As homeowners, we understand the need to protect our valuable investment – our homes. One essential way we safeguard our houses is by installing gutters. But why are gutters necessary around the entire perimeter of our homes? This guide explains what makes gutters a vital part of home maintenance.
What Are Gutters?
Gutters are channels installed along the edge of the roof that catch and direct rainwater runoff away from a house. They serve as the first line of defense to prevent rain from pouring down the sides of a home. Gutters connect to downspouts that channel the water collected from the roof away from the house’s foundation.
Gutters may be made of various materials like aluminum, copper, vinyl, steel, wood, and more. Aluminum gutters remain the most popular choice for most homes. They effectively catch water while being rust and corrosion resistant.
Why Do Houses Have Gutters?
Houses have gutters because they control rainwater drainage. Gutters are necessary because without them around the whole perimeter, water cascades off the roof and collects around the foundation. This constant moisture seepage causes water damage over time. It leads to ugly paint peeling, unsightly mold growth, wood rot in the sidings, flooding of basements, and growth of weeds around the base.
Gutters relieve this problem by channeling rainwater from the roof into downspouts. Downspouts then empty the water at least 5 to 10 feet away from your home, preventing it from pooling near the base. This rainwater drainage system is vital for protecting all types of houses, whether luxury mansions or modest family homes.
What Are the Benefits of Gutters?
Gutters provide numerous protective benefits, including:
Prevent Costly Home Repairs
By directing rainwater away, gutters prevent moisture damage that necessitates expensive siding, roofing, masonry or foundation repairs.
Gutters prevent rainwater from eroding soil along the foundation, allowing you to maintain beautiful gardens.
Prevent Basement Flooding
Houses with gutters help reduce the risk of wet basements. The drainage alleviates pressure on basement walls from pooled moisture.
Proper rainwater runoff control with gutters helps homes stand up better to weather and last longer. This increases resale value.
Gutters reduce slipping hazards from water pooling on paths around homes. Proper drainage also limits mold and moisture damage indoors.
Signs Your Home Needs Gutters
Notice any of the following around your house? Then it’s definitely time to call gutter installation pros:
- Paint peeling from exterior walls
- Damp sections in the basement or crawl space
- Mold/mildew stains around windowsills
- Standing puddles around the foundation
- Water seeping into garages or sheds
- Mushy areas along the lawn’s edge
- Downspout water pouring close to the home
- Overflowing rain barrels after storms
Don’t delay…get comprehensive gutter system estimates from qualified companies ASAP! Protect your home and precious property, and prevent further costly water damage.
How Gutters Prevent Water Damage
Let’s explore exactly how gutters and downspouts ward off water damage. Rainwater from the roof collects in gutters installed along roof edges. Gutters have just enough pitch or slope to funnel water sideways. Then downspouts at end points move the harvested rain downward, away from the house.
Downspouts should empty at least five feet from basement walls. Splash blocks placed underneath downspouts help diffuse rainwater energy. This further reduces foundation erosion or flooding risk.
Without diverting roof water away from homes, saturated ground and heavy moisture directly against walls cause problems. Damage can include:
- Wood trim/sidings rotting from constant dampness
- Growth of mold, mosses and mildew on exterior surfaces
- Leaking roofs when water pools and seeps under shingles
- Basement or crawlspace flooding when soil won’t absorb more moisture
- Foundation cracks from expansive soils near walls
- Warping of doors and windows from excess humidity
- Premature failure of driveways and pathways near the home
Gutters tackle all these issues by managing water properly!
Are Gutters Necessary for All Homes?
Many houses can benefit from full gutter systems, but some may not require them. Homes in arid climates with limited rainfall often go without. Buildings constructed on steep slopes may forego gutters as long as water freely flows away at grade. Some urban row houses have no choice but to drain rainwater to the street.
Still, gutters do provide useful protection even on plains or graduates sites. For example, homes with basements should always have perimeter drainage systems. Significant roof overhangs also demand gutters to handle all the extra runoff they collect.
If you’re wondering whether your particular home needs gutters, consider the following:
Soil Conditions: Clay-rich soils prone to expansion require diversion of moisture with gutters. Sandy soils drain easier but still necessitate proper water handling.
Lot Grading: Install gutters if any doubtful areas exist around the home. For flat lots, allow gutters to direct flow away from foundations. On sloped lots, move water downhill and prevent problematic erosion spots.
Weather Patterns: Homes in regions with frequent heavy rain, tropical storms or winter ice dams need effective gutter systems. This includes climates with regular snowfall where gutters help manage snow melt.
Landscaping: Gutters protect gardens, patios and walkways around homes from erosion and flooding. Drainage prevents muddy messes around entries from roof runoff as well.
