stage, even as a complement to old construction.

Selection criteria:

Regardless of the method of installation or integration into a flat roof or terrace (or even a balcony), the gutter is chosen according to various criteria relating to its efficiency, durability, and aesthetics.

– Sizing: the rain gutter must allow the quantity of water received by the roof surface to drain without overflowing. The diameter of the gutter and its slope determine this flow, as does the rainfall of the area in which the construction is located. A house subject to stormy showers, or even flash floods (heavy rains), should have larger gutters than one subject to persistent drizzle. The development of the gutter is used to determine its dimension.

– The shape: if the round gutter corresponds perfectly to the shape of the cornices of classic and old buildings, the box gutter is the most logical choice for the aesthetics of modern houses with cubic shape and flat roof.

– Choosing the material: metal gutters or gutters made of synthetic resin (PVC or other)? While synthetic gutters are insensitive to corrosion and more affordable than metal gutters, they are more fragile and often deteriorate with time. They are also sometimes less aesthetic than zinc, aluminum, or copper eavestroughs.

– Color and appearance: For exposed eavestroughs on flat roof edges, a color that blends in with the smooth facade or roof edge is most often chosen to visually integrate the eavestrough into the construction. Depending on the material, the color can be fixed and/or changeable (copper gets a patina and turns green): for PVC and especially aluminum, many colors are available.

Installing a flat roof gutter

In the case of an integrated gutter, the installation had to be carried out at the same time as the construction by the roofer, the mason or the waterproofer or with the making of an eavestrough; but for the gutters that are attached, one can consider installing them oneself or calling in a gutter installation professional.

Installation by a private individual requires space and tools because the installation of gutters requires measurements, cut-outs, and assemblies before solid fixing: tracing out the drain slope, insertion of expansion joints, connection, and fixing by sealing the hooks and supports. Professionals are able to install gutters quickly and permanently, and they will make sure your gutters don’t let you down!

Good to know: there are more and more gutter installers who create custom-made gutters on-site in a workshop truck so that all the rainwater drainage systems in a house can be completed in record time.

Factors involved in the cost of rain gutters

Depending on whether you choose to integrate your gutter into an eavestrough or to connect your gutter to the building after construction, the price will obviously vary. The extra cost of making a gutter on a flat roof is minimal in the total cost of construction, but downspouts represent a budget, especially if they are made of noble materials such as copper or colored aluminum.

A flat roof gutter is usually sold in 4 m lengths made of zinc, PVC, and copper.

Good to know: when installing a gutter, remember to have a leaf stop installed at the same time to limit the risks of clogging but also of corrosion due to the stagnation of dead leaves, algae, lichens, pine needles. This is an easy operation during installation, which becomes more complicated once the gutter is installed and the scaffolding removed.

Whether you are looking for experts in Rain Gutter Cleaning, Rain Gutter Installation, Rain Gutter Repair, Residential Rain Gutters, and Commercial Rain Gutters in Florida, you can get in touch with CAG Solutions Corp. to have your rain gutters looked after!

And, remember to share your experience with our readers by leaving your comments in the section below!

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