Did you know that dormer gutters can cause leaks? If you live in the Portland, Oregon area and have a home with a dormer, then you need to be aware of this potential problem. Portland’s rainy weather has a tendency to wreak havoc on roofs, and gutters are no exception.
If your dormer gutters aren’t installed in the correct way, they can allow water to seep in and cause leaks. This article takes a look at the problem and what you can do to solve it.
What are Dormers?
Dormers are a type of window that projects out from the slope of a roof. They are often used to add light and ventilation to a room and can be either functional or decorative. Your home looks more attractive because they break up the roofline and add intricate architectural elements.
There are four main types of dormers: gabled, shed, hipped, and eyebrow.
- Gabled dormers have a triangular shape and are the most common type of dormer. They are also the most likely to leak because water collects in the corners where the roof meets the wall.
- Shed dormers have a slanted roof that slopes down from the main roof. They are less likely to leak than gabled dormers, but if they’re not installed in the correct way, they can still be an issue.
- Hipped dormers have a hip roof, which means that the sides of the roof slope down towards the walls. These dormers are very stable and aren’t as prone to leaking.
- Eyebrow dormers have a low, arched roof that resembles an eyebrow. They are the least probable to leak out of all the types of dormers. They can still pose a problem if they are not installed in the correct way.
What Is a Dormer Gutter?
A dormer gutter is a gutter that is installed on the slope of a roof, beneath a dormer window. The purpose of a dormer gutter is to collect rainwater and direct it away from the window, to prevent leaks.
How Can Dormer Gutters Cause Leaks?
However, they are not as necessary as you may think. Dormer gutters cause leaks in two ways:
- If they’re not installed in the correct way
- If they are not able to handle the amount of water that they collect. If a dormer gutter is not installed in the correct way, it will not be able to do its job. This can cause water to leak into the home through the dormer window.
Proper installation includes making sure that it is pitched in the correct way and properly attached to the eaves of the dormer. These precautions help guarantee that your dormer gutter will be able to do its job and prevent water leaks.
The other main problem that can cause dormer gutters to leak is if they can not handle the amount of water they collect. This can be due to a number of factors, including a blockage in the gutter or a faulty sealant. In some cases beyond basic, it may also be necessary to replace the entire gutter system.
Other Issues with Gutters on Dormers
The flashing around a dormer window is key to preventing water damage to the home. The flashing is a strip of waterproof material installed along the gap between the window and the roof. If the flashing is not installed in the correct way, it allows water to enter the home through the gap.
This causes serious damage to the home, including rot, mold, and structural damage. Depending on the way the dormer is placed, more issues may arise.
Inadequate Slope: If the slope of the dormer gutter is not adequate, it will allow water to collect and not drain. This causes water to back up and leak into the home. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that the dormer gutter is installed with the proper slope.
Adding Dormers to Gutters Increases the Chances of Leakages: If you have gutters that are already installed on your home, and you add dormers to your roof, you are increasing the chances of roof leaks. This is because the additional weight of the dormers can cause the gutters to sag, and the water to pool in the corners where the roof meets the wall.
DownSpout Direction: The downspout direction is important; if it’s not right, water could get into your dormer and cause damage. Incorrect downspout direction could also cause water to collect at the base of your home, which can lead to foundation problems.
Moss Growth: Moss's growth is problematic for several reasons. First, it can hold water against the dormer, which can lead to leaks. Moss growth also leads to a condition called “mossy gutters.” Mossy gutters are when the moss growing in your dormer gutter clogs the drains, which can result in water overflowing and causing damage to your home. Consider moss removal an emergency fix as the outcome of this can quickly overtake your home. Moss growth can also be unattractive, and it can make it difficult for you to see out of your dormer window.
Hard Water: If you live in an area with hard water, you may have noticed that your gutters seem to be always clogged. Over time, the mineral deposits in hard water build up and form a barrier that prevents water from flowing through the gutters. In some cases, the water can even back up and flow over the edge of the gutters before it has a chance to run off the roof. While this may seem like a minor problem, it can lead to serious damage to your home. The constant exposure to moisture can cause the wood around your gutters to rot, and it can also promote the growth of mold and mildew. If left unchecked, this problem can lead to leaks in your roof or even cause the gutters to collapse.
Upper Dormer Gutters Inaccessible: Cleaning your dormer gutters is important, but it is often difficult to reach them if they are installed on the upper part of your dormer. Homeowners may neglect these upper dormer gutters causing debris and leaves to build up over time. When it rains, the water has nowhere to go but down the sides of your home, which can lead to leaks.
Dormer Not Insulated: If your dormer is not insulated, you could be in for some serious problems. Without insulation, condensation can form on the inside of the dormer. This can lead to water leaks and even worse, mold and mildew growth. In order to avoid these issues, it’s important to make sure that your dormer is insulated. There are a number of different ways to do this, so be sure to talk to a professional about the best option for your home. Insulating your dormer will help you avoid expensive repairs down the road and will keep your home looking its best.
Do Dormers Need Gutters?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, you need to consider the type of dormer you have. If you have a flat roof dormer, you may not need gutters because the water will run off the sides of the dormer. However, if you have an eyebrow or gabled dormer, you will need gutters to prevent water from leaking into your home.
You also need to consider the climate in your area. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, gutters will help to keep your home dry and prevent water damage. However, if you live in a dry climate, you may not need gutters on your dormer.
The decision of whether or not to install gutters on your dormer is up to you. If you are concerned about water damage to your home, it is a good idea to install gutters. However, if you are not worried about water damage, you may not need them.
Different Gutter Options and Solutions
If you are thinking about adding a dormer to your roof, it may be wise to not use gutters because they can cause more problems than they fix. Some solutions to the water run-off from a dormer could be:
- Extending the roof overhang past the dormer
- Adding a French drain
- Building a dry well
- Installing rain chains
These are all viable solutions that will prevent water damage to your home and they will also save you the headache of having to always clean your gutters.
You may also want to remove the gutters altogether and let the water run off the sides of the dormer. This is a good solution if you live in a dry climate and you are not worried about water damage to your home.
Gutter Protection System
If you have gutters on your dormer and you are concerned about water damage, consider installing a gutter protection system. There are many different types of gutter protection systems on the market. Do some research to find the one that is right for your home.
Gutter protection systems keep leaves and debris out of your gutters. They also prevent water from overflowing and causing damage to your home.
Get a Professional Assessment
If you are unsure about whether or not your dormer needs gutters, it is a good idea to get a professional assessment. A professional will be able to look at your dormer and assess the situation. They will also be able to give you advice on the best way to protect your home from water damage.
If you already have dormer gutters and you are experiencing leaks, it is a good idea to get them fixed as soon as possible. Roof Life of Oregon is a professional roofing company that specializes in expert roof maintenance and repairs. Get a quote from us today to assess your situation or fix your leaky dormer gutters.