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DIY1 07-16-2013 10:58 AM

Gutters on a big gable dormer
Is it better to have a gutter catch the rain from a roof valley, or to let it run to a lower gutter? Here's an example of what I'm up against for my current project: .

As you can see, the gutter in the upper right of the photo has been fabricated to catch the valley rain at the intersection of the dormer and the main roof. I have a seamless gutter guy who is recommending that I cut the gutter short on the dormer and let the valley rain run to the lower gutter. He may just be saying that because it's easier than fabricating the end to catch the valley. What's the best way to go here?

p.s. I accidentally originally added this to the "building and construction" section. If a mod wants to delete my cross-post, I'd appreciate it.

huesmann 07-16-2013 01:18 PM

Is he saying he'd eliminate that short piece of gutter?

DIY1 07-16-2013 01:30 PM

No, he's saying that he'd cut the gutter in the upper part of the photo 4 or 5 inches shorter so that the upper right cap of the gutter is vertical. This would let the roof valley water run down to the lower gutter and the upper gutter would only catch dormer-only water. What's typically done in these situations?

EDIT: I did some more research and found a case where someone converted a scenario like my first photo (where the gutter catches the valley water) to a scenario where they let the valley water run free to the gutter below: He didn't really say why he did this, but he intentionally left a sizable gap between the valley and the gutter.

joecaption 07-16-2013 06:54 PM

I'm not even sure why they installed a gutter there at all.
PS that siding was installed to close the roof.

DIY1 07-16-2013 07:00 PM

The photos are just an example. I've got a much larger dormer that definitely requires a gutter. The question is if it's common practice to butt the gutter up to the roof and catch the valley runoff or to leave a gap and let the valley runoff go free to a lower gutter. I assume this would be done to help with snow buildups and dams. But I'm not sure so that's why I'm asking which way is better.

mj12 07-16-2013 08:29 PM

Every roof is a little different. Most people dump the water onto the roof. I like to run a downspout to the lower gutter. I suppose if the roof receives full sun it is not as bad. That water coming off the back of the gutter wears the roof out a good deal faster. If the dormer is very difficult to get to you could leave the end cap off so the gutter does not clog up the gutter.

DIY1 07-16-2013 09:35 PM

Thanks for the reply. My only question has to do with the dormer gutter either catching the valley runoff or not. I've got a fairly steep roof on the non-dormer part and a 9 pitch on the dormer part. But we do get snow in the winter (Wisconsin) and if a butted up gutter under the valley would end up potentially causing a clog (and if that's why the guy in this picture put his gutter so far from the valley:, then I will happily leave the gap and drain the valley to a gutter below. I'm just not sure of the best practice, but like you said every case is different.

kwikfishron 07-17-2013 05:54 AM

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I wouldn't want that short gutter catching the valley water as you show in the first picture because if it can't keep up it could potentially be dumping water behind the fascia.

The gutter in the second picture is about a foot short imo.

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