The Gutter System


labeled gutter with oversized downspout

A gutter system is designed to move water away from your home’s foundation. Water draining too close to a house can cause foundation damage.  The worst case is when a basement flood occurs, and as most of us know, this is not covered by many homeowner insurance policies. The best way to avoid these problems is to have a well-designed drainage system.


Good drainage starts with the landscaping around your house. The grade/slope should always drain the water away from the home.

Next are downspout pipes that extend a least 4 feet away from the home, or underground drains that carry the water away from the home.

The most frequent problem Excel finds are gutters, downspouts, and underground drains that are clogged. Next are systems that are incorrectly designed, for instance a downspout without an extension pipe, or downspout draining too close to a basement window well.


After working with thousands of homeowners, Excel has developed best practices for gutters.  Excel does not believe in gutter covers, as well as the marketing sounds, they just don’t perform as advertised.

Excel thinks it’s best to leave the gutters uncovered, but make sure they are clean!

We think the best drainage system utilizes oversized outlets and downspouts.  Outlets are the connection point between the downspout and the gutter.

An oversized outlet looks like a big funnel.

It just makes sense—the biggest outlets and downspouts will allow the most water to drain.  This is important because you don’t want the gutters to overflow in heavy downpours.

Another great benefit of big outlets and downspouts is that they will allow the maximum amount of leaves and pine needles to flow through the downspout, with the least chance of clogging the pipe. This will help keep the gutter clean.

If the water drains to an underground drain, this could be a problem.  A clogged underground drain can be a very difficult problem to solve.  Fortunately, Excel has a solution: a collector box installed at ground level will trap all of the debris before it goes underground, and make cleaning simple.


oversized downspout on a gutter

What does it cost?

An oversized downspout drain system for a 1 story home is $150 each, for a 2 story they are $250 each. If the downspouts go into underground drains, the collector boxes are a must! They are $75 each.

Excel believes our downspout clean-out systems are the best designed roof drainage systems you can find.  If you have any questions give us a call, and remember keep those gutters clean!

Watch J’s Video To Learn More About The Downspout Cleanout System


Chances are that your mind is not in the gutter. 

gutters being made on site

Well, maybe, but it’s probably not concerned with your rain gutters.  Go outside and take a look at them.  Are they cracked, sagging or just simply falling apart?  If so you will need to replace them immediately to avoid costly problems down the road.


The gutter is usually made from plastic, steel or aluminum.

Plastic gutters are cheap and they are easily broken.  Excel Roofing does not recommend plastic gutters as they always fail.

Steel gutters are stronger but will rust.

Both aluminum and steel gutters can be fabricated on site.  A flat piece of metal is placed in one end of the fabricating machine and a seamless gutter cut to a specific length comes out the other end.

Excel Roofing recommends seamless aluminum gutters over steel because they hold up well, melt the snow and ice faster than steel and will never rust.


The most common gutter sizes have a five inch or six inch opening to catch the water.

For tile roofs, large roofs and/or steep roofs (like a roof of a church) the six inch gutters are a must.  Excel Roofing does not recommend any sort of covers or screens for your gutters.  They tend to cause the water to overshoot the gutters and they contribute to ice dam problems in the winter.

The gutter should be securely attached with a clip and special screw every two feet.  Screws are preferable to nails or gutter spikes as the screws will stay put and not back out over time.

If a nail or spike backs out, the gutter will sag and water will not drain properly.


Downspouts need to be large enough to handle the heaviest rainstorms of the season.  The minimum size for a downspout should be 2×3 inches, but a larger size (like 3×4 inches which is twice as big) is even better. The larger size makes it less likely that anything will be able to block the downspout–even a tennis ball will drop right through.   Excel Roofing recommends an oversized 3×4 downspout because they can handle large amounts of water volume and debris.

If the downspout empties into an underground drain then the Excel Roofing Downspout Cleanout System is a must.  Otherwise the downspout should empty into a diverter that directs the water four feet away from your home.

If your home needs new gutters be sure to pick the right gutter system for your home.  Excel Roofing will help you choose the right system that not only looks great on your home but also effectively moves the water off the roof and away from your home. Contact Us today!

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