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The 7 Best Gutter Alternatives For Metal Roof In 2024

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Do you have a metal roof but are unsure of the best gutter alternative to use?

Metal roofs are increasingly popular for their durability and long-lasting protection, but they must be properly cared for in order to ensure optimal performance.

Gutters are an important part of roof maintenance, as they help to divert water away from the roof and protect it from damage.

With that in mind, RMC Roofing & Construction has compiled a list of the best gutter alternatives for metal roofs. These products provide excellent protection and are designed to be compatible with metal roofs, giving you peace of mind that your roof will remain safe and sound.

Read Also: Best Types Of Gutters For Metal Roofs if you are not looking for just alternative options!

What Are The Available Gutter Alternatives For Metal Roof

However, when it comes to water drainage, they need efficient systems in place to handle runoff. While traditional gutters are common, there are several innovative alternatives worth considering.

Here’s a look at the best-rated gutter alternatives for metal roofs:

best gutter alternatives for metal roof

1) Scuppers – Best Metal Roof Gutter Alternative in Terms of Efficient Drainage

Scuppers are small, precise openings cut out along the roof’s edge that channel rainwater away from the building. These unique drainage solutions are particularly suited for flat roofs or those with slight slopes. Here’s why they stand out:

  • Efficient Drainage: One of the critical advantages of scuppers is their efficiency. When strategically placed, they can rapidly drain large volumes of water, preventing accumulation and potential water damage, especially on commercial buildings with expansive, flat roofs.
  • Low Maintenance: Unlike conventional gutters that have many components, scuppers boast a simplistic design, meaning they demand less maintenance. However, regular checks to ensure they’re free of debris are still essential to maintain their effectiveness.

2) Drip Edges – Top Choice for Protection Against Wind-driven Rain

Drip edges are metal flashings fitted along a roof’s edge. They form an integral part of any metal roof system, although they don’t replace gutters. Here’s why they’re invaluable:

  • Water Deflection: Drip edges act as barriers, guiding water away from the eaves. This function keeps water from seeping under the roof’s edges, preserving the integrity of the roof decking.
  • Protection Against Wind-driven Rain: In severe storms, wind-driven rain can penetrate even the smallest gaps. Drip edges offer a sturdy line of defense, preventing this rain from infiltrating underneath the roof and causing water damage.

3) Rain Chains – Ideal Alternative for Aesthetic Enhancement

Rain chains, originating from Japan, serve as decorative alternatives to traditional downspouts:

  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Rain chains transform a simple necessity into an art form. They channel water down a series of chain links or ornamental cups into a catch basin, creating a visually pleasing water feature that enhances your home’s aesthetic appeal.
  • Variety of Designs: With a broad range of designs and materials available, it’s easy to find a rain chain that perfectly complements your home’s architectural style and your personal taste.

4) Box Gutters – Perfect for Maintaining Historical Integrity

Box gutters are custom-designed gutters that seamlessly blend into the roof’s structure:

  • Ideal for Historic Homes: If maintaining your property’s historical integrity is a priority, box gutters present a more unique, in-line look compared to conventional gutters, preserving the architectural charm of older homes.
  • Custom Design: Box gutters can be custom-crafted to meet your specific roof design and drainage needs, ensuring a harmonious integration with your home’s exterior.

5) Gutter Guards – Prime Solution for Preventing Clogs

Gutter guards are an essential addition for those choosing traditional gutters:

  • Prevent Clogs: Gutter guards act as a protective layer, keeping leaves and other debris from entering and clogging up your gutter system. This protection helps prevent overflowing gutters that can cause significant water damage to your property.
  • Reduced Maintenance: By keeping out unwanted debris, gutter guards effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of gutter cleaning, saving you time and effort.

