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Can You Put Gutters on Your Balcony?

Upset with the constant accumulation of rain water on your balcony?

On days when the thunder and lightning are particularly intense, it seems as though your glass balcony is entirely covered in a small lake.

The raindrops drip down relentlessly, forming the perfect environment for algae to grow.

Don’t fret, though; you can easily remove this unsightly mess with gutters. Yes, more than likely you can install gutters on your balcony to allow for the drainage of excess water from the roof. Not only do they keep water away from your house, but they save you from the cost of repairs, pest extermination and mold removal.

Read More: How Long Do Balcony Repairs Take?

In fact, there are many reasons why you should consider installing gutters on your balcony, which is what this article will cover.

You’ll learn about the benefits of having gutters, including information about important considerations before installing them. Read on to find out!

What are gutters?

Diverting rainwater from your roof to the ground is a crucial aspect of keeping your house healthy.

Gutters are what make this possible.

Gutters are common home accessories found in almost every home. They are used to drain rainwater from the roof.

Read More: How to Clean Balcony Without Drain

Downspouts and eavestroughs, or channels, from the gutters carry water to a tilt or gutter box that is connected to the wall of your house.

Rainwater is then drained away from your home through an outlet known as a downspout and sent into a rain barrel or storage tank containing an overflow valve and backflow prevention device.

Roof gutters are placed at the edges of roofs, while ones that go along the sides of houses are called soffit gutters or fascia gutters.

There are three basic types of gutter systems:

  • K-Style
  • Half-Round
  • Box gutters

The kind of gutters you install on your house depends on how much rain you expect each year, how far up your roof they need to be placed, and how close to the ground they must drain. 

Rain gutters could be created with a number of different materials such as

  • copper
  • iron
  • aluminum
  • plastic (vinyl)

Yes. Gutters can be attached to balconies

Whether you have a balcony attached to your house, or a simple upstairs bedroom window that overlooks the front yard, you can install gutters.

One of the main things to keep in mind when attaching rain gutters to a balcony is that although the IRC, home inspectors and most building codes do not require that the gutters be attached directly to a roof, installing them still serves to protect the house from water damage and help it last longer.

Planting Vegetables In A Planter On...
Planting Vegetables In A Planter On a Balcony

The best way to make sure that your balcony overhang is waterproof is to install rain gutters.

However, if there isn’t a lot of rain around your home, then you may not need to install them right away.

Laying gutters over your balcony roof overhang is a good way to have them ready for when the weather gets wetter. 

Read More: 8 Design Ideas For Balcony Roof Overhang

Why you should invest in new gutters for Your home 

1. Reduce flooding

Brought about by excessive rainfall, flooding can be devastating to many areas, from homes and businesses to public parks and roads.

When rainwater falls over a flat surface such as a balcony, it empties out into the surrounding space.

Part of this water flows down off the edge of the balcony while another part will flow down the wall.

If you have gutters installed at these points, they’ll redirect that excess water away from your home or business in order to prevent any serious problems.

2. Prevent mold and mildew

Stagnant water can cause mold and mildew to grow, and these problems can spread throughout your home or business if they aren’t taken care of quickly.

Your gutters can effectively deal with these issues by diverting excess water away from your walls and preventing it from staying in one place for too long.

This can prevent the need for mold cleaning services in many cases.

A clean, well-maintained gutter system can also reduce the need to clean mold from the sides of your building or from the foundation every other rainy season.

Read More: How to Clean Balcony Without Upsetting Neighbors

3. Water gardens

Easily accessible rainwater is a source of water for many types of plants and flowers.

When your gutter system functions well, it can be used to water these plants throughout the year.

If you’re not set up for this, consider having a gutter system installed on your balcony so you’ll be able to provide adequate rainwater to your outdoor and balcony garden at all times.

Some gardeners may prefer to use a rain barrel for this purpose because you can use it to store water for other things too.

4. Prevent smelly surroundings

Pools of stagnant water can cause many issues, from messy stench to slippery surfaces.

In the case of a balcony or roof terrace, oodles of water can lead to any number of unpleasant situations.

Gutters prevent these issues by dealing with excess water before it becomes a problem.

Your outdoor swimming pool will be kept fresh and clean, away from lingering smells, bogs and slimy surfaces.

5. Pest control

A clean gutter system can prevent rodents and pests such as mosquitoes, flies and wasps from making themselves comfortable in your home.

These pests are drawn to standing water because they need it to reproduce and multiply, and they can be seriously annoying if they make your balcony or lawn their safe haven.

Some could also carry serious health issues if you’re not careful.

So if you have a gutter system and you prevent excess water from accumulating, you’ll be able to keep them at bay.

This can also reduce the need for pest control services like swatter spray or other more expensive options, so it’s a win-win situation all around.

6. Reduce maintenance

Buildup of water around your home can become a major problem in the long run because of its poor drainage system.

You’ll have to deal with these problems on a regular basis, and this can be time-consuming as well as costly.

On the other hand, if you have a gutter system installed and keep your gutters in good condition, you’ll reduce the amount of repairs and other problems you have to deal with every year.

How to choose the right kind of gutter for your roof

1. Check local regulations

Fully-customizable may be prohibited in some towns; you may need to investigate zoning laws before installing one.

Gutters that conform to the suburbs or national building codes will likely be allowed, but once again check for specifics.

The municipal and HOA usually approve or disapprove of a particular design if they are made to understand its purpose.

When you opt for the most efficient gutter system, they will be more likely to give the green light.

2. Think about the typical rainfall amounts

Determine how much rainfall falls in the region where you live.

The contractor will use this information to create a tailored installation for your specific climate.

For example, installing a rain gutter with small sized gutters can result in a poor water flow.

Proper gutter sizing will prevent clogging and overflow.

Rapid flow will also prevent excessive dirt build up and blockages which can occur in heavy rainfall.

3. Take the gutter material into consideration

Stainless steel is preferred over aluminum and seamless gutters tend to last longer than those with seams.

Wrought iron tends to develop rust spots and thereafter doesn’t drain as well as concrete or PVC gutters.

The color you choose for your gutter comes down to personal preference; your gutter can be any color to match your home’s exterior, although many experts advise against painting or staining gutters because it reduces their lifespan.

4. Look at the budget and available resources 

Do you have the time to buy and fix premade gutters? If not, enlist the help of a professional installer.

The cost of gutter installation will depend on the size of your home and what type of gutters are needed.

Once you’ve picked out the style you want to install, get at least two bids from contractors in your area.

Use online directories to make sure they are licensed and insured.

A contractor will note any concerns during the site visit and will suggest an appropriate solution. 

5. Consider future roof and gutter maintenance

Never worry about the life of your roofing and gutters again, by selecting a system that is easy to maintain.

For example, seamless gutters will be less prone to failure than sectional gutters.

Choose gutters that will have the capacity to not only drain properly now, but will also be equipped to handle the additional flow from future roofing projects.

Also, instead of standard hangers, select gutter brackets that will not only securely hold your gutter in place now, but should it need to be upgraded in the future they will allow for easy removal.

6. Consider the pitch of your roof

Sufficient pitch is necessary to ensure the proper gutter system is installed.

The pitch of your roof affects how much water flows into your gutters and how quickly it has to be drained.

In addition, the pitch of the roof will impact the width of gutters and downspouts.

Steep roof pitches require gutters to be larger in diameter and so they can handle more rushing rainwater without overflowing.

The slope of gutters can also be manipulated to prevent clogging.