2 Ways To Drain Water Off A Large Dormer Roof

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Keeping Your Roof In Decent Shape

After listening to a few friends of mine complain about the cost of replacing their roof, I realized that I should make sure that my own roof was in decent shape. I climbed up on a ladder to see if I could see the shingles, and things weren't looking very pretty. Some patches of shingles were missing entirely, while others looked badly damaged. Fortunately, I caught the damage early enough that experts could patch up the issues. However, since roofing damage isn't always obvious, I decided to put up this website so that others can spot trouble of their own.

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2 Ways To Drain Water Off A Large Dormer Roof

14 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Dormers are architectural protrusions that add extra living space and light to the upper level of your home without the need for an entire extra story. Dormers emerge from the main roof of your home but also have roofs of their own which can be a different shape than your main roof. While it's obvious that your main roof needs a gutter system to safely carry water away from your roof and your home's foundation, it can be less obvious that a dormer roof needs its own solution.

The dormer roof sits up higher than the main roof and thus can't connect directly to the main gutter system. Leaving the dormer without a drainage option means the water will run directly off the dormer and onto the main roof below, which can cause premature aging and damage to the roofing materials in that area.

How can you drain water off a large dormer roof, integrate your main gutter system, and spare roof damage without creating an eyesore?

Camouflaged Downspout

One of the simplest solutions is to put a separate gutter system on the dormer roof with a gutter that drains down into the main roof's gutter. Depending on the shape and slope of your roof, the dormer downspout might need to run across a substantial amount of your main roof to reach the gutter. Otherwise the downspout would simply empty out onto the main roof, which brings about the same problems as not having any dormer drainage.

If your home is tall enough that the roof isn't visible from the road, you don't need to worry about how the gutter will look running across your roofing material. Owners of shorter homes, however, need to consider curb appeal.

A potential solution is using a downspout in the same color as your roofing material to provide a bit of camouflage. The downspout might still be noticeable due to its differing shape, but the result won't be as glaring as running a white downspout across a gray roof.

Metal Across-Roof Gutter

Ask your roofing or gutter contractor if it would be possible to install a metal gutter or flashing trench across the roof from the dormer to the main gutter system. The across-roof gutter could blend more easily between roofing tiles, especially if installed at the same time as new roofing material.

You would still need a downspout on the side of the dormer, which is easier to hide than the spout across the roof. The downspout would empty straight into the metal trench, which would then deliver the water into the main gutter system without any risk of damage to the surrounding roofing materials.

For more information and assistance, talk with professional roofers, such as those at Freedom Roofing, for more options.