6) Hidden Gutters – Excellent for Achieving a Streamlined, Modern Look

Also known as “built-in” or “concealed gutters,” hidden gutters provide a sleek, modern look:

  • Invisible Design: True to their name, hidden gutters are integrated into the roof’s structure and are unnoticeable from the outside. This design adds a clean, streamlined look to your home’s exterior.
  • Ideal for Modern Homes: For those who prefer a contemporary aesthetic with clean architectural lines, hidden gutters can be the perfect choice, offering functionality without compromising style.

7) French Drains – Versatile Option for Effective Water Diversion

French drains are an innovative type of drainage system installed around your home’s perimeter:

  • Effective Water Diversion: French drains are designed to divert water away from your home’s foundation, helping to prevent potential flooding and water damage.
  • Versatility: Though not a direct replacement for roof gutters, French drains form an effective part of a comprehensive water management strategy for your property, ensuring the safety and longevity of your home.

When it comes to choosing the best gutter alternative for your metal roof, there are plenty of options to consider. Each of these options comes with its own set of pros and cons, so be sure to do your research and choose the one that best fits your individual needs and budget.

Why Some Houses With Metal Roofing Don’t Have Gutters?

Some people choose not to install gutters on metal roofs, and there are some valid reasons for this. For one, gutters can be expensive and require regular maintenance.

Also, some people prefer the aesthetic of a metal roof without gutters, as they can make the home look more modern and sleek.

The main reason for not installing gutters on a residential property with a metal roof could be that the property is built on a slope or at a higher elevation, which naturally diverts water away from the important to note that the previous two reasons mentioned allow water to damage the roof if gutters are not installed.

Therefore, if someone chooses not to install gutters on their metal roof, they should ensure they have an alternative option based on their specific reason.

For example, they should opt for hidden gutters, if their concern is related to aesthetics, or install a French drain system if the concern is related to flooding.

To ensure long-term protection for your metal roof and home, it is best to install a gutter system that can channel away potential water damage.

Otherwise, you are inviting common problems of metal roofing gutters.

FAQs Related To Gutter Alternatives For Metal Roofs

Now that you have a better understanding of what types of gutter alternatives are available for metal roofs, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.

Why would I need to consider alternative options to traditional gutters?

Traditional gutters require regular maintenance and can be expensive to install. Alternative options such as drip edges or rain chains may offer an aesthetic that is more appealing, or they may be more cost-effective.

What are the benefits of using gutter alternatives for metal roofs?

The benefits of using gutter alternatives for metal roofs can include reduced maintenance requirements, improved drainage, increased durability in harsh conditions, and a more visually appealing roofline. Certain alternatives, such as rainwater harvesting systems and green roofs, can offer environmental benefits and help to prevent water damage by diverting rainwater away from the foundation.

Can I install gutter alternatives myself or do I need to hire a professional?

The answer to this question will depend on the specific gutter alternative and the skill level of the homeowner. Some alternatives, such as rain chains or gutter guards, can be relatively simple to install with basic tools and DIY skills. Others, such as box gutters or rainwater harvesting systems, may require professional installation due to their complexity and potential impact on the structural integrity of the building.

Which gutter alternative is best for my particular roof type and climate?

Choosing the most appropriate gutter alternative for your roof and climate will depend on various factors like the roof’s slope, the local rainfall level, the roofing material, and the desired appearance. Some options, like scuppers and drip edges, are ideal for different types of roofs and climates, while others, such as green roofs, may be better suited for specific building types or regions.


Gutter alternatives for metal roofs are a great way to improve the drainage of your home and protect it from water damage without having to install traditional gutters.

There are a variety of options available, including rain chains, gutter guards, box gutters, scuppers, drip edges, French drains, and more.

It is important to do your research and determine the best option for your particular roof type and climate.

With the right gutter alternative, you can ensure that your metal roof is effectively protected from water damage for years to come.

Why Trust Rmc Roofing & Construction Advice:

As an expert roofing contractor in Albuquerque, NM, we specialize in providing metal roofing services for both residential and commercial properties.

With many years of experience, our team of professionals is well-equipped to offer you top-quality services and advice for all your metal roofing needs. Trust us to provide you with the best solutions for your roofing concerns.

Call Us Now!