Gutters and downspouts are essential components of a home's exterior, as they help direct rainwater away from the foundation and protect it from water damage. When installing gutters and downspouts in high wind areas, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. The general rule of thumb for placing downspouts is that one is needed for every 25 to 35 linear feet of gutter. It's important to position them so that they move rainwater away from the foundation of your home.
If you're using steel platforms, you should specify a self-adhesive modified bitumen membrane and 3 to 4 inches of rigid insulation (the higher the basic wind speed, the thicker the insulation). You should also install metal panels on wood nailers. Larger gutters typically require a custom order with a professional gutter installation because of the additional weight. Copper gutters and downspouts offer a timeless charm that can be adapted to many homes and businesses, as they last for years thanks to their incredible durability.
In accordance with InterNachi's practical home inspection standards, home inspectors must inspect gutters and downspouts as part of the roof portion of the home inspection. If more than a decade has passed since installation, pay special attention if the gutter needs to be replaced. Designers should specify that horizontal moisture barrier flaps be installed to allow water to drain from the wall (i.e., in tornado-prone regions, for vitally important buildings, it may be appropriate to install laminated glazing in exterior openings to protect windblown debris during weak tornadoes). Abrupt changes in topography, such as isolated hills, ridges and scarps, cause an acceleration of the wind; therefore, an office building located close to a ridge would receive higher wind loads than an office building located on relatively flat terrain. Keeping your home protected from water damage starts with a properly installed gutter and downspout system.
If you're installing gutters and downspouts in high wind areas, make sure you take all the necessary precautions to ensure your system is up to code and can withstand strong winds.