You probably understand why gutters are important and even why it's essential to keep them clean. However, what you might not understand is the fact that gutters must be sized appropriately for each home. Gutters that are too small are less effective and put the protection of your roof in jeopardy. Gutters are designed in varying sizes, but the typical range is between 4 and 7-inches; learn where on the spectrum your gutters should fall.

1. Roof Size

The size of the roof that the gutters will support is the first factor that should be considered when sizing gutters. The size of a roof is calculated based on the width and length of the roof area. When it rains, the moisture will first fall onto the roof and eventually drain into the gutters.

The larger the roof, the more water that will need to drain. Consequently, the larger the gutters need to be to accommodate the increased water flow. For this reason, large homes, generally need to choose gutter systems on the larger end of the scale.

2. Roof Pitch

The pitch of the roof is the measure of the steepness of a roof. The steeper a roof, the greater its pitch. Keep in mind, the pitch of a roof will determine the rate at which rain flows into the gutters, as the greater, the pitch, the faster the water will flow, and ultimately, the faster the gutters will fill.

Even for a small roof with a significant roof pitch, larger gutters are generally a safer option. Calculating the pitch of a roof involves multiplying the square area of the roof by the height of the roof. For greater accuracy, you should let a professional handle this part.

3. Local Climate

The amount of rainfall your area experiences on average is another factor to consider. The reality is that even with regular maintenance, debris will collect inside the gutters between cleanings. If you have small gutters and you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall, the combination of the two is a recipe for disaster.

Larger gutters are a better option because even if there is debris in the gutter, there will still be enough room for water to flow through. On the contrary, if you live in a climate that experiences minimal rainfall, but your home is in a wooded area, you can still benefit from large gutters. 

Do you need new gutters? Speak with a gutter company to ensure your gutters are sized appropriately.