Handyman

Adding end cap and downspout to gutters can help prevent damage

Updated: 2014-01-19T01:31:00Z

By C. DWIGHT BARNETT

McClatchy-Tribune

We just had new gutters installed on our renovated farmhouse. One section has no outlet, no end cap and no downspout. I say this is wrong as water then ice will dam up in and around the gutter and the roof. My husband disagrees. The section already overflows. Who’s right?

The picture you sent was of a roof dormer with a short section of guttering and no end cap or downspout. When rain water is allowed to empty directly onto the roof shingles, the granules that protect the shingles from the elements are washed off. The loss of granules leads to premature damage and early failure of the shingles.

There is also the chance that ice or snow can build up at the end of a gutter that is situated on a roof dormer, and the damming effect can lead to a leak to the interior of the home. It is a simple fix to add an end cap to the gutter and a downspout. The downspout should be directed to the main roof’s gutters below the dormer. The added downspout will protect the shingles from wear, but on the other hand the additional downspout can affect the overall look of the home.

C. Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors.

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