Foundation Type: Any kind of below-grade construction like basements demands drainage systems. This includes crawl spaces and garage slabs. Directing water away with gutters is vital.
When Are Gutters Not Necessary?
Gutters may not be required with the following scenarios:
Arid Region Homes – Buildings constructed where annual rainfall averages less than 20 inches often skip gutters. With little precipitation, water readily evaporates rather than seeping into the ground.
Steep Pitched Roofs – Standing seam metal roofs with a steep, smooth structure sometimes shed water well without gutters. But nearby grade must slope significantly away from the building as well.
Raised Floor Plates – Homes constructed on piling foundations high above grade won’t suffer below-ground moisture damage. Raised beach houses commonly forego gutters for aesthetic reasons.
Rural Buildings – Freestanding barns, stables and sheds located a distance away from homes only need basic roof overhangs. Their walls easily handle some intermittent moisture.
Urban Row Houses – Townhouses and brownstones integrated tightly into neighborhoods often drain directly to the street or backyard patios. They possess limited space for individual gutter systems.
Outside of those exceptions, seamless rain gutters and downspouts belong around roof edges! Protecting our homes is essential, whether a modest ranch house or a sprawling country estate. Keep water where it won’t cause damage with comprehensive gutter systems. Invest in this vital protective system if lacking around your home currently.
Installing Gutters Yourself vs Hiring a Professional
You may wonder whether DIY gutter installation is feasible over hiring a contractor. Well, several factors determine the complexity. DIY is possible for simpler small homes if you have sufficient skill. But larger houses often benefit from pro installation.
Here is a comparison of both options:
Hiring a Professional
- Experienced evaluating need, drainage solutions
- Access professional equipment/materials
- Measure/cut gutters to fit perfectly
- Installed properly in less time
- Won’t damage your roof
- Provide warranty on labor
- More expensive upfront
- Wait times booking contractors
- Less expensive on smaller homes
- Control schedule/pace yourself
- Steep learning curve
- Risk of roof damage
- Improper slope/drainage
- Purchase equipment/supplies
- Time consuming with no labor warranty
Evaluate your specific scenario. DIY gutter installation works well for handy homeowners tackling simpler single-story homes. But large multi-level houses often require hiring contractors. They possess professional expertise gained from years of experience. Property damage risks also climb substantially with DIY on valuable real estate.
Make sure to get multiple gutter installation quotes first. Compare the exact scope of work needed. For challenging spaces or limited DIY skills, professional setup brings valuable peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gutters
Are gutters required around the entire house?
Gutters may not be an outright legal requirement for homes. However, they are a building code recommendation for new constructions in many regions. Additionally, insurance companies often require them for continued coverage.
Regardless, most roofing experts strongly advise installing seamless gutters around all sides of a house. This comprehensive drainage system offers optimal protection.
Maintenance is key for gutters to work efficiently. They should be cleaned at least twice a year – spring and fall. Areas with abundant trees require more frequent service to clear clog-causing debris. Guards can cut down on debris buildup inside gutters as well.
What are signs I need new gutters?
Look out for leaks, holes, sagging sections or disconnected joints. These indicate aged gutters that no longer channel water properly. Copper and steel gutters last the longest, about 50 years, while aluminum and vinyl gutters need replacing every 25 to 30 years.
Should I add gutter guards?
Gutter guards fitting over the gutters help block debris from entering the drainage system. This minimizes clogs so water keeps flowing freely. Guards add an extra layer of protection but can be expensive. Make sure they still allow water in while filtering debris.
How much do gutters cost to install?
Professional gutter installation averages $4 to $12 per linear foot. Basic aluminum gutters for a standard 2-story house roughly cost $1,000 to $4,000. More complex projects with customized copper gutters and added accessories run higher. Always hire reputable contractors for proper setup.
Protect Your Precious Home Investment with Gutters
Our homes shelter what matter most – our families and belongings. Defending real estate assets with protective systems like gutters only makes sense. They relieve worries over water damage costs and related hassles. As caring homeowners, we owe it to ourselves and families to secure properties properly against the elements.
Still debating the need for gutters? Remember…
- Gutters last 25+ years for a single upfront investment
- Prevent exponentially more expensive water damage over time
- Protect against flooding, mold/mildew growth, landscape erosion
- Maintain aesthetic appeal with less weathering
- Increase safety and comfort indoors through drier conditions
This long list of benefits makes installing comprehensive gutter systems around homes well worthwhile! Don’t wait until noticing actual leakage or huge damage expenses before taking action. Schedule professional gutter installation assessments now to get ahead of problems. Keep your most valuable investment, your home, protected against seasonal rains year after year.
For professional gutter cleaning, contact Sullins Suds right away!