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Question DetailsAsked on 4/7/2016

Will 7 in gutters handle overflow of water coming down from 1 story pitched roof as current 6 in can't handle it?

Current 6 in gutters and well placed downspouts can't handle rain water from roof and water spills over gutter.

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Hard to say - if it spills over now, just changing the width but staying with same gutter location and I would not count on it solving the problem - a 7 inch does not carry all that much more than a 6 inch of the same slope and shape.

Whether a certain change will work without changing the gutter shape too depends on by how much they are failing to carry the water coming in, whether cleaning is what is really needed, or if increasing the slope (within limits) will increase the capacity enough to make the difference. Sometimes it is undersized downspouts causing the problem - so each case needs individual assessment. Sometimes it is overshooting - the roof runoff is hitting or even clearing the outside top edge of the gutter, so correcting placement setting (height and stick-out beyond the edge of the roof) may solve the problem, particularly on steep roofs where the overshoot can be pretty dramatic at times as the water rushes down the roof. On smooth roofs (sheet/panel metal or half-round clay tiles for instance), the runoff also tends to run much faster, sometimes a deflector or "riffle" (roughening of the surface toward the edge) is needed at the edge to deflect the flow downward into the gutter.

If you have semi-circular or "hog trough" gutters now, then certainly changing to a deep rectangular or a "K-" (which is more rectangular shaped but flares out on the outside, typically in a stepped ogee shape - at least half a dozen different profiles available out there), would generally increase your flow capacity by a quarter to half or more with the same width gutter - going with a deep rectangle or K- PLUS 7 or 8 inch width can commonly double or triple the flow capacity. For the small increase in cost over a 6 inch gutter, if replacing gutters anyway for more flow I would go with a K (unless a deep rectangle fits your decor better) gutter - for normal slope roofs (5:12 or flatter say) that alone would usually take care of the issue except in gully-washer or severe tropical storm rains.

Personally, though some people do not like the sloped or arched look, I prefer going with the maximum slope on the gutters that the fascia can handle - commonly about 2-3 inch drop from start of flow to downspout, and preferably sloped down from center to both ends on longer roofs (over about 20-25 feet) if that is feasible, because that not only increases flow capacity quite a bit, but also flushes leaves and dirt out of the gutter better.

Also, the type of inlet to the downspout makes a BIG difference - as much as a 100% difference in flow capacity. The cheapo straight Tee type, where the downspout comes into the gutter at a clean 90 degree angle, has far less flow capacity and also catches leaves a LOT easier than an eased transition, where there is an adapter fitting that the downspout and gutter both connect to, which has a curved entry into the downspout - like the following (which happens to be vinyl, but available in all other gutter materials too) - compare the downspout Tee intersection of the first link with the sweeping curved entry into the downspout of the second one -

And of course I can't help but slip in my two bits here on gutter types - unless it is expected to see heavy ladder abuse, except for in intense desert-type glaring sun exposure situations (where the ultraviolet eventually cracks the vinyl), I recommnend the Raingo vinyl gutters - don't go grundgy or clog as easily, no corrosion or rusting, don't freeze as readily and in the brown color (come in white and chocolate brown, though can be painted too) thaw out gutter icing faster than metal on sunny but below freezing temp days - and easy to DIY if you are not adverse to a bit of ladder work. And cheaper and MUCH easier to fix if damaged. In 30 years mine, in a severe winter and icing environment, have had only a couple of brackets broken because I got sloppy handling the ladder putting it up and taking it down, letting it slide sideways against brackets so they snapped off. I lean a ladder up against them (straddling a bracket) a couple of times per year for roof cleaning and inspection, and though they bend a bit I have never had one break.

Gutters would of course be your Search the List category to find well-rated and reviewed contractors for this work.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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