How Gutters and Flashings Prevent Water Damage

Gutters and flashings are often overlooked when purchasing a new roof. However, they serve an important purpose. Gutters and flashings are essential because they help to ensure that water does not penetrate your roof or damage your siding and foundation.

What are gutters, and what do they do?

Gutters are trough-like fixtures that are installed along the eaves of your roof. Typically, they are made out of aluminum, vinyl, or copper, and their primary function is to direct rainwater away from your home.

When rain falls on a pitched roof, it flows downward toward the eaves. The water will often collect on the siding and foundation without well-functioning gutters. If this continues over time, water will seep behind the siding and cause moisture damage to the walls and insulation of your home. Internal water can lead to rot, mold, and mildew.

The water that collects near the foundation can also cause significant damage. When rainwater pools around the foundation, it creates pressure that can cause cracks or warping. Water can also erode the soil around the foundation and cause it to become unstable or even begin sinking.

What are flashings, and what do they do?

Flashings are thin pieces of metal (copper, aluminum, or steel) or rubber installed around chimneys, vents, skylights, and any other openings in the roof. They provide a water-proof barrier and help ensure rainwater does not leak into your home. Flashings are also critical to achieving energy efficiency because they prevent heat from exiting through your roof.

Gutters and flashings must be installed correctly to function properly

As we have discussed, gutters and flashings are essential for keeping water out of your home and away from your foundation. But the gutters and flashings must be installed correctly to protect your home.

While gutters serve a basic function, they require quite a bit of know-how to install correctly. First, the roofer must select the proper gutter size for the building. Small structures often get away with using 5-inch gutters, whereas larger structures require comparatively sized gutters. After all, it doesn’t do much good to install gutters if they can only hold a portion of the rainwater from the roof. Additionally, the gutters must be installed with the proper slope to ensure the rainwater is ushered away from the structure with the proper amount of momentum. And finally, the downspouts must be long enough to reach the ground without sagging.

Like gutters, flashings must also be installed correctly to keep water out of your home. Flashings protect your roof’s most vulnerable sections and, therefore, require extra care and expertise during installation. The first step in any installation is selecting the proper material. The ideal flashing material will depend on the section of the roof where it is being installed and the climate where the home is located. Additionally, the flashing material must be cut to the right size and shape, secured to the roof, and sealed correctly to keep water out.

Choose the roofing experts to install your new roof

Our team of roofing experts is amongst the most experienced in the industry. We have installed just about every type of roof imaginable and know how to keep water out of your home. Contact us today to learn more about CMR’s roof installation expertise.