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8 Ways to Handle Roof Runoff Without Gutters

8 Ways to Handle Roof Runoff Without Gutters

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If you’re worried about roof runoffs during the rainy season because your house doesn’t have a gutter, don’t worry! We’ve gathered all the alternative ways to handle it.

In this article, we’ll discuss each solution to help you choose the best approach for your home. Sit back and keep on reading!

How to Handle Roof Runoff Without Gutters

While gutters are an essential part of the house, it’s good to know that there are effective and proven solutions for homes without them.

1 – Install a Rain Chain

A rain chain is a tall, chain-like structure that can be attached to the edge of your roof and hung down to the ground.

Rain chains also come in various shapes and sizes, providing a wide range of options.

As the rain falls, the water flows through the chain’s surface tension and travels down to where it should be drained.

However, additional water control measures may be necessary to prevent all the water from splashing.

For starters, you can install the rain chain from the lowest corner of the roof and come down into a plant pot or a barrel.

For larger roofs, you may need to install more than one rain chain to cover other corners of the house where the water might cause flooding.

2 – Increase the Grading Around Your House

If the ground surrounding your house slopes towards it, water can easily accumulate in your basement.

Therefore, it’s important to check the topsoil areas around your house for proper drainage.

Please note that having a ground surface that slopes at a rate of approximately 1 inch per foot helps to ensure that water drains away from the house.

Keep in mind that this task may be challenging to complete alone, and you may need to hire a contractor to finish the job, which can be costly.

Additionally, it may cause significant disturbance to your landscape. If you want to preserve it, this option may not be feasible for you.

3 – Install a French Drain

A French drain is a structure that provides a natural means for water to drain from your yard. It’s similar to a trench with pipes installed within and covered with gravel or stone.

French drains are a simple DIY project that can be completed by homeowners. Here are the following steps:

A – Planning the Location

  • Determine where excess water is pooling and decide where it should go instead.
  • Check that the water issue isn’t caused by pipes that need repair. If possible, tap into the existing drainage of other bodies of water.
  • Mark the direction and length of your trench, ensuring that it starts at a higher elevation and drains to a lower elevation.

B – Digging the Trench

  • Before digging the trench, verify that no underground utility lines or pipes run through the designated area. The trench should be about 18 inches deep and 9-12 inches wide.
  • Ensure that the drain has a 1% grade, sloping down at least 1 inch for every 10 feet of pipe. For smaller trenches, a standard shovel will suffice.

C – Installing the Pipe

  • Line the trench with landscaping fabric to prevent dirt, tree roots, and silt from clogging the pipe. Leave 10 inches of excess fabric on each side.
  • Pour a gravel bedding, at least 3 inches deep, into the bottom of the trench and compact it.
  • Install the inlet grate at the point where water pools the most and attach the pipe fittings.
  • Lay the drain pipe on top of the gravel layer and pour water into the inlet grate to test the drain.

D – Covering the Trench

  • After testing the drain, cover the entire pipe with gravel and wrap the landscaping fabric around the pipe and gravel.
  • Cover the trench with topsoil and tamp it down.
  • Inspect the grate regularly to ensure that it’s clean and free from clogs.

4 – Install a Channel Drain

A channel drain is a metal grate that collects water as it runs off from your driveway. While the drain itself is inexpensive, installation can be a bit of a challenge for homeowners.

However, you can follow these steps to properly install a channel drain:

  • Identify the location where standing water collects the most and mark the area for installation.
  • Dig a trench deep enough to accommodate the channel drain and base material.
  • Create a stable base by filling the bottom of the trench with 2 inches of gravel or stone.
  • Install the channel drain in the trench and make sure that it’s level. You can also connect it to your existing French drain for improved drainage.
  • Fill the trench with gravel or landscape stone, then cover it with soil and compact it.
  • Check if the drain is installed properly by running water over the surface of the channel drain.

5 – Install a Rain Diverter

A rain diverter is simply a piece of metal that’s been bent a couple of times and is 10 feet long. It does exactly what its name implies, and installing it is easy. Here are the simple steps to follow:

  • Cut the rain diverter to be about 2 or 3 feet longer than the area that needs to be protected.
  • Slip it under the shingles about 2 to 3 courses up from the lower edge of the roof.
  • Use a thin pry bar to break the seal underneath the row of shingles, so that the rain diverter can be easily inserted.
  • Make sure as the water runs down, it pitches off to one side, away from the patio and into the garden.
  • To prevent water from seeping in, apply roofing cement on top.

6 – Install a Drip Edge

A drip edge is important on your roof because it stops water from penetrating below your shingles and damaging various parts of your roof. To install a drip edge, follow these steps:

  • Measure out your roof and cut the first drip edge at exactly the right size.
  • Begin by lifting your underlayment and carefully tuck the drip edge into the roof line, making sure that you don’t extend it beyond the gable.
  • Nail your eaves drip edge every 16 inches, securely fastening it to the roof line. Make sure it’s held tightly in place, but avoid applying excessive pressure against the fascia board.
  • Install your rake edge metal to protect against any wind-driven rain that can get under the shingles and cover the exposed plywood.
  • Cut the end of the drip edge and tuck it around the corner to perfectly seal the whole corner of the roof.
  • Bend the drip edge along the vertical or horizontal line and hook it into your other drip edge along the eaves.

7 – Build a Rain Garden

The purpose of a rain garden is to capture the runoff from the roof and prevent it from getting out onto the road and contributing to surface water flooding. Follow these simple steps to build a rain garden:

  • Start by checking the site for areas where water tends to accumulate or where downspouts discharge onto the yard.
  • Determine the shape and size of your garden, and dig 6-12 inches deep.
  • Choose native plants with deep roots that can tolerate wet conditions.
  • Prepare the site by digging out the soil, leveling the bottom, and adding sand or gravel if needed.
  • Install a drainage system to direct rainwater into the garden.
  • Add plants in groups of three or more and cover with 2 or 3 inches of mulch.
  • Maintain your rain garden by watering during dry spells, removing debris, and adding compost in the spring.

8 – Install a Louver System

A louver system consists of angled sheets typically made of metal, wood, or plastic designed to redirect water runoff from areas susceptible to erosion.

As the water runs through the sheets, the system breaks the water into smaller streams so that they can be easily absorbed once they reach the ground.

While installing a louver system may be possible through personal effort and craftsmanship, seeking professional installation services offers added convenience.

Final Thoughts

Note that not having gutters can lead to water damage to your home’s foundation and cause erosion to your lot.

Whether it’s by choice or necessity that your house doesn’t have gutters, there are always alternative ways to manage roof runoffs.

However, it’s essential to determine what works best for your home and landscape.

Before starting any home improvement project, it’s always a wise idea to consult with a professional to get their expert opinion.


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