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Community and Q&A

Doing away with gutters?

Jamie K | Posted in General Questions on

I read I think it was Martin’s article saying “If possible, don’t install gutters; if gutters are necessary, make sure that they are installed below the plane of the roofing so they won’t prevent ice from sliding off the roof.”  I like this idea and saw Martin commented (maybe you will see this post, Martin) that he did not do any on his house.

We are in borderline climate zone 5/6 where we get freezing/thawing and snow – gutters are a pain to keep from getting ice build up leading into ice dams and havoc with seams. Our grade will be at least 5% away from 40×60 rectangle shop we will live in for a while (trying for more like 12-18” in 10 ft) AND roof overhang of 2 ft gable ends and 3 ft other ends. We could put gravel down under overhangs to help with run off. Vented soffits w ridge vent. Can we get away without needing gutters?

If not AND I’d rather not find out by a moisture problem telling us we need gutters: replaced
Any tips on how to prevent them from getting snow build up, causing ice dams, freezing, leaking at seams, etc.?  Other than butting end caps together instead of trying to seam long runs together, heat tape, keep down spouts above grade, etc… Our last gutter guy stopped doing gutters because of the havoc winters reap on them.

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Replies

  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    Underground gutters can work well.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Jamie,
    My guess is that you won't have any problems. Your roof overhangs seem well designed.

    If you are made nervous by my suggested approach -- "just wait and see" -- you can install underground gutters. For more information, see these articles:

    "Ground Gutters"

    "An Underground Roof"

    "Fixing Those Drainage Problems, 30 Years Later"

    "In-Ground Gutters"

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