Updated: Nov 7, 2022
In most cases, we are often asked this question during the initial conversation with the homeowner. Either the homeowner has an idea of exactly what they want and what is top priority for them or they’re looking for recommendations based on their roof design. This will mostly depend on the size of the roof, as well as on the number of slopes dividing it. Although rain gutters are highly effective most buildings don't need a gutter system to run around their whole structure. That being said, Installing seamless gutters on your entire home can drastically increase its curb appeal. There are still details that are exclusive to your own home and they will play a part in defining the full length of your gutters. Some important things you need to know in advance:
If your roof has multiple slopes, each of these slopes must have a gutter at its edge. When it rains, every slope will drain the water in opposing directions, so you need a guttering system and downspouts to catch the water on each side. The photo below is an example of a house with multiple slopes, requiring gutters on each of the sides to help divert the water away from the house foundation.
Many suburban homes divide their roofs in two slopes. You'd need to place a gutter on the two sides that correspond to these slopes while forgoing the two remaining sections in which the slopes come together.
A low-pitch roof will move the water more effectively towards the gutters. If the slopes on your roof aren't particularly steep, you might need to keep an eye on them to make sure there's no water left after a storm.
Flat roofs don't need gutters on each of their sides, but this largely depends on the overall size of the roof. Since there are no slopes to help gravity move the water toward the gutter, you need to install scuppers that will channel the water from the roof's surface to the edges where the gutters are built. If the building is too big, multiple downspouts will be necessary to keep the water from pooling on the roof and the best solution might be to install gutters on several sides of the construction.
Another important factor is the amount of rain you get in your area. Even if your roof's design doesn't call for gutters around the whole building, there are instances in which you might still need to customize your gutters and install other accessories to protect them. If your city suffers from constant heavy downpours, you need to discuss your options with your rain gutter installer to make your gutters as sturdy as they can be. Especially in South Louisiana, where Tropical Storm and Hurricanes landfalls are becoming the norm every summer, which can lead to intense heavy rainfall.